April 12-13, 2012 Gold Room, DiGiorgio Campus Center Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees
Members present: Dalton Floyd (Chair), Kathy Bigham Frances Davenport, Janet Smalley, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Don Long, Glenn McCall, Bob Thompson, Tim Hopkins, Karl Folkens, Donna Tinsley-Holley, Tim Sease, Scott Talley, Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio). Members absent: None. Representatives present: Kambrell Garvin, Student Representative; Cliff Calloway, Faculty Representative Representatives absent: None. Others present: Faculty and staff of Winthrop University. Jimmie Williamson The Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 12, 2012 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.
Chair Floyd called the meeting to order at 6:36p.m.on Thursday, April 12 and welcomed the Board and guests to the meeting.
Jane LaRoche moved, seconded by Frances Davenport, that the Board move into Executive Session for the discussion of personnel, contractual, and legal issues. Trustee-elect Jimmie Williamson and staff member Kimberly Faust were invited to remain for the meeting. No actions were taken in Executive Session. Karl Folkens moved that the Executive Committee return to Public Session with Bob Thompson seconding the motion, which was approved unanimously by voice vote. The meeting was recessed until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012. Chair Floyd called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2012. He welcomed the various guests at the meeting including Dr. Jimmie Williamson who has been elected to fill the Alumni Seat to be vacated by Frances Davenport when her term ends on June 30, 2012.
Don Long made a motion to approve the minutes from the Board retreat and meeting of February 17 through the 18th. The motion seconded by Glenn McCall. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.
Chair Floyd reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on March 28, 2012. Several matters were reviewed and discussed. The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board. Chair Floyd then asked that the Board consider a number of resolutions including a resolution to honor Mr. W. Brien Lewis for meritorious service to Winthrop University and a resolution to congratulate Nantong University on the occasion of its 100th year. As the resolutions were from the Executive Committee, no second was needed. Both resolutions passed unanimously. 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 Floyd appointed Mr. Bob Thompson as chair of the committee, with Mr. Tim Hopkins and Dr. Jane LaRoche 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. Mr. Floyd then brought forth a resolution regarding the Charge to the Search and Selection Committee and the Operating Guidelines for the Search for the 10th President of Winthrop University. Again, no second was needed and the vote was unanimous to accept the resolution charging the Search and Selection Committee with its task of providing to the Board of Trustees an unranked recommendation of suitable candidates to be the 10th President of Winthrop University, with a proposed target date of no later than March 2013. The members of the Search and Selection Committee are Ms. Kathy Bigham (chair), Mr. Bob Thompson, Mr. Karl Folkens, Ms. Janet Smalley, Dr. Sue Smith-Rex, Dr. Cliff Calloway, Mr. Gary Williams, Ms. Vivian Carroll, Mr. Kambrell Garvin, Mr. Glenn McCall. The final resolution from the Executive Committee was the resolution regarding the solicitation of an executive search firm to assist with the selection of the 10th President of Winthrop University. With no second needed, the vote was unanimous.
Chair Janet Smalley reported on BigSURS, the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium now being held on our campus. Students submitted 228 abstracts including all of the Winthrop Honors program students. The Office of Assessment currently has two alumni surveys ongoing. One is for graduates within the past 12 months and one for graduates of 2008-09 year. Plans are underway for the upfit of Dacus Library. The Library will remain open during the 16 weeks of renovation. Ebrary, the library’s database of 100,000 academic ebooks, has proven quite successful, providing access to titles at only 30 cents each as compared to about $40 for a print copy. The STEM scholars program will award its first 10 scholarships for the coming academic year. The Department of Mathematics has been awarded a grant to train SC teachers to teach AP Calculus. Fine Arts sculpture students have been commissioned by the Wells Fargo Golf Championship to design and complete eight sculptures at Quail Hollow to commemorate its 10th anniversary. The establishment of the James and Sue Rex Institute for Educational Renewal and Partnership was commemorated with a reception on March 29, hosted by President DiGiorgio and former SC Governor and US Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley. The Rex Institute acknowledges the Rexes’ long commitment to excellence and innovation in education through university-school partnerships. The MBA program has been completely revised including updating topical coverage, revising the course sequences and the prerequisite stream, and shortening the required number of hours for the program.
Chair Karl Folkens reported on the briefing from the independent audit firm, Cline Brandt Kochenower Company regarding the upcoming financial audit for the year ending June 30, 2012. Mr. Pat Rhyne, Internal Auditor, reported to the committee on the ongoing and completed audits and projects conducted since the November meeting. JP McKee discussed with the committee the upcoming RFP process for obtaining a new five year contract for the annual financial and federal single audit, as well as the Intercollegiate Athletics Program Agreed-Upon Procedures audit. The Finance Committee reviewed the College of Education’s proposal for a 6.5% increase for Macfeat lab fees for the 2012-13 academic year. The College believes the proposed rates are competitive with premier early childhood education programs and is needed to reduce the difference between the costs to offer the Macfeat program and the current tuition income. Chair Folkens then brought forth two resolutions from the Finance Committee. The first is a resolution to approve a master lease not exceeding $2,000,000 for instructional equipment and software. This resolution will provide a loan through the State Treasurer’s Master Lease Program for the purchase of needed instructional equipment and software for no more than $2,000,000. This loan is administered through the State Treasurer’s Office in conjunction with Bank of America. This loan program allows the university to receive the proceeds at very favorable interest rates (3 to 4% range) and repay over the next 7 years. Needing no second, the resolution was approved unanimously. The second resolution brought forth was the proposed auxiliary student fees. The committee is recommending a room fee increase of 2.9% and an increase of 4.9% for food services due to the increase in the price of foods. Needing no second, the resolution was approved unanimously.
Committee chair Kathy Bigham began with a summary the report from Athletic Director Tom Hickman. As Mr. Hickman stated, the Winthrop athletic teams enjoyed their best academic semester ever with 3 men’s teams and 7 women’s teams having average GPAs of 3.0 or better. On a broader front, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors recently approved multi-year scholarships for student-athletes; a controversial change as scholarships used to be single year. The standard for immediate initial access to competition for prospective student-athletes is increasing to at least a 2.3 GPA and an increased sliding scale. The old standard will still allow freshmen to practice and receive financial aid. A benchmark Academic Progress Rate (APR) will now be used to determine team eligibility for post-season competition. The benchmark will gradually increase from 900 currently to 930 in 2014-15. At this point, all Winthrop teams have an APR score above 930 Chair Bigham then summarized the reports from the Division of Student Life. Director of the Campus Center Alicia Marstall and Assistant Director of Student Activities and Leadership Alex Miller gave a general overview of r student activities programming efforts involving more than 150 clubs and organizations. Director of the Campus Compact Kim Keel was joined with Matt Sohner, a Winthrop AmeriCorps/VISTA member, to describe the Reading Tent Project, a Winthrop ACAD 101 civic engagement project aimed at improving childhood literacy in our local community. Over 1,000 Winthrop students and faculty participated in the project with more than 300 children benefiting from the distribution of 3,625 free books
Committee Chair Bob Thompson reported on the status of freshman applications for Fall 2012. The trends continue to look positive with admitted students numbers up nearly 10% and an increase in deposits of 31% when compared to 2011. Admitted transfer students are up nearly 8% compared to last year, including an increase of almost 3% for the non-traditional student population. Next, Mr. Thompson summarized the update and presentation on the successful marketing initiative for the second annual World Wide Winthrop Day including a Class of 2016 Facebook page featuring incoming students. The election process is complete for an Alumni seat on the Winthrop Board of Trustees. Congratulations to Jimmie Williamson ’80 and ’85 on winning the election. Many thanks to Frances Davenport for her exemplary service in this role, which will conclude at the end of June. 2011 saw a 21.3% increase in “cash in hand” gifts (not including pledges or planned giving expectancies), with $3.6 million received compared to $2.9 million in 2010. Parent giving rose substantially in 2011, with a 246% increase in the total gifts from parents as compared to 2010. The number of parent donors providing gifts to the Winthrop University Foundation also increased by more than 50%. As of April 5, 2012, the Distinction Campaign has received gifts and commitments of $36,105,635 or 72.2% of our $50 million goal.
Dr. Cliff Calloway summarized the actions of the most recent Faculty Conference. The faculty have been busy reviewing and revising programs on campus. A new program in Conservation Biology has been initiated while other programs have been revised to be more efficient. The Faculty recommended to President DiGiorgio that the criteria to be a freshman or sophomore in good standing be raised to a new standard of 2.0 GPA. This will become effective in 2012-13. Dr. Calloway expressed the faculty’s thanks for the Board’s decision to move forward on securing funding for the new scientific equipment and software schedule to be purchased in the upcoming academic year. Both students and faculty will benefit from the purchases.
Kambrell Garvin reported on the recent elections for the president and vice president of the Council of Student Leaders. Kambrell was reelected as the president with Mr. Christopher Aubrie being chosen as the new vice president. This year’s accomplishments include an Environmental Sustainability Program, a Legal Aid Survey, registration of 200 voters, Homecoming Pep Rally, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events, student Customer Service Survey, initiated the B3 Safety Campaign, allocated $32,000 in student funding, and sponsored the annual Study Day Break by providing snacks and other giveaways.
While the House-adopted budget plan now pending in the Senate includes no increases in operating funds for higher education for the fiscal year that begins July 1. It does include one-time funds for use on campus maintenance projects at Winthrop and $500,000 for Winthrop technology needs. Senate Finance Committee members will work on their version of the budget over the next couple of weeks.
The improved revenue picture this year has created some good news: State employee salaries remain targeted for a 2% increase. The amount allocated by the General Assembly in this process does not include funds sufficient to cover employees, however, so Winthrop will need to identify between $700,000-$750,000 in additional funds for this purpose. Health insurance rates will not be set by state officials until later in the year, so it is too soon to tell how the salary increase and health insurance rates will balance out.
Similarly, the General Assembly has under consideration a bill that proposes major changes to the regular state retirement system because of concerns about its long-range sustainability as presently structured. Once the Senate adopts its version of an appropriation plan, the bill will go back to the House, then likely be headed to a conference committee to work out any remaining differences with the House. After a compromise is agreed to, the bill will go to the Governor for possible vetoes, which the General Assembly will vote to sustain or override to finalize a spending plan for all of state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Winthrop develops its spending plan in part on the final state appropriation number, so tuition recommendations cannot be determined until after the veto session finalizes the state funding available.
Hearing no objections, Chair Floyd adjourned the meeting at 2:29 p.m. Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2011-12 APPROVED BY THE BOARD ON JUNE 8, 2012.