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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

April 6, 2001
Dunlap-Roddey Room, Johnson Hall
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

 Minutes of Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Members present:  Skip Tuttle (Chair), E. Thomas Crowson, Larry Durham, Bob Gahagan, Anne K. Hall, A. Watts Huckabee, Mary Jean Martin, Glenda Owens, Bob Thompson, David White, and Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio).

Members absent:  Sanita Savage Frazier, Jane Shuler.

Representatives present:  Jim Johnston, Faculty Council Chair; Rodney Brown, Student Government Association President.

Staff present:  Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.

Guests present:  Students, faculty, staff, and media representatives.


The Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 6, 2001 at 11:00 a.m. in the Baruch Room of the Joynes Conference Center, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC for the purpose of hearing a presentation on library issues by Mark Herring, Dean of Library Services.  No actions were taken during that session of the Board.

The Board of Trustees then convened on Friday, April 6, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. in the Dunlap-Roddey Room, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC for its regular business meeting.

Call to Order
Skip Tuttle called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m

Approval of Board Minutes of November 3, 2000
Watts Huckabee moved, seconded by Bob Thompson, to approve the minutes as presented.  This motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Report of the Executive Committee
Chairman Tuttle reported that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met in Rock Hill during the afternoon of March 28, 2001.  He stated that the Executive Committee reviewed and discussed several matters and took action on two items, which the Committee brought to the Board for its consideration in the form of resolutions.

Resolution Honoring Rodney Brown for Service to the Winthrop University Student Government Association and the Winthrop University Board of Trustees
Chairman Tuttle noted that the Student Government Association had taken steps since the Executive Committee had met which made it appropriate to delay acting on this Resolution.  He invited Student Government Association President Rodney Brown to comment on this development.  Rodney Brown reported that the Student Government Association had voted to suspend elections and spend time reflecting on, researching, and reviewing the structure and operation of student government to determine better ways for it to serve the student body.  Chairman Tuttle stated that he was grateful that Rodney Brown was willing to stay on in office during this process and that the Board would delay recognizing his contributions until the conclusion of his term.  President DiGiorgio noted that the university is happy to work with the Student Government Association on its reconfiguration project and that the administration and the Board want the student voice to continue to be heard.

Resolution Honoring Sarah Stallings, Nick Ross, and Christy Goodner for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University
Chairman Tuttle offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and it was approved unanimously by voice vote.  He then read the Resolution and made a presentation to Sarah Stallings, Nick Ross, and Christy Goodner.  Chairman Tuttle noted their tremendous efforts in leading the Institutional Self-Study and the outstanding review from the SACS Accreditation Reaffirmation Committee.

David White noted that the Board also owed a special recognition to Trustee Bob Thompson for his service on the Institutional Self-Study Steering Committee.  The Board recognized Bob Thompson with a round of applause.  Chairman Tuttle noted that other highlights of the Committee’s meeting included a series of updates from the President on budgetary and other issues that the President would touch on in his report to the Board.  He also noted that there would be no Executive Session during this Board meeting.

Chairman Tuttle announced Mary Jean Martin, Bob Thompson and Jane Shuler as his appointees to the Committee on Nominations and asked for the Board’s consent to these appointments.  The Board gave its consent and Chairman Tuttle noted that the Committee would provide its report no later than thirty days prior to the next Board meeting in accordance with the Board’s bylaws.

Report of the Academic Affairs Committee
Bob Thompson reported that the Committee met at the Good Building, which presently houses the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Professional Development.  He noted that Linda Hutchison provided a recap of the activities at the Center.  Bob Thompson reported that the Committee had discussed the SACS Accreditation Reaffirmation Committee’s Exit Report as well as positive feedback on the General Education pilot courses.  He noted that the present pilots will continue in Fall 2001 and that additional courses will be developed this summer with the goal of piloting them in Spring 2002.

Bob Thompson noted that a committee of the Commission on Higher Education would consider the proposal for a Master of Arts in Arts Administration April 25.  He stated that this program would be unique in South Carolina and have national appeal for its interdisciplinary approach.  Bob Thompson also reported that the Committee received an update on the ongoing search for the first holder of the Dalton Chair and noted that interviews are underway.  He also reported on the establishment of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Studies to provide structure and focus for research grant and commercial contract opportunities.  Bob Thompson then reviewed the status of the Title II reporting requirements for the Richard W. Riley College of Education, noting that the target date for release of data had been pushed back and that the data would have implications on the public perceptions of the quality of the College of Education. 

Report of the Finance Committee
Bob Gahagan reported that the Finance Committee had received a presentation on the various types of bonds used by the state and the university and that it had been extremely helpful.  He encouraged the Board to consider having the same presentation made to the full Board at the June meeting.  He noted that during the period from 1968 to 1988 Winthrop University received about $21.5 million in bond funds and that from 1988 to 1999 the sum was over $27 million.  It was also noted that this latter figure did not include bond funds authorized by the General Assembly last year.

Bob Gahagan also reported that the Committee had reviewed the three-year plan presented by Information Technology and that there was now no academic computing facility with a computer older than one year.  He pointed out that older computers had been shifted to other locations.

Chairman Tuttle encouraged Board members to seek support from legislators for Winthrop’s projects currently being considered for inclusion in a bond bill.  Bob Gahagan noted that the House had approved $7 million for the Lois Rhame West Center but that the Senate is considering rejecting a bond bill for this year.

Report of the University Relations Committee
In the absence of Jane Shuler, Watts Huckabee had chaired the meeting of the University Relations Committee.  He reported that the Committee received a report on several pieces of legislation pending in the NCAA.  One would amend the concept of  “amateur” athletes to allow student-athletes to accept pay for competition prior to their collegiate careers.  Another would reduce the number of scholarships available if graduation rates for student-athletes fell below 50%.  A third piece of legislation would increase the number of men’s basketball games permitted from 28 to 29.  A fourth proposal would allow a loan of up to $20,000 based on a student-athlete’s projected future earnings, with the objective being to deter some negative activities.

Watts Huckabee also reported that the Committee had received an update on the Big South Conference.  He noted that the Conference will see Elon College and High Point University achieve full member status in the next academic year while new member Birmingham Southern will be on probationary status until 2003.  He also noted that only four of the eight member institutions currently have football programs and that the Conference is looking at non-Conference schools to schedule games.

The Committee also received a report on the renovations to the Ballpark facilities and Watts Huckabee commended the outstanding job that had been done on that project.  He also noted that new seats are in place for softball and soccer, and that work is underway on a new press box and storage area for softball.  Watts Huckabee also reported on the tremendous success this year by the baseball team and its high standings in national polls.

The Committee also received an update from University Advancement.  Watts Huckabee reported that University Advancement had received a CASE Award recognizing the accomplishments of the Annual Fund, which exceeded its goal by 11% and increased 27% over the prior year’s total even though the Capital Campaign is continuing.  He noted that the Capital Campaign is well over the $20 million mark and will be seeking commitments from faculty and staff during its fifth year, with a Victory Celebration marking the end of the campaign scheduled for November 9, 2002.

Watts Huckabee noted that the Committee also received a reported on the efforts of the new Web Developer, William Harris, to provide training and assistance to faculty and staff who were creating and managing individual and departmental web pages.  Watts Huckabee also reported that the Committee had reviewed a very successful Homecoming program that featured a major event in the Coliseum parking lot that was well received.

The Committee also received reports from several areas of the Division of Student Life.  Watts Huckabee noted that admissions applications are up 11% and that the admissions made under the LEAP program are down, indicating an increase in the quality of admitted students.  He also noted increased recruitment efforts with high school sophomores and that marketing was even being undertaken with middle school students.  He further noted the continued trend of increases in transfer applications to Winthrop.  Watts Huckabee also reported on the update received by the Committee on the successful implementation of Wingspan, noting that there is now 100% on-line registration.  He also noted that the food service Request for Proposals had gone out for bid and that only ARAMARK had eventually submitted a bid.  Watts Huckabee also noted the update provided by Residence Life on their efforts to maintain strong retention rates in the residence halls.

Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference
Faculty Conference Chair Jim Johnston reported that he had initially been elected to fill the unexpired portion of Tom Moore’s term and that the Faculty Conference at its March meeting had elected him to a full two-year term.  He noted that he and the President had given reports at the March meeting of the Faculty Conference regarding the Board retreat and the state budget situation.  He reported that at its next meeting, the Faculty Conference would elect chairs of its standing committees.

Jim Johnston reviewed the past year’s activities of the Faculty Conference, including approval of the second cycle of post-tenure review.  He also noted that the advising process had just been completed and offered his compliments to Tim Drueke and Margaret Williamson for the smooth implementation of Wingspan.  Jim Johnston also reported that J.P. McKee and Amanda Maghsoud had made presentations to faculty and staff on the university budget process and structure and he expressed appreciation for their time and effort in making this information available. He noted that faculty members were taking a “wait and see” approach on the budget situation but pointed out that there are concerns about filling tenure-track positions with non-tenure track personnel.

Jim Johnston stated that he was very pleased with the faculty involvement with the SACS Accreditation Reaffirmation Committee and that he felt he had good open lines of communication with both the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs

Report from the Student Government Association President
Rodney Brown reported that the Student Government Association sponsored the Women’s Leadership Conference as well as an Alternative Spring Break where students do community service projects.  He also reported that the SGA is seeking to reestablish the Dedication for Excellence Award presented to a faculty or staff member for providing outstanding service to students.

Rodney Brown stated that the SGA was examining the possibility of installing coin machines in residence halls for laundry machines.  He also noted that SGA participated in Career Services’ Dress for Success program.  He advised the Board that some students had concerns regarding the on-line registration program because it would time-out on them too quickly, requiring students to log on repeatedly.  He also noted that students were providing a lot of feedback regarding the increased school spirit evidenced by Homecoming, pep rallies, and the NCAA Tournament broadcast at the Coliseum.

Report from the President
President DiGiorgio presented postcards to the Trustees featuring the Sweet Dreams art installation.  He reported that the state budget process was entering its third phase – consideration by the Senate.  He stated that Governor Hodges is seeking to hold higher education exempt from budget cuts but that his proposal is not being well received in the General Assembly.  The President reported that J.P. McKee and Rebecca Masters had made a presentation on the university’s behalf to the Higher Education Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee.  He pointed out that the next step is for each of the Senate Finance subcommittees to report back to the main committee, which will make a recommendation to the full Senate.  A conference committee of both chambers would then consider a budget approved by the Senate along with the House budget.  It is still possible, he noted, for higher education to receive anywhere from a 15% cut to a slight increase in funding.  President DiGiorgio stated that the university was taking a “worst-case scenario” approach in planning for possible funding reductions by reviewing all positions and initiatives.  He reiterated that the Board’s view continues to be that tuition increases may be part of the answer but not the total answer to a budget cut and that the administration will be guided by that in preparing next year’s budget proposals.

President DiGiorgio also reported that a recent and unexpected budget development is the possibility of a 1% rescission this year, which would impact the university in the amount of approximately $250,000.  He noted that the Governor is also trying to shield higher education from this shortfall but that the situation remains fluid and the outcome unclear.

President DiGiorgio reported that the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited both the Community Counseling and School Counseling programs for the M.Ed. degree through June 2008.  He noted that CACREP could provide accreditation from two to seven years and that these programs are the only ones within South Carolina to receive the maximum period of accreditation. He also noted that this maintains Winthrop’s record of 100 percent accreditation among all of our eligible programs.

President DiGiorgio provided an update on the on the efforts to secure federal funds for preservation of facilities at historically women’s colleges.  The President noted that the chief executives of the institutions involved had met recently with Congressional representatives and Senators, that a bill had been introduced in the House, and that there is still substantial support for the initiative in Congress.  He also noted that this initiative had allowed him to understand clearly that there really are only seven institutions in the nation founded with the same mission and purpose at around the same time and that this is truly a distinctive feature of the university.

The President reported that the University’s application to participate in the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ Institute on Campus Leadership for Sustainable Innovation had been successful and that a team led by Vice President Melford Wilson would attend the Institute in July.

The President congratulated Jim Johnston on his election to a full term as Chair of Faculty Conference and stated that he and Jim Johnston had already developed a good exchange of views and a positive working relationship.  President DiGiorgio commended the self-review initiative being taken by the Student Government Association and noted that this process was being seen across the country.  He reported that the Tatler yearbook had announced that it was disbanding despite the significant efforts of Tom Webb and others to keep it viable.  He stated that several institutions were exploring alternative and contemporary ways to maintain a historical record of the university without the presence of a yearbook and that Winthrop University would also be considering options to address this concern.  Chairman Tuttle noted that some high schools use web pages organized by class as a way of keeping records and maintaining alumni interest and involvement.

The President also updated the Board on legislation proposing amendments to the TERI program.  The President reported that the changes outlined included a requirement that the employer and the employee mutually agree on the employee’s participation in the program.  He noted that the university supports these changes and it is expected that this legislation will be passed.

President DiGiorgio also reported that a planning charette for the urban core of Rock Hill is scheduled for May.  He noted that he had recently met with an advance team of the charette planners and reviewed with them the university’s plans for growth and development of facilities.

Old Business
There was no Old Business.

New Business
There was no New Business.

Executive Session
There was no Executive Session.

Adjournment
Bob Gahagan moved that the Board adjourn.  The Motion was seconded by Watts Huckabee and approved unanimously by voice vote.  The Board adjourned at 2:35 p.m.