WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
November 7, 2003
The Baruch Room, Joynes Hall
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
Minutes of Meeting of the Board of Trustees
Members present: Mary Jean Martin (Chair), Kathy Bigham, Larry Durham, Karl Folkens, Sanita Savage Frazier, Bob Gahagan, Polly Ford, Glenda Owens, Bob Thompson, Skip Tuttle and Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio).
Members absent: None.
Representatives present: Marilyn Smith, Faculty Representative; Richard Fowler, Student Representative.
Staff present: Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.
Guests present: Students, faculty, staff, and media representatives.
The Board of Trustees met on Friday, November 7, 2003 in The Baruch Room of Joynes Hall on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.
Call to Order
Mary Jean Martin called the meeting to order at 1:25 p.m. She welcomed guests of the Board.
Approval of Board Minutes of June 5 and June 6, 2003
Bob Thompson moved, seconded by Bob Gahagan that the draft minutes be approved as presented. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Report of the Executive Committee
Chair Martin reported that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met in Rock Hill during the afternoon of October 22, 2003. She stated that the Executive Committee reviewed and discussed several matters and took action to approve several Resolutions honoring outgoing officers and members of the Board.
Resolution to Honor Robert E. Gahagan for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University
Mary Jean Martin offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and thus no second was required. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote. Chair Martin read the resolution. President DiGiorgio then presented Mr. Gahagan with a gift as a token of appreciation from the University. Mr. Gahagan expressed his gratitude.
Resolution to Honor A. Watts Huckabee, Sr. for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University
Mary Jean Martin offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and thus no second was required. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote. Chair Martin read the resolution. President DiGiorgio then presented Mr. Huckabee with a gift as a token of appreciation from the University. Mr. Huckabee expressed his thanks, noting that Winthrop University had progressed significantly during his time on the Board. He commended the work of the Board and the President and said he looked forward to being involved in Winthrop’s future.
Resolution to Honor Andrew Markners for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University
Mary Jean Martin offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote. Executive Committee and thus no second was required. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote. Chair Martin read the resolution. President DiGiorgio then presented Mr. Markners with a gift as a token of appreciation from the University. Mr. Markners expressed his pleasure at serving with the Board members and wished them well.
Chair Martin noted that other highlights of the Committee’s meeting included a series of updates from the President on a number of items that had been shared with the Board in written form. She reported that the Committee held an Executive Session and that no actions were taken in that session.
Report of the Academic Affairs Committee
Bob Thompson reported that the Committee had received a report on undergraduate research and an update on sponsored research. He also noted that the Committee was given an update on the revisions to the General Education curriculum, including a review of over 420 courses. He also stated that the Committee was briefed on developments in University College, including in process of searching internally for an Assistant Dean. Mr. Thompson said that the Committee had celebrated the outcome of the NCATE site visit with its result of a rave review in meeting new and vigorous standards. He pointed out that the Theatre program had also undergone an accreditation visit and the Dance program will have their accreditation visit later in November.
Mr. Thompson reported that the Committee had discussed alumni surveys and the very positive responses indicating alumni satisfaction with their experiences at Winthrop University. He also noted that Winthrop’s results in the annual National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) indicating that students excel in engagement in their learning experiences. He stated that as the Committee talked about research, General Education, University College and NSSE, it was clear that they were “all of a piece” – a conscious intent to create a distinctive university.
Mr. Thompson also reported that the Committee had reviewed the annual Vision of Distinction goals and supported these objectives.
Report of the Finance Committee
Skip Tuttle reported that the Finance Committee had received the Audit Report which was not only a very favorable report on Winthrop’s financial condition and records but also very complimentary of its staff. He noted that while Board members need to maintain oversight function, it is comforting to have outside conformation that Winthrop is doing these jobs so well.
Resolution to Issue State Institutional Bonds for $5.5 million for Track and Field, Breazeale Demolition and Student Center Phase I
Skip Tuttle offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Finance Committee and thus no second was required. He noted that the Committee had looked at the University’s bonding capacity and revenue sources and were comfortable that it can be supported. He noted that these bonds would provide funds for the track and field complex (including an additional soccer field), the demolition of the Breazeale building, and initial preparations for the Student Center. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote.
Skip Tuttle also reported that the Committee had been briefed on the Energy Performance Contract that would significantly assist in managing energy costs. He noted that the University had solicited bids to help evaluate and improve energy consumption and conservation to address the impact of new buildings coming on line and systems in some facilities that date back to the 1960’s and are inefficient. He stated that the proposal would likely increase the size of the chiller plant to serve both sides of Oakland as well as new buildings. In addition, the proposal calls for the consolidation of energy control systems to communicate with each other. He reported that the $5 million expenditure will be paid for improvements with a note bonded by the savings realized from the new energy program. Mr. Tuttle expressed the Committee’s gratitude to Walter Hardin and J.P. McKee for their work on this project.
Skip Tuttle reported that the Committee had reviewed the Allocation Status Report and the Committee was comfortable that there will be a positive fund balance. He also reported that the Committee had briefly reviewed the Vision of Distinction goals and objectives and reviewed a new Technology Handbook.
Report of the University Relations Committee
Glenda Owens reported that the Committee had received a briefing from the Athletics Director on the graduation rates of student athletes, noting that tennis and volleyball had outstanding grade point averages and that the women’s track team was one of 26 in nation to be named an All Academic Team. She also noted that NCAA graduation rate reports over a 6-year frame indicated that Winthrop’s student athletes graduated at 58 per cent, ahead of the overall student body’s 55 per cent rate. She also reported developments in the Big South Conference including the departure of Elon University, the addition of Virginia Military Institute and the pending addition of Birmingham Southern University. In addition, some schools are joining as Associate members to have enough teams to compete as a conference in football and softball. She also noted personnel changes in Athletics including a new academic coordinator, a new compliance director; and a new strength and conditioning coach.
Glenda Owens also reported that the Committee had received an update on enrollment reflecting an increase in SAT scores and a stable diversity percentage. She noted that there had been a record number of applications (3,972) and that the percentage of applicants accepted was down to 66 per cent. She noted that Winthrop had enrolled 1,074 freshman, a 12 per cent increase since 1999, and that the average SAT score was up 13 points. She reported that 17 per cent of enrolled freshmen were from out of state.
Glenda Owens noted that the Committee had been briefed on a book collection program through orientation program where incoming freshmen donated books and made personalized bookmark to donate to the York County Success By Six program. The Committee also received a report on the AmeriCorps program, its focus on literacy, and the cutbacks facing many AmeriCorps programs due to a loss of federal funds.
Glenda Owens also noted that the Committee had received a report on the Campus Police. She noted that the Committee had complimented the police on their persistence in the arrest of rape suspect. The Committee also was advised that the police were awarded a commendation by the Commission on Higher Education for community policing and had received two grants to purchase new call towers and security cameras.
Glenda Owens also reported that the Committee had been briefed by Alumni Relations on its restructuring plan, discussed an enhanced Web Portal, and reviewed the new design of the University web site. She noted that all of these reports were positively received.
Recognition of new Trustee Kathy Bigham
Chair Mary Jean Martin welcomed new trustee Kathy Bigham as the designee for Governor Mark Sanford. Chair Martin stated that Mrs. Bigham would be an asset to the Board.
Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference
Faculty Conference Chair Marilyn Smith reported that the General Education Committee, chaired by Dr. Sue Peck, is handling all courses seeking to meet one or more of the various perspectives and that this was leading many departments to revise their overall programs. She noted that there would be evaluation of the new GNED 102 course and that faculty were being recruited and trained for it across disciplines. She reported that there had been two Faculty Conference meetings where actions taken included the approval of a new environmental sciences program and a new, more stringent minimum grade point average to be in good academic standing.
Dr. Smith commended the creation of The Meeting House as a wonderful dining option for faculty and staff. She also reported on the creation of an Academic Integrity Task Force appointed by Tom Moore to address concerns regarding plagiarism and how to uphold and enforce academic and civic values.
Report from the Chair of the Council of Student Leaders
Council of Student Leaders Chair Richard Fowler reported that 120 student organizations had been chartered and noted that the number keeps growing. He stated that the Council was pleased to have addresses for each residence hall but that there were still students having problems in getting registered to vote in York County. Nonetheless, he stated, the Council was committed to encouraging more voter awareness and even held a mock election.
Mr. Fowler reported that efforts were underway to address weekend retention by having more events to keep students on campus and by tapping into Charlotte events as well. He stated that a major focus of the Council was working on academic integrity issues, especially regarding defining the appropriate use of technology. He also reported that students had been actively involved very heavily in designing and programming the new Campus Center and that students had visited centers at Elon University and Davidson College to gather ideas and information.
Chair Mary Jean Martin expressed the Board’s appreciation for the proactive nature of the students’ work on the issues.
Report from the President
President DiGiorgio introduced a new staff member in the President’s Office, Administrative Specialist Judy Pazera. He also noted that the changes to Joynes Hall had resulted in the creation of the Inn at Winthrop and the Office of Public Events. He introduced the staff members for the Office, Housing Coordinator Kelly Shelton and Space Coordinator Regina Renwick. The President welcomed Kathy Bigham to the Board.
The President reported on the positive accreditation reviews for the Theatre Department and the Richard W. Riley College of Education. He noted that the latter was the most complimentary exit report he had ever heard and offered his congratulations to Dean Patricia Graham and her colleagues.
President DiGiorgio reported that the Quality Enhancement Initiative’s 2 per cent salary increase would be appearing in the next paychecks and he noted that many institutions were not offering raises. He noted that the new ACAD 101 freshman seminar had proved successful and that Karen Jones deserved credit for preparing the freshmen for their participation in a series of receptions at The President’s House.
The President reported that during the semester he had hosted the Board of Visitors, the Community Leaders Advisory Group, the Foundation and Real Estate Foundation Boards, and the Alumni Executive Board. He stated that the capital campaign had reached the conclusion of 5 years of work and that announcements about it would be forthcoming at the celebration in November.
President DiGiorgio stated that prospects for the state budget were not looking positive and it was unlikely there would be a capital bond bill. He stated that it was possible there would be an increase to the state’s debt limit to finance capital projects but that the vast majority of such funds going to the research universities.
The President noted that a new Faculty Art Show would be opening on campus. He also stated that he had started the search process for the position of Executive Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees.
There was no Old Business.
There was no New Business.
Larry Durham moved that the Board adjourn. The Motion was seconded by Bob Thompson and approved unanimously by voice vote. The Board adjourned at 2:45 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.