Edwin Givens pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston on Tuesday to misprision of a felony.
Prosecutors say that Givens received a $500 kickback in 2011 for helping direct the entertainment contract for the school's homecoming dance to a specific company. The 50-year-old Givens was then chief of staff and general counsel at the historically black university in Orangeburg.
Prosecutors say Givens returned the money to the school but later denied knowledge of the kickback during an FBI interview.
The plea agreement requires Givens to cooperate with the government in the investigation. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of six months of probation if he complies with the agreement.