Faculty and Staff - September 27, 2023

What a productive month!

It’s shaping up to be a great September (does anyone else think of the Earth, Wind & Fire classic when you see or hear the word September? It can’t just be me?) This month we’ve hosted multiple strategic planning town halls, I held my first Ask Me Anything session of the semester, we received fantastic news from U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” rankings, and I was able to share some exciting enrollment and facilities news with you.

I’d like to share a little bit more good news and updates on a few topics so please take a moment to note the following:

Money Magazine Best Value Endorsement

In addition to last week’s U.S. News “Best Colleges” announcement, I’m happy to share that Winthrop has been included, for the fourth time, in Money Magazine’s “Best Colleges for Your Money.” Keeping Winthrop’s quality education affordable to students and families is a top priority, as evidenced by our fourth-straight year of not raising tuition and our new cost of attendance realignment that we’re currently developing (you’ll hear more on this soon). I encourage you to read more about our Money Magazine inclusion in this press release.

Provost Search Committee

As you’ll recall, we reopened the provost search last month. A reconstituted Provost Search Committee will begin its important work later this week, in continued partnership with Myers McRae, to screen more than 100 applications, choose approximately eight to 10 semifinalists and conduct first-round interviews of the semifinalists in order to recommend three to four finalists for the position. The finalists will be invited to campus in mid-November for a series of interviews, a public presentation, and a campus-wide meet and greet. There will be opportunities for the campus to engage with the finalists and provide feedback to me prior to my selection of the next provost. Committee members include: Joseph Miller (co-chair), Shelia Burkhalter (co-chair), Gregory Bell, Theo Clark, Tomoko Deguchi, Shelley Hamill and Joanna Jackson. Thank you to the committee members for their hard work and investment of time in this important process. Stay updated by checking the Provost Search website.

Classification and Pay Study Update

I am pleased to provide an update regarding Year 3 of the five-year implementation plan to address compensation associated with the recent Classification and Pay Study.  As many of you are aware, Winthrop began this study in late 2018-early 2019 with the university’s partners at then Sibson, now called Segal.  The primary goal of the study remains the same—to review employee job classifications, compensation and pay practices to ensure alignment with the competitive market. The Classification and Pay Project Team have continued their work, and salary adjustments for those employees who will receive Year 3 salary adjustments will appear in the pay received on Oct. 16, 2023. Human Resources will notify faculty and staff who will receive increases on or before Oct. 9, 2023. Thank you to our Board of Trustees for approving the funding to continue this very important study to help us retain and hire our talented employees.

Employee Satisfaction Survey Coming

Winthrop will be conducting another “Let Your Voice Be Heard” employee engagement survey to be launched on Monday, Oct. 16. The survey will remain open until Friday, Oct. 27, and can be accessed anywhere as long as you have internet connection. More information will be coming soon about the survey and how to access it. Thank you in advance for participating in the survey. Our last employee satisfaction survey was done in 2018, so I appreciate you completing this newest survey to help make Winthrop a better, more effective place to work!

October Board Meetings

The Board of Trustees will hold its quarterly meeting Oct. 11-12. We will be discussing a wide variety of topics from across the university during committee meetings as well as at the full board meeting. Be on the lookout for the meeting agenda which will be e-mailed to the campus community closer to the dates.

Thanks to each of you for everything that you are doing to ensure that we have a successful fall semester. We’re off to a great start!


Edward A. Serna