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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

April 16, 2010
Macfeat House
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

 

Members present:  Kathy Bigham (Chair), Frances Davenport, Janet Smalley, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Lee Cox. Dalton Floyd, David Vipperman, Sam Foster, Bob Thompson, Tim Sease, Karl Folkens, Donna Tinsley-Holley, Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio)

Members absent:  Thomas Pope        

Representatives present:  Sydney Evans, Student Representative; Marsha Bollinger, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent:  None

Others present:  Faculty and staff of Winthrop University            

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 16, 2010 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order

Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m.  Lee Cox made a motion for the Board to move into Executive Session, Bob Thompson seconded. The Board met in executive session for the purpose of the contractual, legal, and personnel matters.  Dalton Floyd moved the Board return to public session with no actions taken. The motion was seconded by Jane LaRoche. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. 

Approval of Board Minutes of  February 19-21, 2010

Bob Thompson made a motion to approve the minutes from the Board retreat and meeting of February 19 through the 21st. The motion seconded by Janet Smalley. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.

Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

Chair Bigham reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on March 31, 2010.  Several matters were reviewed and discussed.  The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board.

As per Article III, Section B, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees shall appoint from among the voting members of the Board the members of a Committee on Nominations, subject to the consent of the Board of Trustees.  Chair Bigham appointed Dr. Jane LaRoche as chair of the committee, with Mr. Tim Sease and Mrs. Frances Davenport as the remaining two members.  The Board had no objections to the selection of these three members.  As noted in the bylaws, the committee will notify the full Board of their slate of nominees for chair and vice-chair within 30 days of the next meeting. 

Chair Bigham then asked that the Board consider a number of resolutions including those pertaining to the recent fire at Owens Hall, the Mission Statement of the University, and a charge to President DiGiorgio:

  1. Resolution regarding service during the Owens fire.  The resolution was presented in honor of the many faculty, staff, students impacted during the March 6, 2010 major fire that consumed much of the roof of Owens Hall.  The resolution acknowledged, commended, and honored the exemplary and meritorious response to the fire and its aftermath achieved by faculty, staff and students, who met the circumstances with a community spirit and sense of purpose that served Winthrop well. The resolution passed unanimously.

  1. Resolution regarding Board charge to the President. Since Winthrop University is in the midst of preparing for its Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-affirmation of institutional accreditation and the standards for re-affirmation now include the required development of a Quality Enhancement Plan around which significant attention will be directed by the University for a period of five years to deepen global awareness and broaden opportunities for global exploration within the Winthrop experience. This new initiative coupled with shifting expectations and declining resources has led the Board to authorize President Anthony DiGiorgio to conduct a campus-wide process in the next 12 to 15 months to review the implications of these changes on Winthrop University and produce recommendations for balancing mission and resources with expectations. The resolution passed unanimously.

  1. Resolution regarding the Winthrop Mission Statement.  From time to time the Board reviews the university’s mission statement as it is the defining statement of the nature and intellectual character of the university. As the university is about to undertake a campus-wide review of the University's mission and organization as they pertain to future needs, expectations and obligations the current version of the Mission Statement with slight modifications will continue to serve Winthrop well until such time as the campus-wide review is complete.  The resolution passed unanimously.

Report of the Committee on Academic Affairs

Chair Cox directed the Trustees to the written reports submitted by the Deans of the university.  All trustees have received a copy.  Chair Cox urged the Trustees to closely read the reports as they are an accurate representation of the large amount of work done to date in the various colleges and units.

Chair Cox focused his report on the remarkable institutional response to the resulting damage and recovery efforts made in response to the Owens Hall fire.  Karen Jones, Maria Massey, and Debra Boyd were instrumental in relocating classes, support service offices, and faculty offices while Mark Herring took the lead in overseeing document and paper recovery from the offices.  Additionally, the Facilities Management staff and the Informational Technology staff oversaw the efforts of setting up temporary classrooms and offices as well as the recovery and reclamation of the damaged computers. Dr. Cox called special attention to the fact that only one day of class had to be cancelled in order for the 225 classes normally scheduled in Owens to be relocated to other buildings on campus.

Chair Cox then commented on the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS) reaffirmation process and campus visit on April 4-6, 2011.  All reviews and work is well underway and the QEP of “Cognitive Shift to Globalization” is moving forward with good input from the university.

Report of the Committee on Finance

Chair Karl Folkens reported on the Committee on Finance meeting.  The committee members received an update on the aftermath of Owens Hall fire and the plans for rebuilding and renovating the Hall.  Chair Folkens again commended the staff and faculty of Winthrop for the tremendous work that was done in relation to the fire’s aftermath.

The committee also heard a recommendation of a room and board fee to be increased by 3.2% to cover increases in housing costs as well as increases in the vendor price increases for the campus meal plan.  At this point, Chair Folkens brought forward the resolution on student fees.  The Resolution Regarding Room and Board Fees for Fiscal Year 2010 was passed unanimously. 

Report of the Committee on Student Life

Chair Smalley began her report by commenting on the soon to be released Academic Progress Report.  Winthrop athletic teams have once again scored well on the report with the women’s tennis team with the highest score of 992 out of a possible 100 points. 

Chair Smalley then reported on the work of the Student Life staff and their proactive stance while working with the academic misconduct policy.  The emphasis on academic conduct is part of the student Conduce code and is a priority for the student life staff.  Other notable achievements include the selection of Winthrop as the winner of the Commission on Higher Education’s award for service learning, the old fashioned swap meet on campus called WUcyle where students, faculty, and staff traded items, and WU Cribs—a video contest for the best decorated residence hall rooms at Winthrop.

Report on the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development

Chair Thompson began his report with a synopsis of recent gifts to the university.  In addition to various gifts, 100% of the Board of Trustees have already made gifts to the capital campaign or are in the process of discussing possible gifts with the staff of the Development Office. 

In Enrollment Management, the new, data-driven methodology is being used to better predict best practices for our admissions team to use when enrolling new students.  Additionally, we are gathering information from admitted students as a way of using their feedback to better inform our practices and planning for upcoming enrollment campaigns.

Online applications have increased by 40% over the past few years as today’s students are much less likely to complete paper applications. 

Report of the Chair of Faculty Conference

Dr. Marsha Bollinger reported on the current issues facing the faculty as we move through the Spring semester including the curricular changes that are moving quickly through the governance system, the review process for all general education classes, the continuation of the SACS process, and the faculty’s overall satisfaction that vacant teaching positions are being filled as quickly as possible. Dr. Bollinger then discussed the work of the Roles and Rewards committee.  Although slightly behind schedule, the committee has submitted a preliminary report to the Faculty Conference and will welcome feedback and endorsement at the start of the Fall semester.

As a follow-up to the Faculty Conference resolution presented at the February Board meeting, Dr. Bollinger discussed the faculty’s reaction to the Board’s decision not to overturn their Bylaws amendment clarifying the one instance in which the faculty may appeal presidential decisions to the Board.  As a result, the Faculty Conference crafted an additional resolution stating their desire to have Dr. Bollinger express their disappointment in the actions of the Board in this one matter.  Dr. Bollinger did verbally express the sentiment of the Faculty Conference as well as sent written notice to the Chair of the Board.  The letter sent to the Chair was shared with the Board in its entirety.

Report of the Chair of the Council of Student Leaders

Ms. Sydney Evans began her report by announcing she had been reelected as the chair and Tripp Volk as vice chair of the Council of Student Leaders for academic year 2010-2011. 

Ms. Evans continued her report by discussing the ad hoc student group that is interested in changing the way the leaders of student government are elected.  As stated in the current constitution, the officers must hold at least sophomore status and must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University. Each officer must have and maintain at last a 2.5 cumulative GPA. The Chairperson must be selected from among active members in good standing for at least one semester. The Vice Chairperson must be selected from among active members in good standing for at least one semester.  The ad hoc group is interested in exploring ways in which the entire student body could have input into selecting the chair and vice chair.  A committee of current CSL members has been chosen to work with the ad hoc group to gather information and feedback to help inform possible changes to the constitution and bylaws.

Ms. Evans concluded her report by discussing the excitement with which students are looking forward to the opening of the new campus center.  As students have been able to tour the facility excitement is growing and plans are moving forward to make best use of the amenities. 

Report of the President

The president began his report by summarizing the recent meeting of the S.C. Board of Economic Advisers meeting earlier this week when they lowered revenue projections again by over $50 million as a result of an accounting error associated with the State Department of Revenue to deposit tax collections.

In the long and the short term, we will continue to move forward with our plans to “Enable the future of the University, while managing the demands of the present.”  We will continue to closely monitor the financial situation, implement the QEP and its related components, finalize the SACS report looking forward to our on-site visit on April 4-6, 2011 and begin to undertake the campus-wide review as described in the resolution passed earlier in this meeting. 

The president concluded his report by again thanking the Trustees for their unwavering support of the university, the faculty and staff for their excellent work on behalf of the students, and finally, thanking the students for making the Winthrop campus the vibrant, engaged atmosphere that the Winthrop Experience.

Old Business

None.

New Business

None

Adjournment

Hearing no objections, Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 2:59 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2009-10.

APPROVED BY THE BOARD ON JUNE 11, 2010.