Faculty and Staff - January 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break. Since my last monthly update, we kicked off the spring semester and enjoyed a successful Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Close to 250 students spent their day off giving back, an impressive reflection of their commitment to service. Thanks to all involved for making the day a focus on Dr. King’s legacy.

I wanted to update you on some other items of interest:

House Ways & Means Higher Education and Technical Colleges Subcommittee Presentation
On Jan. 15 I traveled to Columbia to update subcommittee members on Winthrop’s accomplishments, financial stability, and most importantly, our commitment to access and quality as reflected in our budget requests for fiscal year 2021. I noted to the committee that its support is key to the realization of these much-needed projects:

· Recurring Requests:

-$2,000,000 for operation support of STEAM disciplines

-$280,000 for four FTEs to support programming in three areas that address student support, precollege programs and transfer pathways

· Non-Recurring Requests:

-$23,000,000 for creating additional teaching labs, classrooms, faculty offices and research labs for Dalton Hall

-$11,600,000 for maintaining campus infrastructure (includes addressing roof, mechanical, plumbing and electrical updates in more than seven buildings and improving Wi-Fi coverage in classrooms)
-$9,000,000 for Arts & Technologies Facility Additions/Renovations (to upgrade our existing infrastructure and build an interdisciplinary technology facility to support student experiential learning for career preparation in the expanding music, performance and software industries)

-$9,000,000 for renovating and expanding the Winthrop University Science Complex

-$7,000,000 for Dacus Library renovations

-$2,230,000 for instructional scientific equipment replacement

Classification and Compensation Study Update
Our study partner, Sibson Consulting, is wrapping up its review of Winthrop’s employee classifications, compensation and pay practices. Please be on the lookout for a more detailed email on this important undertaking in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you may visit the classification and compensation study website to see how this study has progressed since 2018.

Ombuds Advisory Committee Formed
A five-member Ombuds Advisory Committee has been formed, and committee members are beginning work on an ombuds job description and the selection process. Committee members are: Lisa Cowart, vice president for human resources, employee diversity and wellness (president's appointee); Adolphus Belk Jr., professor of political science and chair of Faculty Conference; Ginger Williams, professor of history and ad-hoc faculty member to the committee; April Hershey, assistant to the dean of the Graduate School and chair of Staff Conference; and Miranda Knight, assistant dean of students and ad-hoc staff member to the committee.

Enrollment Update

I’m happy to say that our headcount enrollment is looking better. There are a number of factors at play here, notably our success in recruiting more first-time students this spring, including 50 more new, first-time transfers; stronger retention among first-time students from fall to spring as compared to last year; the recruitment of more graduate students, particularly to our online programs; and the retention efforts taking place across all of the academic colleges.  I commend everyone who is working to help us recruit and retain additional students.  

As always, thank you for all that you do in support of Winthrop.