Across South Carolina

USC aims to raise $1 billion by 2015


COLUMBIA — The Uni­versity of South Carolina is embarking on the largest college fundraising campaign in the state’s history, with hopes of raising $1 billion by the summer of 2015, President Harris Pastides announced Friday.

“The economy is tough, but the need is profound,” he said.

Fewer than two dozen public universities nationwide have tried to reach that figure, said Mar­tin Gren­zebach, the chairman of the Chicago-based Grenzebach Glier & Asso­ciates, a nonprofit fundraising consulting firm.

The university has raised nearly $529 million since the campaign’s unannounced phase began in July 2007.

USC’s fundraising has topped its own record highs yearly since 2007 – hitting $122 million in the previous school year. Nationwide, donations to colleges declined by 14 percent between 2008 and 2010, a record fall, Grenzebach said.

Future state staff face longer tenure

COLUMBIA — Future public employees in South Carolina might need to work a couple of years longer to retire, and their pensions could be smaller.

A House panel agreed Thursday to retirement system changes for new hires. Legislators will consider the proposals in the session that starts in January.

They include requiring employees to work 30 years to retire with full benefits, up from 28 years. Benefits would be based on an average of their last five years’ salary, rather than three.