George E. Cooper announced that he will step down as president of South Carolina State University at the end of the month. President Cooper stated that he was leaving his post voluntarily but the university has been embroiled in controversy over the past several weeks after Dr. Cooper fired eight administrators. This past Wednesday, a committee of the faculty Senate issued a statement saying that the university was in “a state of crisis.”
Cooper became president of the historically Black university in Orangeburg in July 2008. Previously, he was deputy administrator of science and education resources development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Dr. Cooper was a professor and administrator at Alabama A&M University and at Tuskegee University.
Dr. Cooper is a graduate of Florida A&M University. He earned a master’s degree in animal science at Tuskegee University and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Illinois.