Faculty and Staff - March 31, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

I never could have imagined less than a month into my interim presidency that Winthrop and the world would be facing such an unprecedented disruption to our way of life due to COVID-19. But I'm still so glad to be here, watching everyone band together more than ever to continue delivering a retooled Winthrop experience for our students. 

The tenacious Winthrop spirit that I have heard so much about has been front and center, and I'm thankful for each person's flexibility and perseverance as we navigate these new and challenging times together.

I wanted to update you on a couple things below:

Latest COVID-19 Information:

As you are aware, most all students have moved out of the residence halls and we are holding all classes remotely. Some essential personnel are physically on campus, but most faculty and staff are working remotely from home (as am I!)

I applaud each of you who worked quickly and diligently to move all academic instruction to a remote learning format. This is no small feat. As we start our second week of remote learning, our students have embraced these changes and continue learning and working toward their goals. Staff members continue supporting our students in all capacities, reinforcing that their learning, safety and health remain our top priorities. Our Admissions team is diligently working, and thinking, outside of the box to continue recruiting our incoming freshman class. You can read more about what Admissions is doing and the plans for upcoming virtual recruitment events.

All university-sponsored on- and off-campus events are cancelled or postponed through May 9, including all spring Commencement ceremonies. As I noted in an earlier email, we will find a way to appropriately celebrate our graduates when we feel it is safe to do so.

For now, I encourage you to keep monitoring your email and the university's COVID-19 website.

Board of Trustees Action on Summer Session 

Yesterday, the Winthrop University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to implement a reduced rate for 2020 Summer Session classes. The university’s summer offerings for in-state students already reflect a 20 percent discount as compared to fall and spring tuition. The board's action will provide an additional 12 percent discount for all regular classes offered this summer only.

I applaud and appreciate our trustees’ leadership in recognizing that our students may be facing financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. By reducing summer session tuition, we are able to facilitate our students continuing on their educational journeys with a focus on timely degree completion.

Trustees also approved the Division of Academic Affairs' recommendation that Maymester (May 18-June 5) and sessions that are set to begin June 8 (B and C sessions) be totally online, with any classes that require on-campus meetings to be scheduled for the final Summer Session July 13-Aug. 12 (D session). Getting these plans in place now will allow faculty and staff the time to prepare accordingly. You may read more about these actions in this press release.

Thank you again for all of your hard work throughout this month. I don't think any of us envisioned how this spring semester would play out, but together, I know that we will get through this. The Winthrop community is better together, and although we are physically separated right now we will emerge from this stronger than ever.



George W. Hynd
Interim President