Faculty and Staff - February 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues: 
The spring semester is now well underway, and spring break is on the horizon. There is a lot going on, including behind-the-scenes work on preparing Winthrop’s reaccreditation compliance report that will be submitted to SACSCOC in September of 2021. Several groups are diligently working on this important process, in addition to the cross-campus committee that is helping identify Winthrop’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focus. Thank you to everyone who completed the recent survey that will help narrow down the QEP focus. All of this work helps put Winthrop in the best shape for the March 2022 on-site SACSCOC committee review. Having been on review teams, I appreciate all of the work that is going into this process.
In other news I’d like to share:

Day of Understanding Event
This past Thursday, Winthrop held its first Day of Understanding, an event that celebrated PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge. The event fulfilled the No. 1 commitment of the pledge: making the workplace a trusting place where difficult conversations around diversity can occur. I appreciated four of our own - Piyush Dehru, Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Eduardo Prieto and Byron Putnam – sharing their experiences with biased behavior. Those conversations are difficult to share, and I appreciate their willingness to be a part of such an important conversation. While we have accomplished so much in the area of diversity and inclusion, there is always more work that can be done. Thank you to the more than 100 faculty and staff who attended the event and to Winthrop’s Diversity Council for hosting the Day of Understanding.

Sale of the Coke Building
In case you missed it, at the Board of Trustees meeting on January 31, final sale of the Coke Building to Lancaster Land, LLC was approved. The sale price of $1.45 million was the last appraised value of the property. For now the funds will go toward Winthrop’s net position, but the finance committee of the board will be discussing at upcoming meetings how best to invest the funds into the campus infrastructure. A couple of things are important to note: this sale means one less campus building to maintain (which is good for us), and Lancaster Land, LLC now owns from the Coke Building to the corner at Oakland Avenue. From what we understand, there will be retail space coming, so that would be an improvement to the area and a benefit to our campus community.

Finally, as this is my last campus update to you, I’d like to say what an honor and pleasure it was to work alongside you for close to five years. I’m proud of the numerous accomplishments that we achieved together and optimistic for Winthrop’s future. This is truly a special place, and I look forward to hearing about the additional wonderful things that are in store for the university. Please know that I appreciate all of your hard work, and, as always, I thank you for all that you do for Winthrop.