Faculty and Staff - April 26, 2024

In the third of their quarterly meetings this year, the Winthrop University Board of Trustees visited campus this week to work through a robust agenda with many action items. In addition to my evaluation and contract extension, the highlights of which were shared by Board Chair Glenn McCall yesterday, trustees voted on facilities improvements, academic programs, and some fees.

The board heard from James Grigg on the latest regarding Wofford and Richardson. With abatement work now completed, we will soon consider bids on the demolition of the two high-rises. The bid opening date is in flux due to additional information needed by potential bidders. You may recall the board voted earlier this year to spend $7.2 million on the abatement and demolition with $6 million coming from the State and $1.2 million from our auxiliary net position. 

Workers are expected to begin tearing down the two buildings this summer to make room for other buildings yet to be determined. Winthrop also is in the process of studying the realignment of Alumni Drive to intersect Cherry Road at the existing Camden Avenue traffic light, to improve vehicle and pedestrian safety in the area. This project would mean closing the current Alumni Drive entry, and possibly the Ebenezer Avenue entry, to direct traffic to the Camden intersection.

In other news, board members:

· Adopted our strategic plan centered on five pillars to give direction to the university moving forward. 

· Set housing rates for the 2024-25 academic year. With an increase in students living on campus anticipated for the fall, Winthrop will contract to provide a mix of two- and four-bedroom units.

· Established a scholarship program aimed at schools in the Charlotte partnership area with which Winthrop has articulation agreements in order to offer their students in-state tuition. 

· Created or modified 12 academic programs in education, accounting, music, fine arts, theatre, professional studies, business and pre-law.

· Heard that the likely new cafeteria site will be the gravel lot at the corner of Founders Lane and Alumni Drive, near the amphitheatre and Little Chapel. The $2.5 million cafeteria building will be Winthrop’s newest building in 14 years. 

· Agreed to use leftover funds from the Lee Wicker residence hall roof project to go towards the Phelps residence hall roof replacement, which will be completed by next summer.

· Voted to work with the Rock Hill school district on a pilot initiative to provide Winthrop professional development credits to teachers in the elementary, middle and high schools.

· Approved increasing the health services fee for students by $10.

· Heard that more than 1,000 donors gave to the Day of Giving on April 16-17, with the effort raising more than $275K.

Resolutions for the above action items will soon be posted to the board’s website. As always, thank you for your interest in the activities of the Board of Trustees. 


Edward A. Serna