Winthrop University: Faculty and Staff - August 18, 2021
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Faculty and Staff - August 18, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

It was wonderful to talk with many of you at this week’s opening address and the colleges’ opening assemblies. I have greatly enjoyed these in-person conversations, and I’m excited to have more of them with you as we kick off the academic year. I hope everyone had time to rest and recharge over the summer as we now embark on welcoming our students this week to campus for what I hope is an outstanding year together. And I would be remiss not to mention the nearly 120 students who are being cleared this week to leave Winthrop. You helped these August graduates reach this fantastic milestone. Thank you!

Please take a moment to read about a few updates I’d like to share:

Convocation Reminder

We will officially usher in our 136th academic year with Convocation on Monday, Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum. Our students will hear words of welcome from various leaders as well as our keynote speaker, Kambrell Garvin ’13. Many of you will remember Kambrell from his time at Winthrop. He was an active student and chair of the Council of Student Leaders. Today, he’s an attorney with McGowan, Hood & Felder and serves as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. I hope you’ll join me at Convocation to welcome our newest students.

Please note that offices will not officially close for Convocation. Supervisors may make the determination to close an office if all staff within the office choose to attend Convocation. Likewise, if the number of staff remaining in the office would pose a safety concern, supervisors also may choose to remain fully operational.  If an office will close, a note should be placed on the door. The office should close no earlier than 10:30 a.m., and re-open no later than 12:30 p.m.  Supervisors who close offices must notify the divisional vice president of their decision to do so. 

Board of Trustees’ Budget Meeting

Members of the Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, Aug. 23, to discuss, and vote on, Winthrop’s 2021-22 budget. Once the vote has happened and a budget has passed, an e-mail will be sent to faculty and staff to provide you with a financial outlook for this year. More information will be sent later this week regarding the trustees’ Aug. 23 meeting agenda. As always, I appreciate our trustees’ leadership as we work to move this institution forward during challenging times.

SACSCOC Report

I am happy to share that the university’s SACSCOC Compliance Certification Report is nearing completion. Noreen Gaubatz, our executive director of institutional effectiveness, director of assessment, and SACSCOC liaison, is prepping additional materials that are included in the mailing to the off-site review committee. The committee will review our report in November, and then we will take next steps. I want to offer my sincerest thanks to Noreen for her leadership role in getting us to where we are in this process. She has worked directly with many of you and your units on reporting, and I think we all can agree that her good work has strengthened the university. As of now, we are still on track to welcome an on-site review committee in March before receiving the final reaccreditation decision by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in December 2022.

Title IX

As I mentioned last month, the search for a dedicated Title IX coordinator is underway. The search committee is being chaired by Caroline Overcash, and there will be student and faculty/staff representation on the committee. We soon will publish our new interim sexual misconduct policy as we and other institutions await additional guidance from the Biden administration. The executive officers are expected to approve the interim policy this week. I am pleased that we have contracted with the Jackson Lewis law firm for Title IX investigation training, and that we have adopted a new investigative model that will better serve students and reduce any potential conflict of interest.

Finally, the start of a new academic year comes with many emotions: excitement, stress, nervousness, and more.  As we enter our third academic year affected by COVID-19, I know there remains a sense of uncertainty mixed in with these and other varied emotions. Please know that our priority continues to be keeping our campus community safe, hence the reason we implemented the face covering requirement earlier today, while offering our students the first-rate Winthrop experience they deserve. Please do your part in keeping our campus healthy by getting vaccinated if you haven’t already, wearing your mask or face covering in campus buildings, washing/sanitizing your hands, giving others distance when possible, and staying home if sick. Together, we can make this a wonderful academic year.

Sincerely,

George

George W. Hynd
Interim President

Last Updated: 7/13/22