Students - March 31, 2023

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”Leo Tolstoy

I am pleased to write you today with an update on our latest, and perhaps most consequential, undertaking of my first year as president – developing the next strategic initiatives for Winthrop University.

Looking back on the institution’s history, we must admit that each time period shaped the Winthrop experience. While our spirit and values may have remained constant, what we look like, the product we offer, and who we serve changed with the times. Clearly, we are not the same institution from 50, 30, even 10 years ago. Students like you, with varied life experiences, reflect today’s realities. You bring different perspectives, and you expect—even demand—a lot from higher education, which requires us to be nimble and responsive in new ways.

As we undertake our strategic planning process with our partners at Berkeley Research Group, I challenge you to be open to shaping the Winthrop we want to become: a place where all prospective students can see themselves belonging and thriving and being transformed for success today and beyond. Strategic planning will help us get to that place. We will take into account the thoughts, concerns and recommendations, analyses, and perspectives of as many people as possible, both on campus and off. And while we will work to be as inclusive as possible, our goal should not be a plan to which no one could possibly object, but rather one that represents the best of our thinking and charts a clear path forward. I want us to do better than survive in the competitive landscape of higher education; I want us to thrive.  

Help us get there. With the wholehearted commitment and engagement of all of our stakeholders, we will come out of this process with a roadmap, a series of goals and objectives, with clear outcomes intended for the years ahead. This vital work has begun with our Board of Trustees and the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, led by Gary Simrill, special assistant to the president for community engagement. The team at BRG is scheduling virtual and in-person activities for April, and our strategic planning website launched today at Visit the site regularly for details on steps in the process and upcoming engagement opportunities.

Thank you in advance for your partnership!


Edward A. Serna