Faculty and Staff - January 23, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break. Since my last monthly update, we posted a record number of applications for fall freshman admission, kicked off the spring semester, and enjoyed a successful Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Close to 300 students spent their day off giving back, an impressive reflection of their commitment to service. It also was a pleasure to attend the City of Rock Hill’s 16th annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, where Professor of Political Science Adolphus Belk Jr. delivered an insightful keynote address. 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. 9 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 2020. I noted to the committee that its support is key to the realization of these much-needed projects:

·Recurring Requests:
-$1.6 million for operational support of STEAM disciplines
-$750,000 for ongoing STEAM equipment upgrades

·Non-Recurring Requests:
-$32 million for science complex renovation and addition
-$20 million for strategic risk management (fire alarm upgrades/enhancements, steam line renovation/enhancements, improved wi-fi coverage in classroom facilities, building infrastructure improvements, mechanical, electrical and plumbing updates, phone system upgrade to Voice Over Internet Protocol, etc.)
-$9 million for an interdisciplinary arts technology facility
-$7 million for Dacus Library renovations
-$4 million for instructional scientific equipment replacement

Provost Search Update
The Provost Search Committee received a large number of qualified applicants. The committee has identified a small pool of applicants to participate in airport interviews in February. On-campus interviews for selected finalists will be scheduled for March, and more information will be sent to the campus community closer to that time.

Classification and Compensation Study Update
Reviewing employee classification, compensation and pay practices is one of the university’s top priorities, as noted in section 3.2 of the Winthrop Plan. Our study partner, Sibson Consulting, held seven on-campus focus groups Jan. 15-16 with selected faculty, staff and administrators as part of the initial data gathering phase of the project. The classification and compensation study website will be updated regarding the progress of the study as it continues to move forward.

Latest National Survey of Student Engagement Results
Results from the 2018 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which is considered the gold standard for institutions evaluating engagement factors and high impact practices, were recently released. They revealed that Winthrop freshmen and seniors reported that engagement with faculty members and fellow students contributed to a supportive environment and a fulfilling college experience. Other results revealed that Winthrop has a unique value in its diversity, its strong conferral of support to students, and in its personalized experience–where faculty really know their students, something we’ve known has been a hallmark of the Winthrop experience for decades. We will use the results to guide us as we continue efforts such as providing faculty training on best practices in teaching and building community; highlighting campus activities and opportunities for student involvement; and expanding the use of support services tied to student success, among other initiatives. Thanks to everyone involved who encouraged students to complete this important survey.

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