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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

November 6, 2009
1:00pm
Dunlap-Roddey Room, Johnson Hall
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina

 

Members present:  Kathy Bigham (Chair), Frances Davenport, Janet Smalley, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Lee Cox. Dalton Floyd, David Vipperman, Sam Foster, Bob Thompson, Tim Sease, Thomas Pope, Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio)

Members absent:  Karl Folkens, Donna Tinsley-Holley

Representatives present:  Sydney Evans, Student Representative; Marsha Bollinger, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent:  None

Others present:  Faculty and staff of Winthrop University

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, November 06, 2009 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order

Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. Lee Cox made a motion for the Board to move into Executive Session, Bob Thompson seconded. The Board met in executive session for the purpose of the contractual and personnel matter of reviewing the recommendations of the Executive Committee on the performance objectives of President DiGiorgio.  Jane LaRoche moved the Board return to public session with no actions taken. The motion was seconded by Lee Cox. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. 

Approval of Board Minutes of June 5-6, 2009

Janet Smalley made a motion to approve the minutes from the meeting of June 5-6, 2009. The motion seconded by David Vipperman. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.

Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

Chair Bigham reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on October 21, 2009.  Several matters were reviewed and discussed.  The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board.   Chair Bigham asked that the Board consider a number of resolutions:

Chair Bigham then asked that the Board consider a number of resolutions including those pertaining to Board bylaws and the performance evaluation goals of President DiGiorgio:

  1. The first resolution concerning the annual vision of distinction document.  This document has served the university well over the last 20 years as it puts a focus on and records the process of identifying and fulfilling goals set forth each year.  As this resolution is from the Executive Committee, a second is not required.  After a short discussion affirming the positive nature of the document, the Resolution to Endorse the Vision of Distinction 2009-10 was passed unanimously.

  1. The second resolution concerning the Board bylaws was put forth.  This resolution when passed will eliminate the position of Secretary of the Board.  The duties currently assigned to this position will be assigned to the current position of Secretary to the Board, typically a staff position in the Office of the President. Additionally, the  resolution reaffirmed the willingness of the Board to hear appeals on procedural issues as related to tenure and promotion matters. The Resolution to Amend the Bylaws passed unanimously.

 c.  The third resolution to Endorse the Agency Head Objectives 2009-10 was put forth.  Each year the Executive Committee sets forth a set of goals and objectives by which to evaluate the President’s performance.  While the format and focus areas of these goals are set by the South Carolina Agency Head Salary Commission, the specific parameters and criteria of those goals are at the discretion of the Trustees.  After a short discussion the resolution was passed unanimously.

 

Report of the Academic Affairs Committee

Chair Cox directed the Trustees to the written reports submitted by the Deans of the university.  All trustees have received a copy.  Chair Cox urged the Trustees to closely read the reports as they are an accurate representation of the large amount of work done to date in the various colleges and units.

The committee did bring forth two resolutions pertaining to academic programs.  As the areas have been developing over time, it has become necessary to create two separate degree programs, a degree in Interior Design and a degree in Visual Communication Design.  Currently these two programs of study are merged within one degree major.  This resolution if passed will create two distinct degree majors thereby permitting a greater focus on each as well as assist students on the job market as the new names conform more closely to industry standards.  The first resolution to create a Fine Arts in Interior Design passed unanimously.  The second resolution to create a Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design also passed unanimously.

 

Report of the Finance Committee

In the absence of Chair Folkens, Dalton Floyd chaired the committee and gave the report to the Board.  The committee received a report from the contracted auditing firm.  For fiscal year 2009 Winthrop received an unqualified opinion with no material qualifications, in other words, a perfect score with no issues. 

The committee reviewed the protocol and rules associated with summer camps, discussed the recent rescission of 4% of our state appropriated funds, as well as upcoming goals of the Finance and Facilities division including the Banner software migration, the SACS reaffirmation process, and various capital projects on campus.

 

Report of the Committee on Student Life

Chair Smalley reviewed the reports of Athletic Director Tom Hickman and Vice President for Student Life Frank Ardaiolo.  In the area of Athletics she reported on the growing Varsity Club, the on-going development of the new Athletics website designed to parlay the ever increasing amount of sports information available, and news that Campbell University will be joining the Big South Conference in 2011.  She also reported on student athlete Matt Horn, recently chosen as a delegate to the National NCAA Council. 

The report from Student Life included the news of Police Chief Frank Zebedis’ role in the development of national active shooter protocols and training.  Chief Zebedis is in demand as an authority in this area and travels to other campus to assist with training. 

In a related area, our Critical Incident Management Team continues to update and review our campus protocols making adjustments as necessary.  Alertus beacons continue to be added to new areas and doors are being replaced to eliminate hardware that can permit a door to be chained.

 

Report on the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development

Chair Thompson reported on the briefing from Kathryn Holten regarding the outlook on admissions and recruitment.  A freshman class profile was discussed as were the plans to slowly increase the size of future freshman classes. 

The report from Brien Lewis of Development and Alumni Relations included a demonstration of Imodules, a new online community for alumni and affinity groups.  Not only do the Imodules facilitate the interaction of our alumni and affinity groups, it functions as a data generator to permit Winthrop to capture information about our alumni so that we may better serve them.

 

Report of the Chair of Faculty Conference

Chair Bollinger reported on the continuing efforts of the faculty to update and revise their own bylaws pertaining to faculty governance.  After many months of hard work, the majority of the changes have been approved with only one issue remaining to be addressed. 

 

Report of the Chair of the Council of Student Leaders

Chair Evans reported on the annual fall retreat of the Council.  Issues discussed at the retreat included plans to continue working with Campus Police to educate students on ways to stay safe on campus, exploration of a system to rent or share bicycles on campus, and ways for students to make a connection with local businesses.

Additionally, Evans reviewed plans for the upcoming Homecoming celebration.  This year marks the move of Homecoming to the Fall semester.  Previously Homecoming was in the spring of the year and often fraught with inclement weather. 

Lastly, Evans discussed the recent receipt of a grant from the American Association of University Women to fund a Campaign College program to help students run for student government offices on campus.

Report of the President

In recent days we have learned the national unemployment rate is over 10% while our own state’s rate is considerably higher.  We are currently on a month to month watch basis.  In the next few days we should have word from the Bureau of Economic Advisors (BEA) regarding their recommendation for what is to come in the near term.  BEA Chairman John Rainey has spoken about how deeply troubled he is that unemployment will continue to plague South Carolina’s economy for at least the next year and likely two years. He believes that this trend will mean an increasing amount of the state budget will have to be devoted to repaying unemployment funds currently being borrowed from the federal government, so that South Carolina can provide state unemployment benefits.

Winthrop’s budget plan for the current fiscal year included allowance for an expected reduction in state support in the 4 percent range.  That reduction, 4.04 percent, $721,000, was ordered during the summer months and has used the bulk of Winthrop’s cushion for this fiscal year. Additional budget cuts will require Winthrop to find alternative ways to fund the cuts.

We also have to remember this year’s budget is built with the inclusion of the $2 million stimulus monies.  Those monies will end in 18 months and after that point we will have to rely on enrollment revenues and other privates sources of monies.

What sets this economic downturn apart from the more customary ups and down cycle is that it is increasingly clear this time is not a situation to be “waited out” until “things get back to normal.” Rather, everything about it is an unmistakable signal to adjust our thinking to the new era in which we suddenly find ourselves. That is why Winthrop is continuing to emphasize recruitment outreach as one of our priorities and why contributing to the success of recruitment events is now considered an all-institutional responsibility at Winthrop. Long-term, incremental enrollment growth will become a far more reliable source of operating revenue than state appropriations for all public institutions.

On a more positive front, programmatic and facility initiatives continue to move forward on our campus.  We have entered into an agreement with local television station CN2 to televise our Winthrop Close-up program, we have recently submitted a grant to provide $200,000 for the purchase of solar vehicles to be used for facility work, and we have received a $416,000 energy grant to replace 418 feet of underground steam pipes on the north side of campus.

 

Old Business

None.

 

New Business

None.

 

Adjournment

Hearing no objections, Chair Bigham adjourned the meeting at 3:34 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2009-10

APPROVED BY THE BOARD ON FEBRUARY 19, 2010