Faculty and Staff - March 11, 2022

Dear Colleagues: ​  
I can hardly believe that just two years ago I was writing to you during my first days on campus. I mentioned then that enrollment and financial stability were among our top priorities in the months and years ahead. Steadily declining enrollment, exacerbated by the global pandemic, has resulted in revenue shortfalls and increased expenses. 

Federal funds we received during the pandemic from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Act and from SC Cares Act allowed us to balance our budget while we worked concurrently to address long standing budget shortfalls. To that end we worked through furloughs, vacancy holds, temporary and permanent position cuts, resignations, retirements, even a RIF. Because our budget is so closely tied to our enrollments, we have made changes to our budget model and process for building our budget.  While we have a new enrollment vice president and are employing innovative strategies in enrollment management and retention to impact fall 2022 enrollment and beyond, it is important to realize that it may take several years to achieve our optimal enrollments. Consequently, we need to continue to reduce our budget so that our expenses are in line with our revenue.

As we prepare for the upcoming and future fiscal years, we will continue to make additional strategic decisions about our budget. We will continue the practice of filling only mission-critical positions, eliminating positions when we can and reducing our operational budgets as appropriate. Currently, we do not anticipate the need for furloughs, another RIF for staff nor do we anticipate the need to cut tenure-track or tenured faculty.  However, It is important to acknowledge that adjunct and non-tenure-track faculty positions will be cut. Those in adjunct or non-tenure track positions will be notified as appropriate of cuts that will impact them. In addition, units will be notified of additional vacancy eliminations, temporary personnel and student salary reductions, and reductions to operating budgets that have been submitted by the various vice presidents in order to achieve the $8 million reduction necessary to balance the FY23 budget.  

You will continue to see changes moving forward as we persist in aligning revenues with expenses. And when we realize savings, you will see us invest in Winthrop’s future by hiring in strategic areas, developing new academic programs, bolstering compensation as planned in alignment with our new pay guidelines, working with experts outside the institution, etc. Even while we continue to cut, we must invest strategically. Otherwise, we are in a holding pattern, not a position for growth.

Some good news is that state, federal and even private funding is making an impact. Long-overdue investment in facilities and our campus WiFi network, beautification efforts, and infrastructure—all of these will make Winthrop increasingly attractive to prospective students and families. As I have for the last two years, I will inform you of decisions we are making and the rationale for those decisions in the coming months. Thank you again for all you do for Winthrop during these challenging times. 



George W. Hynd

Interim President