Hynd Details State of the University and Upcoming Initiatives During Nov. 18 Presentation
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Hynd Details State of the University and Upcoming Initiatives During Nov. 18 Presentation

November 18, 2020

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Given virtually due to COVID-19 virus, Hynd’s presentation detailed how Winthrop will adjust to change for the times.
  • In this next year, university leadership will take stock of the five-year-old Winthrop Plan, its academic offerings and its budget modeling.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University Interim President George W. Hynd outlined future academic, budget and campus beauty initiatives for the university in a Nov. 18 State of the University presentation.

Given virtually due to COVID-19 virus, Hynd’s presentation detailed how Winthrop will adjust to change for the times.

“This has definitely been an extraordinary year, one that we all will remember because of its impact on us personally and because it has altered how we have gone about serving the needs of our students at Winthrop University,” he said.

Highlights of the presentation included:

Revision of Winthrop Plan and Budgeting

In this next year, university leadership will take stock of the five-year-old Winthrop Plan. “We need to examine what worked with the plan, how we can improve key metrics, and make changes in the face of our new reality,” Hynd said.

New budget modeling also is in the works as the university will implement a new 3-5 year budget plan. As an institution, Winthrop is heavily reliant on tuition, Hynd said. The Board of Trustees has kept tuition costs at a minimum of late, with modest to no increase the last two years. However, traditionally, approximately 65 percent of Winthrop’s operating revenue comes from tuition. Auxiliary and other fee revenue accounts for another 15 percent in total revenue, which combined means that 80 percent of Winthrop revenue comes from tuition and student fees.

In this particular year given the pandemic, Hynd said that graduate enrollments are up 154 students or 18.5 percent, while there is decreased undergraduate enrollment of 5 percent and pandemic expenses have impacted the school’s bottom line. Additional impacts to the university’s budget have occurred from Fall 2020 housing occupancy, which is 63 percent, down from 91 percent in Fall 2019.

Winthrop has already instituted 10 percent operational budget cuts, a hiring freeze and furloughs this year.

Hynd has directed staff to design a new budget model that creates incentives and metrics to support budget allocations and will be updated annually. “In the end, the purpose is to balance the budget each year, address persistent needs such as the classification study, free up capital for investments in new program areas and support faculty and student research, travel and professional development,” Hynd said.

Academic Master Plan and Other Plans Underway

Led by Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Adrienne McCormick, the Academic Master Plan will look at which programs are thriving or need to grow enrollments, as well as which programs should be modified or possibly eliminated. It will be completed this academic year.

Hynd also announced that the university will launch a Campus Master Plan and campus beautification initiatives, and begin laying the foundation for a future comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Hynd noted that during a challenging year, Winthrop still had much to celebrate as the university launched new programs, cheered the men’s basketball team to a Big South Conference championship and earned several prestigious third-party endorsements.

View the State of the University presentation in its entirety.

For more information, please contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or email longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 11/18/20