November 5, 2010 Gold Room, DiGiorgio Campus CenterWinthrop University, Rock Hill, SCMembers present: Kathy Bigham (Chair), Frances Davenport, Janet Smalley, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Karl Folkens, Donna Tinsley-Holley, Dalton Floyd, David Vipperman, Scott Talley, Bob Thompson, Tim Sease, Thomas Pope, Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio). Members absent: Sam Foster 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, November 5, 2010 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.
Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. She welcomed the newest trustee, Mr. Scott Talley, representing Congressional District # 4 and congratulated the Governor’s designee, Mr. Tommy Pope, on his recent election to the South Carolina House of Representatives. Janet Smalley 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 and personnel matter of reviewing the recommendations of the Executive Committee on the performance objectives of President DiGiorgio. Dalton Floyd moved the Board return to public session with no actions taken. The motion was seconded by Frances Davenport. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Bob Thompson moved, with a second from Tommy Pope, to approve the minutes from the meeting of June 10-11, 2010. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.
Chair Bigham reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on October 20, 2010. Several matters were reviewed and discussed. The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board. Chair Bigham then asked that the Board consider a number of resolutions. a. The first resolution concerned the annual vision of distinction document. As this resolution is from the Executive Committee, a second is not required. After a short discussion noting the document continues to serve the university as a process and a product of strategic planning and how the Vision was disseminated electronically this year, the Resolution to Endorse the Vision of Distinction 2010-2011 was passed unanimously. c. The second resolution to Endorse the Agency Head Objectives 2010-11 was put forth. Each year the Executive Committee sets forth a set of goals and objectives by which to evaluate the President’s performance. While the format and focus areas of these goals are set by the South Carolina Agency Head Salary Commission, the specific parameters and criteria of those goals are at the discretion of the Trustees. After a short discussion the resolution was passed unanimously.
Committee Smalley reported on the progress of the Southern Association of Schools and College’s (SACS) reaffirmation process including the launch of the required Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Our QEP, titled the Global Learning Initiative, has begun under the direction of Dr. David Harwell, assistant dean of University College. Through the SACS reaffirmation process Winthrop has endorsed a set of University-Level Competencies (ULCs) identify learning outcomes that apply across all undergraduate programs and that all Winthrop graduates attain. These capacities are essential preparation for working productively and living meaningfully in the contemporary and emerging world. The ULCs were approved by Faculty Conference in October 2010. The committee was so impressed with the competencies; they were read aloud in their entirety. Competency 1: Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems. Winthrop University graduates reason logically, evaluate and use evidence, and solve problems. They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions. Winthrop graduates consider the full context and consequences of their decisions and continually reexamine their own critical thinking process, including the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments. Competency 2: Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible. Winthrop University graduates value integrity, perceive moral dimensions, and achieve excellence. They take seriously the perspectives of others, practice ethical reasoning, and reflect on experiences. Winthrop graduates have a sense of responsibility to the broader community and contribute to the greater good. Competency 3: Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live. Winthrop University graduates comprehend the historical, social, and global contexts of their disciplines and their lives. They also recognize how their chosen area of study is inextricably linked to other fields. Winthrop graduates collaborate with members of diverse academic, professional, and cultural communities as informed and engaged citizens. Competency 4: Winthrop graduates communicate effectively. Winthrop University graduates communicate in a manner appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience. They create texts – including but not limited to written, oral, and visual presentations – that convey content effectively. Mindful of their voice and the impact of their communication, Winthrop graduates successfully express and exchange ideas. Chair Smalley concluded her report by thanking the faculty for all the work they do to ensure our students receive a complete and high quality education while at Winthrop.
Chair Folkens reminded the Board that the Committee on Finance also functions as the Audit Committee and to that end, he as chair of the Committee on Finance/Audit, meets with the external auditor. The external auditor found no weaknesses in our financial accounting. In fact, we are such a low risk that we pay a lower audit fee. Chair Folkens reported that during his conversations with the external auditor, Vice President of Finance, Mr. JP McKee and Associate Vice President of Finance, Ms. Amanda Maghsoud, and their staff were highly praised for sound accounting practices. As action items, Chair Folkens brought forward two resolutions from his committee. As they are from the Committee on Finance, no seconds were needed. a. The first resolution is to issue Higher Education Revenue Bonds not to exceed $6 Million for Residence Hall Facility Renovations. The monies will be used primarily to renovate Phelps Residence Hall, a 400 bed facility. The Hall will be off-line for approximately 18 months during renovations. The monies will come from an existing revenue stream therefore no new costs will be accrued. The resolution passed unanimously. b. The second resolution is for Authorizing the Purchase of Property Located at 349 Columbia Avenue and the sale of 8.27 Acres of Land Adjacent to Cherry Road. Again, this action does not require additional revenues and will serve the university well. The resolution passed unanimously.
Chair Dalton Floyd began his report by commenting on the wide array of activities occurring within the areas of student life including the recently received Violence Against Women grant funding; the launch of the Academic Success Center; the renovations of the golf course and Terry softball facility; the newly instituted concussion and Sickle Cell Anemia testing in the Athletic Department; and the update from the recently held Family Weekend with over 640 family members in attendance. As an action item, Chair Floyd brought forward a resolution from his committee, needing no second. a. The Resolution to Add Women’s Lacrosse as an Intercollegiate Sport was read in its entirety. Women’s lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in popularity and is a topic often raised by prospective students. Data support an increase of approximately $400,000 in revenues from students who will choose to attend Winthrop in order to play lacrosse. The resolution passed unanimously.
Chair Thompson characterized the work in both areas as a gradual development of the collaborative approach. Staff are involved in workgroups and taskforces. They are working to sharpen and refine the messages we present to the world. The offices of Alumni Relations and Development are increasing the ways in which they connect with alumni through the use of social networks. Overall, the mantra is to do more with less funding. The committee was particularly impressed with this outlook. Although enrollment is predicted to remain flat, through the good work of the Office of Academic Affairs, the transfer process has received a stronger focus and the decision making process is being expedited thus paving the way for more transfers to choose Winthrop.
Dr. Marsha Bollinger began her report by commenting on the two meetings of the Faculty Conference in the time since the previous Board meeting in June. At those meetings the faculty passed the University Level Competencies (ULC) as reported on earlier by Ms. Smalley in her report of the Committee on Academic Affairs. The faculty were charged with creating clear, assessable, and attainable competencies. The final product represents months of focused work by the faculty and will become the basis upon which we move forward with our academic programs. The faculty passed a new governance structure beginning this year. The new structure includes two new committees, Faculty Committee on University Life (FCUL) and Faculty Committee on University Priorities (FCUP). The chair of Faculty Conference is an ex-officio member of the FCUP. The FCUP has already met twice with the President and Executive Officers for a briefing on the Readiness Winthrop initiative and had opportunities to ask questions and receive clarification. The committee is appreciative of the transparent way in which Readiness Winthrop initiative is progressing. Dr. Bollinger commented that this will lead to a more trusting relationship between the faculty and the administration.
Chair Sydney Evans reported on her activities since the previous meeting in June. Over the summer and early Fall, she attended two student government conferences and two major events. She told the Board of the student body’s excitement upon the opening of the DiGiorgio Campus Center (DIGS). She also reported on the activities of the Council of Student Leaders as they review their bylaws, reassess the way in which they choose the chair, and rewriting the Dedication to Excellence to include reference to the Global Learning Initiative and to reflect the university’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Reports of those activities are expected in the Spring 2011 semester.
President DiGiorgio began by introducing Dr. David Wohl, the new dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Ms. Laura Lynn Stubbs, the new administrative assistant in the Office of the President. He continued with his report by summarizing the work to date of the Readiness Winthrop initiative. The initiative continues to move ahead with many groups working on how we can better position Winthrop for the ‘new normal’ that surrounds us. This includes reviewing, re-evaluating, reshaping, and reorganizing every aspect of our work together. One step in that process is the decision to support a women’s lacrosse team. Additional work includes creating 5 year Master in Teaching (MAT) programs and 5 year Master in Business Administration (MBA) programs. Work is also moving forward to develop a School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-Area Studies to personalize majors through individualize majors, sustainability minor and major programs, as well as other programs of an interdisciplinary nature. I will present a full report on this work to the Board at its February retreat. As we look at the budget situation we must factor into account our lowered enrollment numbers due to both the economy and the fact that Winthrop graduated its largest class ever last Spring. That loss of tuition revenue has been factored into our spending plan this year, and we will draw upon our vacancy savings and other efficiencies to mitigate that loss. President DiGiorgio concluded his report by again congratulating Tommy Pope on his recent election to the House of Representatives and thanking him for his time spent on the Board.
Hearing no objections, Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 2:09 p.m. . Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2010-11 APPROVED BY THE BOARD ON FEBRUARY 18, 2011