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June 21, 2017

Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues:

Following a deliberative selection process overseen by the State Office of Procurement, I am pleased to share with you that Winthrop has agreed to a contract with Wiley and Sons to facilitate the offering of a range of 100% online graduate programs:

· Master of Business Administration (concentrations in Marketing, Strategic Leadership, and General Business Administration)
· Master of Education in Special Education Intervention
· Master of Social Work
· Master of Art in Arts Administration

Pursuing multiple 100% online graduate programs with an experienced partner like Wiley and Sons aligns well with goals in the Winthrop Plan and will:

· Make our national-caliber graduate programs more accessible to students in our state and region,
· Increase Winthrop’s graduate and overall enrollment,
· Generate additional net revenue over time, and
· Improve Winthrop’s brand recognition in the higher education marketplace.
Additionally, we will:
· Strategically leverage our existing intellectual capital and expertise without accruing significant infrastructure costs for customer service support, marketing, advertising, and recruitment staffing and expenses;
· Move more quickly into the online education space, while simultaneously building our internal online infrastructure over time; and
· Positively impact our university culture to better support our online and adult student populations.

Although new academic programs initially increase costs, we anticipate this contract breaking even by the beginning of the third year, after which we should see a multi-million dollar net revenue stream over the seven-year contract period.

The press release below will soon go on the university website.

I know you join me in looking forward to an exciting new era in online offerings at Winthrop.

Press Release:

100% Online Graduate Programs to Be Offered at Winthrop

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Beginning in the fall of 2018, Winthrop University will begin offering a range of 100% online graduate programs.

The university will start with four degrees: Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Special Education Intervention, the Master of Social Work, and the Master of Art in Arts Administration.

Winthrop President Dan Mahony said research shows that those seeking advanced degrees want more options and flexibility when it comes to online learning. “As we expand Winthrop’s online offerings as part of the Winthrop Plan, we will be able to reach more adult students who want to further their education through a quality program but may not be able to do so in a physical classroom,” Mahony said. “We expect fully online graduate programs will be a good fit for some of our prospective graduate students.”

In order to deliver a variety of 100% online graduate programs, university officials have entered into a seven-year agreement with Wiley and Sons.

Winthrop faculty and staff will continue to design and deliver the graduate programs and curriculum, as well as evaluate students for admission and provide academic support.

With this partnership, however, Winthrop will avoid many of the upfront infrastructure costs associated with fully online programs. Wiley and Sons will provide customer service support and significant marketing, advertisement, and recruitment services.

“As a result of this agreement, Winthrop will be able to offer online graduate degrees more quickly and at the high level of educational quality for which Winthrop is well known,” said Provost Debra Boyd.

The first online graduate programs will be available during the 2018 academic year with the potential that options will expand as appropriate, depending on the needs of students and our community, according to Jack DeRochi, Dean of the Graduate School.

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