Mahony Updates Campus on Accomplishments During Annual State of the University Address

October 16, 2018

Quick Facts

bullet point This was Mahony's third annual address and his second update on progress made toward the Winthrop Plan, which guides the university through 2025 with initiatives to drive enrollment, retention, student success, diversity and fundraising.
bullet point Mahony introduced the Winthrop Plan during his inaugural State of the University address in 2016.
bullet point One of Mahony's greatest sources of pride is the university's commitment to undergraduate research.

Dan Mahony

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University President Dan Mahony highlighted numerous accomplishments — including a rebranding initiative and four new online graduate programs — during the Oct. 16 State of the University address.
The president, speaking in the Richardson Ballroom, said the Winthrop campus remains a close-knit community of learners where faculty members support and mentor students within an innovative educational environment. This was Mahony's second update on the Winthrop Plan, which guides the university through 2025 with initiatives to drive enrollment, retention, student success, diversity and fundraising.

As Winthrop builds on its reputation as a student-centered university experience, Mahony said one of his greatest sources of pride is the university's commitment to undergraduate research. In the last year, more than 400 undergraduate students were engaged in research projects. At the annual showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors — or SOURCE — more than 250 students who represented at least 30 departments and programs from all five colleges presented their scholarly findings.
Other highlights from Mahony's address included:

Third party endorsements remain positive — U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" rated Winthrop in eighth place again for Southern public universities, within the top 20 in the region for Best Colleges for Veterans and in the top 15 for the quality of undergraduate teaching.
Minority student achievement is still strong — Winthrop was noted as a top-performer (#2 nationally) by Education Trust for black student success last year. This year, the university's black student average 6-year graduation rate is just shy of 60 percent — above the overall university average and 14 percentage points above the national average for black students.
Graduation rates are improving — Winthrop's 6-year graduation rate for the fall 2013 cohort for next year will exceed 60 percent for the first time as far back as this rate has been tracked. The university continues to see improvement in the 4-year rates as well, with a 7.7 percent increase over the last three years.
New enrollment strategies are set to have an impact — Four graduate online programs, which enrolled 75 students, were added in the fall and several new degrees are coming. The Bachelor of Professional Studies will help adult degree seekers finish course work they started months or years ago. Others currently offered or approved include graduate degrees for education leadership, sport and fitness administration, and sports marketing and revenue generation, and undergraduate degrees in music technology and a human nutrition concentration in chronic disease prevention.
Winthrop's student placement rate is up — For the first time since Winthrop started tracking this statistic in the Winthrop Plan, Winthrop met its goal of 91 percent, a positive indicator of graduates' career and graduate school preparation.
Partnerships are enhancing the quality of life for Winthrop and Rock Hill — Winthrop's involvement in the City's Knowledge Park and electric bus system initiatives, Comporium's Bike Share program and Miracle Park all point to the vital role Winthrop is playing in the community, which will continue to reap great benefits over time.
Minority hiring continues to impress — In meeting the institution's affirmative action goals for women and minorities, Winthrop's #2 spot in the state is one-tenth of a point from the top. Winthrop reached its stretch target goal of 18 percent for diversity of faculty and managerial staff, and is seeing an increase in minority applicants for positions across campus.
Winthrop is fiscally sound — The university's debt ratio continues its downward trend, its unrestricted net position is up (above $20 million) and the endowment is growing. Winthrop provided $21 million in scholarship/grant dollars from the university and the foundation last year. That is significant given 45 percent of Winthrop students are Pell eligible, and those students, and many others, rely on scholarship support.
New giving option introduced — The Winthrop Leadership Society recognizes donors who make annual gifts over $1,000 to Winthrop in one, or multiple, gift areas for a five-year period. So far, 51 donors have made pledges through this new giving option.

Mahony concluded that he has heard so many stories about faculty and staff who made the difference in someone's decision to apply or to stay at Winthrop. "We can all continue to contribute to providing the outstanding Winthrop experience that has earned the respect of our peers," Mahony said, urging everyone to play a role by suggesting new ideas, staying connected, making students feel welcome, and being a cheerleader for Winthrop in their sphere of influence.

Visit Mahony's website and look for the full report on all of the plan metrics. A video of the full State of the University presentation is also available for viewing.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at or call 803/323-2404.

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