Furlough Plan Approved by Board of Trustees
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Furlough Plan Approved by Board of Trustees

August 25, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Board Chair Glenn McCall expressed the board’s conclusion that the plan, which will impact hundreds of employees, was the only way forward given the university’s current budget realities.
  • In other board action, trustees unanimously passed a resolution that affirmed Winthrop’s commitment to freedom of speech.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Members of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to implement the Winthrop University Mandatory Furlough Plan for the 2020-21 fiscal year at the board’s August 25 meeting. Board Chair Glenn McCall expressed the board’s conclusion that the plan, which will impact hundreds of employees, was the only way forward given the university’s current budget realities.

Read the resolution.

“None of the trustees wanted to furlough faculty and staff members who have responded so positively to everything the administration has asked of them for the last six months,” McCall said. “If there were another way, we would have taken that path. Unfortunately, with revenue losses projected to be $6.3 million or possibly more, this was the difficult step we must take now in order to move forward.

“We truly appreciate all that members of the campus community have done to adjust their lives to implement online learning, to contain institutional hiring, travel and expenditures, while still serving our students in the exemplary manner they and their families have come to expect from Winthrop.”

For more on the justification for the board action, read the Aug. 24 message about the financial outlook and furlough plan that Interim President George Hynd sent to Winthrop faculty/staff.

In other board action, trustees unanimously passed a resolution that affirmed Winthrop’s commitment to freedom of speech. Speech issues in higher education have garnered attention in recent months as U.S. politics have become more polarized.

The board’s action underscored the reality that the “ideas of different members of a campus community will often and quite naturally conflict, but it is not the proper role of an institution to shield or attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

While pointing to necessary restrictions on free expression, such as hate speech and other violations of law, the resolution absolved the board and administrators from the responsibility to arbitrate most controversial speech, leaving the campus community to openly debate ideas that they oppose. The resolution states that, “When engaging in public commentary, all Winthrop employees must clearly state that their opinions are their own and not those of Winthrop University.”

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 11/9/20