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06/26/2014

Board Unanimously Votes to Terminate Contract of Suspended President Jamie Comstock Williamson

Quick Facts

 Winthrop University Board of Trustees members voted unanimously to terminate the contract of suspended President Jamie Comstock Williamson during a June 26 board meeting.
 Provost Debra Boyd has been appointed Acting President.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University Board of Trustees members voted unanimously to terminate the contract of suspended President Jamie Comstock Williamson during a June 26 board meeting.

The following is a statement released from Board Chair Kathy Bigham explaining the outcome:

“The trustees of Winthrop University have authorized me to make the following statement on the Board's behalf in regard to the votes just taken:

The actions finalized today have been difficult, yet are based on extensive and detailed factual inquiry, with our ultimate focus on two questions: Whether the evidence supported findings of Cause for Termination of the President's Employment Agreement, and what is best for Winthrop University's future?

As to the first question, the Board determined the evidence in its judgment was clear and convincing that Cause exists to warrant immediate termination.

As to the second question, stewardship of a public university is a special trust that requires great attention to the perspectives of the general public, as well as to those of students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors.

Whenever legitimate concerns arise, it is important-- first to trustees and then to the public -- that questions be addressed factually and as fully with the public as the university's legal obligations will allow. That is especially important for a public university. Not everyone may agree with every decision made or action taken in the day-to-day operations of a university. Yet public trust, like Board trust, requires that true and sincere openness guide all responses in regard to who made key decisions and how those decisions were reached.

Candor and trust between the President and the Board are crucial for this university, and any university, to thrive. And once candor and trust are irretrievably broken, decisions must be made to chart a different course.

We believe the actions we have just taken once again have aligned Winthrop with those long-held values, and therefore, are in the best interest of Winthrop's future.

Provost Debra Boyd has been appointed Acting President.

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