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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

February 15, 2013

Gold Room, DiGiorgio Campus Center

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Members present: Dalton Floyd (Chair), James Williamson, Janet Smalley, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Karl Folkens, Kathy Bigham, Bob Thompson, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Glenn McCall, Donna Tinsley-Holley, Scott Talley, Tim Sease (via telephone).

Members absent: Anthony J. DiGiorgio

Representatives present: Kambrell Garvin, Student Representative; Cliff Calloway, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None.

Others present: Faculty and staff of Winthrop University, various local and regional media representatives

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, February 15, 2013 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order

Chair Floyd called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. in the Gold Room of the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

Public Comment

Dr. Stephen Smith, professor of political science, requested to address the Board. Dr. Smith spoke of his reservations about presidential candidate Dr. Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock and urged the Board to consider the other three presidential finalists.

At the conclusion of Dr. Smith’s comments, Mr. Phil Moody, professor of fine arts, requested to address the Board.  Mr. Moody asked the Board to consider carefully the presidential candidates’ records of achievement and past relations with faculty governance.

Next, Mr. Guy Reel, associate professor of mass communication, addressed the Board.  He spoke of the need to support the student newspaper on campus and hoped the Board would choose a candidate that would do so.

Dr. Chris Van Aller concluded the public comment by addressing the need to protect Winthrop’s national reputation and advised the Board to choose a president that would be an asset to Winthrop.

Approval of Board Minutes of November 1-2, 2013 and February 10, 2013

Bob Thompson moved, with a second from Glenn McCall, to approve the minutes from the meetings of   November 1-2, 2012 and February 10, 2013. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.

Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

Chair Floyd reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on January 16, 2013.  Several matters were reviewed and discussed.  The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board.  

Report of the Committee on Academic Affairs

Chair Smalley asked that the Board consider a resolution concerning a new degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Teacher Education.  As this resolution was from the Committee on Academic Affairs, a second is not required. After a short discussion, the resolution concerning the new degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Teacher Education was unanimously passed.

Report of the Committee on Finance

Chair Folkens then asked that the Board consider a resolution concerning the issuance of $3.5 million in capital maintenance bonds to provide for upgraded fire alarms, roof repairs, and other maintenance items. As this resolution was from the Committee on Finance, a second is not required. After a short discussion, the resolution concerning the issuance of $3.5 million in capital maintenance bonds was passed with 13 in favor of the resolution and 1 opposed.

Executive Session

Glenn McCall moved, seconded by Don Long, that the Board move into Executive Session for the discussion of personnel, contractual, and legal issues.  Staff member Kimberly Faust was invited to remain for the meeting which took place in the Evans Room.  No actions were taken in Executive Session. Karl Folkens moved that the Executive Committee return to Public Session with Scott Talley seconding the motion, which was approved unanimously by voice vote.

Motion to Appoint Dr. Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as the 10th president of Winthrop University

Kathy Bigham moved that pursuant to Section 90 of Chapter 125 of Title 59 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, this Board appoint Dr. Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as President of Winthrop University.  The motion was seconded by Jane LaRoche. 

A discussion ensued with the following comments made:

Glenn McCall:  “The search committee reviewed over 20 on and off list references on Dr. Comstock and in each case we found tremendous support for her presidency of Winthrop.  We do take seriously the faculty concerns regarding the situation that occurred at Butler University in 2008, however after careful consideration of all of the facts; we know Dr. Comstock acted in the best interest of the university.”

James Williamson: “As one of the alumni representatives to the Board, I aggressively solicited feedback from our alumni regarding the four presidential candidate finalists.  Dr. Comstock received 100% of their support.”

Karl Folkens: “Facts matter.  The search committee and the full Board did a thorough search of the facts pertaining to the Butler situation. We found that Dr. Comstock has always been a supporter of student newspapers.  In her years as a professor she served as the faculty advisor to a student newspaper, initiated a student free speech policy, and spent many years teaching mass communication classes.  As a college student she worked on her school’s newspaper.  It is clear to both the search committee and to the full Board that Dr. Comstock embraces the concept of free speech for the student newspaper.”
Kathy Bigham: “Throughout the long process of the search for the 10th president of Winthrop University, I came to know many of our candidates.  I feel strongly that Dr. Comstock is the best candidate for Winthrop, now and into the future.  Likewise, she gained the support of the local business and educational communities with her understanding of the critical role Winthrop plays in the economic development of our area.

Bob Thompson: “The search committee took special care to include as references students and faculty at Dr. Comstock’s previous institutions.  The feedback was uniformly positive.”

Dalton Floyd: “Our presidential search consultants told us that we would draw a well-qualified field of applicants for our next president.  I believe we have chosen the best from a very strong applicant pool.”

As the discussion was ended, Chair Floyd called for a show of hands in favor of appointing Dr. Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as the 10th president of Winthrop University.  The vote was unanimous in favor of Dr. Comstock. 

Old Business

None.

New Business

None

Adjournment

Hearing no objections, Chair Floyd adjourned the meeting at 12:35p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2012-13


APPROVED BY THE BOARD ON APRIL 12, 2013.