Faculty and Staff - July 1, 2024

What a productive couple of days last week! While we hosted the Board of Trustees June 26-27, we also held a fantastic Day of Dedications for our front campus fountain and the Morgan-Holcombe Alumni Center at the Stewart House, as well as successfully navigated the final days of the fiscal year and a planned chiller plant outage that affected much of the main campus. Thanks to everyone for their flexibility and patience as we collectively juggled all of these important priorities.

In jam-packed meetings over the two days, trustees handled a variety of action items, but chief among them was approval of the fiscal year 24-25 university budget. The plan we presented included a $119M core operating budget that is balanced based on anticipated revenues and expenditures. It contains an 8-percent tuition decrease for students and uses a conservative estimate of revenues that the university is expected to bring in. The state will provide Winthrop $36 million in non-capital funds.

Notably, board members also approved Winthrop’s first doctoral-level program, the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Innovation, which will be offered through our Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport and Human Sciences.

In other news, board members:

· Granted emeritus status to Dwight Dimaculangan, professor of biology; Pat Owens, professor of chemistry; Dave Pretty, associate professor of history; Keith Robbins, professor of management; and Julian Smith, professor of biology. Read more about other faculty who most recently earned tenure and promotion. We congratulate them all!

· Approved the Bachelor of Science in artificial intelligence and the Bachelor of Science in financial technology both to be offered through the College of Business and Technology. 

· Set the subscription rate for the Competency-Based Education modality which will launch in spring 2025: $3,500 for full-time students and $1,750 for part-time students. This rate will impact new students in our first CBE degree offering, the Bachelor of Professional Studies.

· Approved the modification of language in the previously adopted Mission, Vision, Values statements to reflect minor changes requested by the Commission on Higher Education. 

· Regarding facilities, adopted the plans, schedules and costs for the replacement of the McBryde Hall roof and the demolition of Wofford and Richardson residence halls, as previously discussed at the April Board of Trustees meeting. The latter has been pushed back from this summer to later this fall. 

· Voted to move forward with the Southwest Gateway Project to begin renovations to that campus entrance connecting Winthrop to the University Center at Knowledge Park.

· Agreed to a 5-percent increase in the rates for all meal plans, a move that is necessary to absorb the increasing costs of food services.

· Ratified the student housing contract with W2C Eleven, LLC, for up to 320 beds at the nearby CampusWalk facility for a period of three years in order to provide needed housing for our students. 

· In regards to the Courtyard, approved the extension of the current financing with Wells Fargo for an additional six to nine months beyond the current maturity date in August and authorized the Winthrop University Real Estate Foundation to seek alternative financing solutions during this extension period.

Trustees received an update on legislative affairs from Gary Simrill (full details to come in a separate email). He shared that in the state’s budget, there is money set aside for state employee raises. Those earning less than $50,000 a year will receive a $1,125 pay raise. Those earning more will receive a 2.25 percent increase. Watch for more detailed information from HR in the coming days.

The board also accepted the institution’s data security report and heard updates from cabinet members on the honors college, enrollment and retention, fundraising, career services and placement, efforts promoting Greek life, and more. Members ended the day with an appropriate sendoff to Interim Provost Peter Judge who is finally retiring (again!).

Resolutions for the action items mentioned above will soon be posted to the board’s website. You may read more about the meeting in this news release. As always, thank you for your interest in the activities of the Board of Trustees.


Edward A. Serna