September 6, 2013
In my Opening Address last month, I explained that Winthrop has reached a "strategic inflection point" that demands renewing our strategies in the areas of
fundraising and enrollment growth. And, I mentioned that I had already started realigning our organizational structures to match these key priorities.
Today, I am pleased to announce two important and interrelated structural realignments that will allow us to change the trajectory of our results in these
critical performance areas. I wanted to share these decisions with you, as they represent essential elements needed to support the vision we will collectively
set for Winthrop to "Refresh, Renew and Rise."
The two structural realignments involve:
- Separating the administration and leadership of the Winthrop University Foundation from the Division of Development and Alumni Relations and reconstructing a
Division of Institutional Advancement
- Combining student recruitment, admissions, and financial aid into a Division of Access and Enrollment Management
Let's examine each of these modifications, in turn.
Foundation Leadership and the Reconstructed Division of Institutional Advancement
At a meeting last week, the Winthrop University Foundation Board unanimously approved a resolution that separates the fundraising and alumni relations activities of the University
from the administration of the Foundation.
The decision of the Foundation Board, which creates a separate Foundation executive leadership position titled Executive Director and Vice President for Community Engagement and Impact,
came upon recommendation of the Board's executive committee after 15 months of focused evaluation and study, which included a recommendation from a highly regarded consultant.
The Foundation will assume the financial responsibilities associated with this new position.
Adopting this model underscores the importance of separating the gift acceptance, management, and allocation functions from fundraising activities to ensure the highest fiduciary compliance
with IRS regulations, donor intent, and stewardship of all Foundation assets.
In short, separating fund management from fundraising reflects industry best practices for institutions like Winthrop.
This change paved the way for me to constitute a University Division of Institutional Advancement, comprising Alumni Relations, Fundraising/Development, and University Relations.
Moving forward, Kim Keel, currently Executive Director of the Foundation and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, will remain in her role as Executive Director of the Foundation
to ensure that the management and administration of Foundation assets will reflect industry best practices.
Kim also will assume the role of Vice President for Community Engagement and Impact, with responsibility for leading campus conversations as we move ahead with the clear intention to expand
Winthrop's community partnerships in ways that will leverage our collective impact as an institution.
I plan to re-title Kim's current Vice President for Development position to Vice President for Institutional Advancement and to act swiftly to hire an experienced professional to lead our
institutional advancement team of Alumni, Development, and University Relations staff. This
position is now posted (pdf, 193 kb) on our website.
The Division of Access and Enrollment Management
After deliberative review of the 10-year trend in our enrollment numbers, I determined that it is now time for Winthrop to refresh and renew its approach to enrollment management.
During my Opening Address, I outlined the urgency for action in this area. I also promised to create the structures that would facilitate greater success in our recruitment efforts
and to allocate the resources required to increase enrollment of traditional, post-traditional, and graduate students. One important step in that direction is to restructure the
previous Division of Advancement and establish the Division of Access and Enrollment Management to include the Recruitment, Admissions, and Financial Aid areas.
We will soon launch a search for a Vice President for Access and Enrollment Management who will supervise the Directors of Admissions, Recruitment, and Financial Aid and work
collaboratively with colleagues across the University to set an overall enrollment management strategy that includes traditional, post-traditional, and graduate students.
The members of the President's Advisory Council and I believe that these two organizational changes will ignite the flame of progress needed at this strategic inflection point in
Winthrop's history. To serve our mission well, we must prudently steward our Foundation resources; we must enhance our fundraising, relationship building, and image building efforts;
we must renew our approach to enrollment management for traditional, post-traditional, and graduate students; and we must gather our collective talents to produce a positive impact
on our state, our region, our nation, and our world.
During the time it takes to put these new administrative structures in place, we will convene several different discussion sessions to address the important visioning questions I proposed
during my Opening Address. We will initially hold Town Hall meetings to review and revise the questions. Then, we will gather in smaller groups to explore and imagine the many ways we can
refresh our thinking, renew our strategies, and put Winthrop on the rise.
Please consider any and all opportunities you can to join in the conversation. I need your input and your good guidance to further refine and articulate the new vision for our University.
Onward. Upward. Winthrop ever stand.