Winthrop University: Communications
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presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

Communications

Greetings, Campus Community!

As Chair of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees, I wanted to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your involvement in the search for the next President of Winthrop University. Selecting a CEO is the most important and rewarding task that we as trustees undertake to ensure the future success of this university and its students.

We have benefitted from your feedback, both early on in the search process and now as we evaluate last week’s on-campus interviews of our finalists. The Presidential Search Advisory Group, led by Gloria Jones and Peter Moroni, was especially helpful in focusing the search committee’s attention on the university’s current challenges and opportunities, priorities the next president should address, and the preferred experience, leadership capabilities, and personal attributes this leader should possess. We thank them for this valuable insight and their efforts to provide a warm Winthrop welcome to the finalists last week.  

We appreciate all of you who, due to your leadership role, participated in the finalist interviews and shared your reflections with the search committee. I also want to acknowledge all of those who provided feedback based on the public presentations and meet and greets. Our finalists commented that that their time on campus with Winthrop students, faculty, and staff further strengthened their interest in and excitement regarding this opportunity.

I also wanted to share some information in response to social media commentary on our selection of finalists. First, I am pleased to say that, thanks to the hard work of our search partner, Myers McRae, our presidential candidate pool was 159 individuals, at least 22 of which were women. Candidates were of many racial and ethnic backgrounds, including Hispanic, Asian, African American and Caucasian. Those interviewed included women and men of African American, Native American, and Hispanic descent. Plus, our candidate pool represented diversity at its most inclusive as we considered candidates with a wide array of experience outside of the traditional academic pathways to a presidency. As diverse board members ourselves, we recognize and value the importance of a range of backgrounds and experiences to inform decision making.

Finally, now that on-campus interviews have concluded, and the campus community has gotten to know these finalists, I hope it will be apparent why we chose three individuals who are fully equipped to meet Winthrop’s current challenges.  As a board and as the search committee, we have confidence that any of these finalists have the background and experience needed to lead Winthrop University into a brighter future.  We expect to decide on the next President in the coming days and then immediately enter into negotiations with that individual. Upon the completion of successful negotiations, the Winthrop University Board of Trustees will vote and an announcement will be made, likely by the end of the month.

Again, thank you for your input on this historic undertaking!

Sincerely, 

Glenn A. McCall

Chair, Winthrop Board of Trustees

 

    Dear Campus Community,

    Thank you for your continued interested in the search for the next president of our beloved Winthrop University.  I was delighted to see a number of you at yesterday’s public presentation and reception.

    If you could not attend or if you would like to see the presentation again, a link to the video recording can be found on the search page.  As you will notice, in order to view the presentation, you will need to use your Winthrop credentials to log in.   We are requiring this extra step so that the remaining candidates do not have an unfair advantage of being able to view each other’s presentations.  Also on the webpage is a survey you may complete.  The Board of Trustees will review the survey results as  well as the feedback from the various groups that are interviewing the candidates as they deliberate and choose the next president.

    We will make the three presentations available for public viewing on Friday morning.

    In the meantime, I encourage you to attend the presentations and receptions as your schedules permit.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, President Search Committee

    Dear Campus Community,

    Members of the Presidential Search Committee and I are very excited to share with you the three presidential finalists who were chosen from a diverse applicant pool. That pool of 152 applicants included sitting presidents, provosts, and other educational leaders. Last month, the committee interviewed 15 applicants via Zoom and narrowed that list down to seven who were interviewed off campus this week by the Presidential Search Committee.

    I hope that you will plan on attending the finalists’ public presentations and meet and greets next week, and I look forward to seeing you. This is an exciting time for our university as we get closer to naming our 12th president. I extend my thanks to everyone who has contributed so far to this very important process.

    The finalists, when they will be on campus, and a detailed press release are below.

    Edward Serna, president, University of Maine Farmington

    Public Presentation - Monday, February 7, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center

    Meet and Greet – Monday, February 7, 4-5 p.m., West Center lobby

    Martin Roth, president, University of Charleston (Charleston, West Virginia)

    Public Presentation - Wednesday, February 9, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center

    Meet and Greet – Wednesday, February 9, 4-5 p.m., West Center lobby

    Neal Weaver, president, Georgia Southwestern State University

    Public Presentation - Thursday, February 10, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center

    Meet and Greet – Thursday, February 10, 4-5 p.m., West Center lobby

     

    Please read the news release for more information.

     

    Dear Campus Community,

    It is with great excitement and anticipation that I write you this evening to share that the Presidential Search Committee has concluded two days of in-person, off-campus interviews with candidates from our search led by our partner, Myers McRae. The candidates we interviewed were impressive, and their keen interest in serving as the 12th President of Winthrop University bodes well for the resolution of our search process.

    That said, the Presidential Search Committee is narrowing down the list of interviewees to three finalists we will invite to campus next week, February 7-11.

    Given this timetable, I wanted to get the following dates and times on your calendar if you are interested in attending the finalists’ public presentation and meet and greet that will follow:

    Finalist 1
    Public Presentation - Monday, February 7, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center

    Meet and Greet – Monday, February 7, 4-5 p.m., Macfeat House

    Finalist 2
    Public Presentation - Wednesday, February 9, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
    Meet and Greet – Wednesday, February 9, 4-5 p.m., Macfeat House

    Finalist 3
    Public Presentation - Thursday, February 10, 3-4 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
    Meet and Greet – Thursday, February 10, 4-5 p.m., Macfeat House

    I expect an announcement of the finalists by Friday, February 4. We will share their qualifications with the campus and community through a press release and the website. Please watch for this communication from me. The search committee has a robust interview schedule planned to allow the finalists to spend time with the Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Advisory Group, vice presidents, deans, students, faculty and staff leadership, community leaders, and Winthrop Foundation leadership.

    The public presentation and meet and greet will give the campus, alumni, and greater Rock Hill community opportunities to reflect on the candidates’ qualifications and leadership presence. A feedback form will be available on the website for individuals to share their reflections with the search committee.  

    The Presidential Search Committee hopes to see as many of you as possible at the public presentations. If your schedule does not allow you to attend in person, the presentations will be recorded and shared on the Presidential Search website soon after they conclude.

    Again, I hope you join in my excitement and anticipation as we get one step closer to determining who among a highly qualified candidate pool will prove to be the best fit for Winthrop and the right leader to embrace its promising future.

    Warm Regards,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, President Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community,

    Happy New Year! I am so pleased to share that we have reached an important milestone in our journey to identify the next president of Winthrop University! Monday, January 10, marked the date our timeline indicated applicants should make their interest in the position known “for best consideration.” Our search partner, Myers McRae, reports that we now have more than 150 applications, including some sitting presidents, which is promising!

    The Presidential Search Committee has been reviewing candidates for a couple of months, and there are a few important items of business we are undertaking. On Tuesday Vice President for Human Resources, Employee Diversity and Wellness Lisa Cowart worked with us over Zoom to prepare for interviewing, including the importance of developing a rubric to be used in the interviews, and she talked about how to avoid bias in the interview process. On January 18, the search committee will gather virtually to discuss applicants and choose a dozen or so candidates with whom we would like to interview over Zoom the last full week in January.

    Both of these are new steps in the traditional search process and will be of immense help to the committee, as we look to off-campus interviews tentatively in early February. It is important to note that this schedule may change, as candidates’ health status and ability to travel may play a role in scheduling what we typically refer to as “airport interviews.” 

    Once the in-person interviews are completed, the committee will invite finalists to campus. As has been the case in the past, we will have an announcement of the finalists and share their qualifications with the campus and community through a press release and the website. We are committed to keeping the campus visits similar to those of past searches with candidates spending time with the search committee, vice presidents and deans, cabinet, students, faculty and staff leadership, Winthrop Foundation leadership, etc. A public presentation and meet and greet will give the campus, alumni and greater Rock Hill community opportunities to reflect on the candidates’ qualifications and leadership presence. A feedback form will be available on the website for individuals to share their reflections with the search committee.  

    I hope you are as excited as we are at the progress we’ve made and the upcoming activities that will get us closer the finish line in this most important step to ensure Winthrop’s future success. Please watch for more details as we approach the month’s end.

    Sincerely,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, Presidential Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community,

    Some time has passed since I provided an update on the search for Winthrop’s next president. These last two months have been a time of focused activity on the part of our search partner, Myers McRae, and steady progress toward fulfillment of the search committee’s charge. Myers McRae continues to recruit and receive nominations, applications, and leads on strong candidates for the Winthrop presidency. The Presidential Search Committee has been reviewing candidates for the last few weeks, with access to materials on all applications received to date through Myers McRae’s online portal and will continue through the holidays with most applications to be received by January 10, 2022, the date the timeline includes “for best consideration.”  

    Our next steps as a committee are to perform our due diligence and arrive at a dozen or so candidates with whom we would like to meet and discuss the position and their qualifications/experiences over Zoom. This is a new step in the traditional search process and will help us potentially narrow the list for off-campus interviews which would be held in person once all Zoom interviews conclude. 

    Coming out of the in-person, off-campus interviews, I expect our committee will have a challenging job further narrowing the list to three to four finalists that will visit campus in early February. At all three of these stages Myers McRae will be checking references to ensure the candidates we ultimately bring to campus match our high expectations for the president. 

    We are committed to keeping the campus visits similar to those of past searches with candidates spending time with the search committee, vice presidents and deans, cabinet, students, faculty and staff leadership, Winthrop Foundation leadership, etc. A public presentation and meet and greet will give the campus, alumni and greater Rock Hill community opportunities to reflect on the candidates’ qualifications and leadership presence. 

    This is a very exciting time, to say the least. As we move into the holiday season, please keep our committee in your thoughts as we work to help ensure Winthrop’s future success.

    With warm regards and wishing you a blessed holiday season,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, Presidential Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community:

    Welcome to the change of seasons! This is typically a busy time of year and even more so this fall, as our search for Winthrop’s next president gets into full swing. I am writing to provide you with the latest updates.

    Profile completed – Our partners at the Myers McRae executive search and consulting firm have completed the profile for the position (pdf - 3.2 MB) that is now on our website as well as the firm’s website and provides interested candidates the details of the opportunity. The profile includes a leadership agenda and presidential priorities for the new president, as well as desired experience, attributes and characteristics that the search committee seeks in viable candidates for the position. In addition, a vacancy notice for the presidency will be placed in national trade publications and our website.  Additionally, the timeline on our website has been updated. These steps are exciting as the active search process begins in earnest!

    Constituent feedback – I want to take this opportunity to thank all who responded to the invitations from the Presidential Search Advisory Group (PSAG) to provide feedback on the position through constituent-based surveys and listening sessions geared to faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. Your feedback helped inform the profile mentioned above, but as importantly, it will prove invaluable to the search committee as members receive candidate information to evaluate from Myers McRae. Special thanks to Gloria Jones and Peter Moroni for their leadership of this group thus far and to Caroline Rust-Ward who provided administrative support.   

    As a reminder, if you know of individuals who you think would be a good fit or who may be interested in the presidency, visit the Myers McRae website and see the link where you may nominate candidates. The Search Committee is not taking nominations but rather is working with the search firm as nominations and applications are received.

    I look forward to sharing more information when available. Thank you for taking part in this important process that will help set the stage for Winthrop’s bright future.

    Winthrop Ever Stand,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, Presidential Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community:

    Congratulations on a smooth start to the fall semester and the 2021-2022 school year. 

    I am writing to provide you with the latest updates on Winthrop's presidential search.

    Search firm hired – I’m pleased to share that the Myers McRae executive search and consulting firm will be handling some aspects of our search. Myers McRae, which was named among the top 50 search firms by Hunt Scanlon Media, will assist the search committee in determining potential candidates who could be successful at Winthrop, as well as vetting candidates as the search proceeds. Myers McRae’s fee will be paid by the Winthrop Foundation.

    Meetings taking place - Over the last few weeks I have met with various groups to give presentations and updates on the search and to answer questions from meeting attendees. Those groups have included the Foundation Board, Alumni Executive Board, Faculty Conference, and Staff Conference. These presentations have proven great opportunities to explain the search process and to show transparency with important constituents.

    Next steps - The Presidential Search Advisory Group (PSAG) is finalizing questions for surveys and questionnaires and hopes to soon have that completed, possibly even this week. The individual constituencies will begin scheduling their town halls in the very near future. Please be on the lookout for more information regarding upcoming dates and other specifics. In addition, the presidential job description is being finalized and the vacancy notice will be placed in national trade publications and our website in the next few weeks.  If you know of individuals who you think would be a good fit or who may be interested in the presidency, there will be a link on the Myers McRae website and our website so that you may nominate candidates. The Search Committee is not taking nominations but rather will work with the search firm once nominations and applications are received.

    Finally, I encourage you to visit the presidential search website to learn more about the process, its timeline and more. I look forward to sharing additional updates with you next month. 

    Thank you for being a part of the Winthrop family.

    Winthrop Ever Stand,

    Julie Fowler

    Chair, Presidential Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community,

    In this month’s Presidential Search update, I want to inform you of the following:

    Website – The Presidential Search website, which currently includes initial search information, is live. More information will be added as the search progresses, so please plan to check the site often. As I mentioned in last month’s message, I encourage you to share the website link with your contacts in higher education who might have interest in the position or know of others who might be potential candidates for the position.  

    Presidential Search Advisory Group – Please accept my thanks to each of you who submitted your name for consideration to join the 20-member Presidential Search Advisory Group (PSAG). We received more than 100 willing participants from across our stakeholder groups. Five of the 20 positions were assigned to the two co-chairs and the three liaisons to the Board of Trustees.  The remaining 15 individuals were chosen to reflect a mix of students (both undergraduate and graduate), faculty, staff, alumni and community members.  Special attention was given to support diversity of gender, affiliation with Winthrop, race and ethnicity.  I’m pleased to announce that the 20-member group includes: 

    Dr. Gloria Jones, Co-chair, Professor Emeritus
    Mr. Peter Moroni, Co-chair, Winthrop University Foundation 

    Liaisons to the Board
    Dr. Jennifer Jordon, College of Education, Chair of Faculty Conference
    Ms. Erin Emiroglu, Chair, Council of Student Leaders
    Mr. John Kroft, Records and Registration Office, Chair of Staff Conference 

    Faculty
    Dr. Matt Stern, College of Arts and Sciences
    Dr. Doug Presley, College of Visual and Performing Arts
    Dr. Joanna Jackson, College of Business Administration 

    Staff
    Ms. Miranda Knight, Assistant Dean of Students
    Dr. Kimarie Whetstone, Director of Online Learning
    Mr. Daniel Ridenhour, Head Coach Men’s Soccer 

    Students
    Ms. Nora Webb, graduate student and teacher at York High School
    Ms. Chia Yang, undergraduate student and TRIO program tutor
    Mr. Martin Jackson, undergraduate student and member of Student Alumni Council, Roddey-McMillan Record 

    Alumni
    Ms. Sherille Barber, Barber Therapy & Associates, Alumni Executive Board
    Mr. Joel Hamilton, Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm, York County Council
    Mr. Rick Lee, Grey Fox Consulting, SC DHEC Board  

    Business and Community
    Ms. Pricilla Neely, Photographer, York County Arts Council
    Mr. Jim Reno, PNC Bank, Rock Hill City Council
    Mr. Mike Whitehead, Center for Intentional Leadership, Winthrop University Foundation

    PSAG members will be tasked with assisting the Presidential Search Committee by representing and seeking input from the broader Winthrop community regarding the university’s current challenges and opportunities, priorities the next president should address, and the preferred experience, leadership capabilities, and personal attributes this leader should possess. In addition, PSAG members will help create the survey and institutional profile, hold and attend listening sessions and host finalists when they visit campus.

    Search Consultant  The request for proposals (RFP) for a presidential search consultant is set to close on Aug. 6.  Trustees will review the proposals received and are expected to make a final decision on a consultant by mid-August. The consultant will help determine potential candidates who could be successful at Winthrop, as well as vet them as the search proceeds. The consultant work will be paid by the Winthrop Foundation.  

    Thank you for your support of this important university initiative. I will provide you with more information on the Presidential Search process in my update to you next month.

    With warm regards,

    Julie

    Dr. Julie Fowler
    Winthrop Trustee
    Chair, President Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

    Dear Campus Community,

    It is truly my pleasure to reach out to you as the chair of the search committee for the next President of Winthrop University. As announced at the June 25 Board of Trustees meeting, my role will be to coordinate the board’s work on this most important undertaking.  The resolution passed by the board and this news release include additional details regarding the work before us.

    Please allow me to outline how I see the process unfolding in the coming weeks and months.

    Communication plan – I plan to email the campus community with the status of the search at the beginning of each month. Some months there may be more to update you on than others, but I will share where we are in the process at a minimum of once a month.

    Website – We are in the process of setting up the Presidential Search website that will house initial search information. Once it is launched, you will be informed. Please plan to share the website link with your contacts in higher education who might have interest in the position or know of others who might be potential candidates for the position.  

    Participation in the process – There are a couple of ways for you to be involved in the search. First, there will be a 20-member Presidential Search Advisory Group (PSAG) that will be comprised of a diverse mix of members from across Winthrop’s stakeholder groups, including staff, faculty, students, alumni, the Winthrop Foundation and community leaders. PSAG members will be tasked with assisting the Presidential Search Committee by representing and seeking input from the broader Winthrop community regarding the university’s current challenges and opportunities, priorities the next president should address, and the preferred experience, leadership capabilities, and personal attributes this leader should possess. In addition, PSAG members will help create the survey and institutional profile, hold and attend listening sessions and host finalists when they visit campus. If you are interested in this level of participation, please email presidentsearch@winthrop.edu , and your name will be considered for this volunteer role. Please do not nominate others for this role. Rather, just indicate your own interest. Finally, if you simply want to participate in listening sessions or attend the finalists’ presentations when they come to campus, watch your email for my updates which will include those opportunities.

    I look forward to your support as we work to bring the next President to Winthrop University and thus begin an exciting new chapter in the Winthrop story.

    With warm regards,

    Julie

    Dr. Julie Fowler
    Winthrop Trustee
    Chair, President Search Committee

    presidentsearch@winthrop.edu

Last Updated: 7/27/22