Birmingham-Southern College has accused Alabama state treasurer Young Boozer III of misleading the public in statements about denying a state loan to the struggling private institution, marking an escalation in the conflict between Boozer and college officials.
The two sides have traded shots since the college was denied a loan through a program established by the state Legislature earlier this year to help private institutions facing a risk of closure. A bill—written by a BSC grad—provided a $30 million lifeline for qualified institutions.
However, Boozer denied BSC’s loan application last month. The college filed a lawsuit to compel Boozer to disburse the funds requested through the program, but a judge dismissed the suit last week. In both the lawsuit and in public statements, officials have accused Boozer of acting in bad faith.
In a statement over the weekend, Boozer pushed back on the college officials’ claims, including that they’d been blindsided by his sudden denial of the loan.
The college had been told from the start that it “did not meet the collateral requirement in the statutory minimum requirements,” his statement read. “The Treasurer’s actions and requirements were directed by the law as passed and were always according to the actual law.”
He added that he denied the loan because BSC is a “terrible credit risk.”
In a statement Monday, college officials disputed Boozer’s claim that they’d been told months ago the claim would be denied. They accused him of making various untrue assertions, including that BSC did not qualify for the loan and that it did not have adequate collateral for the loan.
College officials have indicated that they are exploring various options to keep the college open, including an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court for an expedited hearing. BSC faces the possibility of an abrupt closure without financial help, according to arguments in the lawsuit.