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Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
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Faculty and Staff

October 17, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

I want to thank you for attending the recent State of the University address and taking time to hear our progress. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the full presentation. I encourage your thoughts and feedback; feel free to reach out to me at

As we hit the midpoint of the fall semester, I wanted to take a moment to update you on a few items.

College Scorecard
As I have discussed with several campus groups, we are going to focus this year on communicating information about Winthrop that would be useful for everyone to know. Earlier this month, the College Scorecard was released by the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the scorecard when it was established was to provide people with meaningful information that would allow them to compare institutions. For example, the scorecard provides information on the average annual cost of attending each institution (i.e., the net price actually paid) as opposed to the total tuition and fees (i.e., the sticker price). Frankly, it is one of the best sources available for objective information about higher education institutions.

Here is some important information from the College Scorecard related to Winthrop:

• Among the 10 public institutions in South Carolina, Winthrop is the 6th most expensive, and the average annual cost is below the national average. So, while it is widely reported that Winthrop’s tuition is the highest, the amount students actually paid is much lower, and that average annual cost actually declined from 2016 to 2017.

• The average salary for a Winthrop graduate exceeds the national median by $2,100. This is particularly impressive because we do not have engineering programs, which often drive up the salary averages more than any other program.

• Winthrop’s graduation and first- to second-year retention rates also exceed the national medians.

While our strategic plan is focused on initiatives that we hope will improve all of this data, it is important to note that there are already many positive indicators related to our university and the experience of our students.

Winthrop’s Largest Estate Gift

I was very happy to announce at the State of the University address that Winthrop received its largest estate gift of $3 million from late alumna and longtime educator Elizabeth Hope Reed ’41, ’51. The gift will establish the Elizabeth Hope Reed Fellows Program, a service-focused scholarship program for Winthrop students who demonstrate financial need, maintain good academic standing, and commit to volunteering at least eight hours a week. We are grateful to Mrs. Reed and other dedicated alumni who include Winthrop in their estate planning. You can read more about Mrs. Reed in the fall edition of the Winthrop Magazine that will be delivered to homes the first week of November.

Board of Trustees Meeting
The Winthrop Board of Trustees will hold its first two-day regular meeting Nov. 9-10. This is different in that board meetings have typically only lasted one day several times a year. Moving to two-day meetings will allow subcommittees more time to hear about the work that is going on and will provide more trustee interactions on campus. The board’s meeting agenda will be emailed to faculty and staff in advance of the meeting as usual.

Homecoming on the Green
Homecoming will be held Nov. 13-18, and this year we’re excited to debut a new family friendly event on Friday, Nov. 17. Homecoming on the Green will be open to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community. Come out to the Campus Green anytime from 6-10 p.m. for food trucks, music, corn hole, photo ops and more. I hope to see you there. Read more about the games and activities that week.

Institute on Teaching and Mentoring

Later this month I will attend the Compact for Faculty Diversity held in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be joined by Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Takita Sumter and Chief Diversity Officer Zan Jones. Winthrop has been a recruiter at this conference, which is the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the country, for the last three years. I enjoy attending and telling others about Winthrop and the benefits of living, learning and working here. As you know, increasing the diversity of our faculty and managerial staff is an important objective of the Winthrop Plan, and this conference allows us to showcase Winthrop to the best and brightest minds in higher education.

Finally, while we hear too often of tragedies across our country and on college campuses, we must remember that our community is strongest when we work together on common goals. Our collective safety and security requires that we watch out for each other, remain vigilant in our surroundings, and report suspicious persons or activity to Campus Police. Active shooter training is available online and to faculty, staff and student groups in person by contacting Interim Chief Ken Scoggins. Tools like WU Alert, our emergency notification system, and the LiveSafe app can help us all feel more secure on campus. Sign up for these if you have not already.

As always, thank you for all that you do for Winthrop. I appreciate your support as we work together on Winthrop’s behalf.


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