Winthrop Trustees Expand Education College Name, Take Other Action at April Meeting

April 28, 2023


  • Trustees unanimously approved a college name change during their April 28 meeting. Now called the Richard W. Riley College of Education, it will change to the Richard W. Riley College of Education as of July 1. 
  • Trustees also voted on other items that will affect academic and administrative aspects of the university

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The name of Winthrop University’s education college will expand to better reflect the diversity of its programs.

Now called the Richard W. Riley College of Education, it will change to the Richard W. Riley College of Education as of July 1. The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the name change at its April 28 meeting.

The new name provides an opportunity for expansion and redesign of existing programs to meet disciplinary trends and community needs, according to the college’s dean, Beth Costner. In the past, prospective students were challenged to easily find programs such as exercise science, human development and family studies, because it was not obvious that they were housed in the college of education.

“The name change will help elevate these programs by making their home more evident,” Costner said. The large number of majors in sport and human sciences also was a compelling reason for the change, and the change will help make current students feel more represented and valued in the college.

The education college currently offers 17 degree programs and five minors of which seven majors and four of the minors are in the fields of sports and human sciences. Fall 2022 data indicated that 54 percent of undergraduate students and 71 percent of graduate students are in programs not entirely targeting educators in a kindergarten through 12th grade setting.

The Board of Trustees voted on other items that will affect academic and administrative aspects of the university. The actions were:

  • To continue to suspend the requirement that applicants for the next two admissions cycles must provide standardized test results to be considered for admission. For several years, Winthrop suspended the use of such test results such as the SAT or ACT as a requirement to apply and instead made it optional, as did other colleges and universities across the nation and in South Carolina.

  • To adjust some student course and lab fees for the upcoming fall semester. In December, the board approved 63 course and lab fee changes to better reflect actual costs for software, equipment or supplies used in courses. At this meeting, 47 additional courses and labs saw fee adjustments.

  • To add a Bachelor of Arts in music degree concentration in commercial music. There is a demand by students who want training in jazz, pop and other contemporary genres and for training in music production.

  • To approve the use of the emeritus/a title for administrators in addition to faculty members if appropriate. Various privileges are extended to those with such a title at Winthrop, such as use of the library, use of recreational facilities, a Winthrop e-mail account and associated software access, etc.

  • To approve the board’s nominating committee, consisting of trustees Robby Sisco, Isaiah Venning and Sandra Stroman, who will present of a slate of officers at the next meeting.

On the facilities side, the Board of Trustees approved a $6 million list of projects funded by the state. Among the projects are:

  • $1.6 million to renovate the Joynes admissions office’s lobby, meeting room and bathrooms;

  • $1 million for mechanical, roof and envelope renovations at McBryde Hall;

  • $600,000 for interior repairs in the Conservatory of Music, Thurmond Building, Withers/W.T.S. Building, Johnson Hall and McLaurin Hall;

  • $500,000 for interior renovation of Kinard Hall;

  • $500,000 for a shortfall in facilities and IT operating areas;

  • $350,000 for athletics, including $100,000 for the baseball stadium;

  • $350,000 for classroom furniture replacement, phase two;

  • $200,000 for relocating the Office of Accessibility and for campus accessibility projects;

  • $150,000 for fire sprinkler head replacements in various buildings; and

  • $150,000 for various small facilities projects.

Board members also approved five contracts that are for more than $250,000.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at

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