MEETING OF THE WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Minutes of Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees
November 5, 1999
Members present: David White (Chair), E. Thomas Crowson, Larry Durham, Bob Gahagan, Sanita Savage Frazier, Anne K. Hall, A. Watts Huckabee, Mary Anne Lake, Mary Jean Ligon, Jane Shuler, Bob Thompson, Skip Tuttle, and Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio).
Representatives: Tom Moore, Faculty Conference Chair; Mamie C. Bush, Student Government Association President.
Members absent: None.
Staff present: Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.
Guests present: Kathryn Holten, students, faculty, staff, and media representatives.
Call to Order
David White called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.
Approval of Board Minutes of June 11, 1999
Skip Tuttle moved, seconded by Bob Thompson, to approve the minutes of the Board meeting of June 11, 1999 as presented. The motion passed unanimously.
Introduction of Larry Durham
Chairman White introduced newly designated Trustee Larry Durham and welcomed him to the Board.
Resolution to Honor Kathryn Holten for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University
Chairman White offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and it passed unanimously. The entire Board commended Dr. Holten for her dedicated service. Dr. Holten was invited to make remarks. Dr. Holten expressed her appreciation to the Board and the University community.
Amendment of Agenda
Chairman White noted that the original agenda had been amended to place the Executive Session at the end of the meeting so that the Board’s guests would not have to wait for the public session to be conducted. He asked if there was any objection to doing so and, hearing none, adopted the amended agenda.
Report of the Executive Committee
Chairman White noted that many of the items discussed by the Executive Committee would be covered in other reports. He reported that the Committee had considered the proposed Futuresteps 2000 initiative and invited President DiGiorgio to report on it to the Board. President DiGiorgio noted that the proposal called for $250,000 to be allocated to salary adjustments and $125,000 allocated for professional development. Chairman White stated that the aim of Futuresteps is also to have this amount of funding for each of the next three years but that he did not believe the current Board could obligate a future Board to enact the proposal in the future. Chairman White and other Board members stated that they would personally commit to implementing the initiative for each of the succeeding three years.
Resolution to Approve Implementation of Futuresteps 2000
Chairman White presented the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and it passed unanimously.
Chairman White also reported on the updated enrollment statistics and its impact on residence halls, the implementation of the Carolinas Partnership Tuition Proviso, and the visit by legislators and CHE representatives to examine the issues of deferred maintenance and adaptive reuse of facilities. Chairman White noted that an important role for all trustees is to advocate adequate funding for higher education in general in South Carolina.
Chairman White reported further on Winthrop’s ratings under the Performance Funding process, the continued dialogue on campus regarding the general education curriculum, initiatives in information technology, and President DiGiorgio’s participation in the state’s delegations to Korea and Japan.
Report of the Academic Affairs Committee
Bob Thompson reported that the Committee had reviewed the applicable Goals and Objectives in the Vision of Distinction and had reviewed activities of the Commission on Higher Education.
Resolution to Offer Master of Music in Conducting
Bob Thompson offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Academic Affairs Committee and it passed unanimously.
Bob Thompson reported that the Committee had reviewed the Cherokee County Schools Reading Program, where the school District has contracted for an entire degree program. He also noted that the Committee had discussed Performance Funding, the honors program, the process for reaccreditation through SACS, the searches for Deans for the Colleges of Education and Visual & Performing Arts, site visits for accreditation of the College of Business Administration and the Interior Design program, and grant activities.
Bob Thompson noted that the Committee had discussed the general education curriculum and that there was strong agreement that the Board should look on the process with controlled impatience – hoping for progress in the near future but valuing the thoughtful discussion taking place within the faculty as vital to the success of any revision to the curriculum. There was also agreement that the issue must remain faculty-driven.
Report of the Finance Committee
Skip Tuttle reported that the Committee had reviewed the applicable Goals and Objectives in the Vision of Distinction. He also reported that the Committee had discussed the new procurement card purchasing system and the comparatively positive position of the University on student loan defaults.
Skip Tuttle noted that the Committee had reviewed the forecast of needs and revenues from the spring and that they were very much in line with the actual financial picture, with some exceptions. The exceptions included an enrollment increase which generated approximately $400,000.00 in additional revenues, the Governor’s veto of the annualization of state salaries which cost the University an unexpected $50,000.00, and the receipt of $500,000.00 as a result of the “exceeds expectations” rating under Performance Funding. As a result, he noted, the budget being presented to the Board showed the University as being approximately $70,000 in the black.
Approval of 1999-2000 Operating Budget
Skip Tuttle offered the proposed Operating Budget in the form of a Motion and recommendation from the Finance Committee and it passed unanimously.
Skip Tuttle further reported that the Committee had discussed the completion of the Life Sciences Building, the need to finish the renovations to Sims, the initiation of an architectural study on how to meet the needs of the library, and the need for progress on funding the needs for updated recreational and fitness facilities. He also reviewed the internet and e-mail initiatives including the plans for on-line registration and the completion of the University’s compliance with Y2K readiness standards.
Report of the University Relations Committee
Bob Gahagan reported that that the Committee had reviewed the applicable Goals and Objectives in the Vision of Distinction. Bob Gahagan also reported that the Committee reviewed or received reports about the updated copier facilities, a very successful Family Weekend, and the status of the Capital Campaign, which has raised $17.7 million to date. The Committee also reviewed data regarding the freshman class, which is Winthrop’s second largest ever at 836. Of these students, 53% of South Carolina residents are attending Winthrop on a Life Scholarship.
Bob Gahagan further reported that Winthrop had been recognized nationally for leadership in the field of student character development by inclusion in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development. This recognition was due primarily to the Dedication for Excellence developed by the Student Government Association.
He also reported that Winthrop’s student athletes had been recognized for their academic achievements, with the women’s basketball and softball teams each ranking 11th nationally for their grade point average. Bob Gahagan also noted that, for the first time, a full time Director of Athletic Development has been appointed. Finally, he reported that the Committee had approved the preliminary architectural rendering for the restoration of the baseball field.
Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference
Tom Moore reported that the new Life Sciences Building had been well received by faculty and students alike. He stressed that faculty needed to know whether Sims would be operational during the next academic year for scheduling and planning purposes.
He also reported on the status of the ongoing faculty dialogue regarding general education. He noted that to attempt to discuss the issues involved in terms of philosophies, values, and outcomes would be plowing positive new ground for the university community and would require building a climate to have the debate in good faith. Tom Moore requested that the Board continue to be patient, anxious, understanding, and supportive of the process.
Report from the Student Government Association President
Mamie Bush reported on the communications campaign undertaken by the Student Government Association as part of the Student Aid Alliance on the issue of financial aid. She also reported that she would be making a presentation at a conference on Performance Funding for student representatives from across South Carolina. Mamie Bush also noted that the Student Government Association was hopeful of being featured on the cover of Student Leader magazine. If it occurs, it would be the first instance of an entire student government organization being recognized on the cover.
Report from the President
President DiGiorgio indicated that many items on his list had already been discussed. He noted that the legislative agenda for the upcoming session would include general support for higher education, seeking capital support for the Sims and Peabody renovations, and advising of anticipated needs in residence hall and academic space for future consideration. He also noted that the opening of the academic year had been very successful and that all key indicators showed improvement.
President DiGiorgio and Dean of Enrollment Management Margaret Williamson discussed with the Board the idea and logistics of trustees’ being involved in recruiting students by individual communications and letters on their personal or business stationery.
There was no Old Business.
Jane Shuler reported on the performance by the Winthrop Chorale in Orangeburg, which had a standing room only audience and a superb response. She stated that she hoped the Alumni Association would sponsor more events of this type. President DiGiorgio noted that John and Jane Shuler had also sponsored the successful event.
Skip Tuttle moved that the Board take a short recess and then go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing personnel and contractual matters covered under the Freedom of Information Act. He also moved that the Faculty and Student Representatives to the Board be invited to remain in the Executive Session. Bob Thompson seconded the Motion, which passed unanimously.
Watts Huckabee was not present during the Executive Session or during the Board’s return to open session.
The Board reconvened in open session and Chairman White announced that no actions had been taken by the Board in Executive Session. Bob Thompson moved that the Board adjourn. The Motion was seconded by Anne K. Hall and approved unanimously. Chairman White declared the Board adjourned at 4:30 p.m.