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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

April 16, 2004
Dunlap-Roddey Room, Johnson Hall
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC

Minutes of Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Members present:              Mary Jean Martin (Chair), Kathy Bigham, Larry Durham, Karl Folkens, Polly Ford, Glenda Owens, Bob Thompson, Skip Tuttle and Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio).

Members absent:                Sanita Savage Frazier, Bob Gahagan.

Representatives present:     Marilyn Smith, Faculty Representative; Richard Fowler, Student Representative.

Staff present:                     Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.

Guests present:                  Students, faculty, staff, and media representatives.


The Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 16, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. in the Dunlap-Roddey Room of Johnson Hall on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order
Mary Jean Martin called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

Approval of Board Minutes of February 6-8, 2004
Bob Thompson moved, seconded by Skip Tuttle, that the Board approve the minutes as presented. This motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.

Report of the Executive Committee
Chair Mary Jean Martin reported the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met in Rock Hill on March 24, 2004. She noted that the Executive Committee had reviewed and discussed several matters, taking action on two items.

Resolution to Honor LaRonda M. Sanders for Meritorious Service to Winthrop University 
Mary Jean Martin offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and thus no second was required. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote. Chair Martin welcomed members of Ms. Sanders’ family, read the resolution, and then presented Ms. Sanders with the framed citation as a token of appreciation from the University.

Resolution to Endorse a Statement on the Nature and Character of Winthrop University
Mary Jean Martin offered the Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Executive Committee and thus no second was required. Brien Lewis reported that the Statement reviewed by the Board at its February retreat had subsequently been endorsed by the Council of Student Leaders and endorsed, with a minor modification, by the Faculty Conference. President DiGiorgio noted that the Executive Committee had discussed this minor modification and decided not to incorporate that change into the version it recommended. The Resolution passed unanimously by voice vote.

Mary Jean Martin reported that the vast majority of the materials reviewed by the Executive Committee had been provided to trustees in the most recent packet of updates, as were draft minutes of the March 24 meeting. She also noted that the Executive Committee had an executive session for discussion of personnel and contractual matters and that no action had been taken in the executive session.

Mary Jean Martin also reported that, pursuant to the Board bylaws she wished to appoint a Nominations Committee consisting of Glenda Owens as Chair, along with Larry Durham and Bob Thompson. The Board consented to these appointments. Chair Martin asked the committee to report to the Board by no later than May 9 as called for in the Board’s bylaws.

Report of the Academic Affairs Committee
Bob Thompson reported that the Committee’s meeting consisted of informational reports. He noted that the Vice President for Academic Affairs had reported on sharpening the focus on academic programs as well as the major curriculum changes undertaken in the past year.

Bob Thompson also reported that the Committee had reviewed the new Commencement policy which will tighten up the requirements for those allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies, effective in December 2005. He also noted that the Committee had discussed the launch of the graduate program review process and the consistent data set and context that it will provide. The process will lead to reports that are due in the fall and that will be assessed for recommendations.

Bob Thompson reported that students and faculty had each completed academic integrity surveys as the result of concerns brought forward separately from the Council of Student Leaders and Academic Council. He noted that the two groups had been working together on the project and that a report would probably be ready in the fall.

Bob Thompson also reported that a new Faculty Recruitment website had been launched. President DiGiorgio noted that this is part of an effort to be more intentional in recruiting so that applicants can understand the nature and character of the institution.

Bob Thompson reported that the Committee had discussed the Master of Social Work proposal. He noted that there is a huge demand projected since both the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are at maximum capacity. As a result, the Committee asked that the Academic Affairs office proceed with Program Planning steps. Dr. DiGiorgio thanked Vice President Tom Moore, Dean Debra Boyd, and Social Work Chair Ron Green for their work on the proposal.

Bob Thompson also reported that the Committee had received updates from each of the academic units as well as a presentation by Visual and Performing Arts from their recent production of "The House of Bernarda Alba" in both Spanish and English. He stated that these presentations always impress and never disappoint. Faculty Representative Marilyn Smith noted that faculty members Annie-Laurie Wheat (from Theatre) and Barbara Heinemann (from Modern Languages) had come up with the idea and received funding through Research Council grants program as an example of cross-disciplinary activity.

Report of the Finance Committee

Resolution to approve a loan up to $5.5 million to finance the Energy Performance Contract Project
Skip Tuttle noted that the Committee had recommended minor changes on funding options and that these changes were reflected in a revised version circulated to all trustees at the beginning of the Board meeting. He reported that the university would pay for the improvements being implemented out of energy savings, noting that ultimately the Culp Chiller Plant will serve the whole campus. He noted that the new construction will have short and long term benefits, with the savings guaranteed by the contractor performing the work. President DiGiorgio noted that the guarantee is possible because of Winthrop’s track record as an energy efficient institution. He stated that the university owes gratitude to J.P. McKee and Walter Hardin for their work on this project, which other institutions are looking at emulating. Skip Tuttle offered the revised Resolution in the form of a Motion from the Finance Committee and thus no second was required. It was unanimously approved by voice vote.

Skip Tuttle reported that the Committee had been briefed on the status of the State Budget and that it appears the university can expect rather modest cuts compared to the past year as state revenues are a bit ahead of projections.

Skip Tuttle reported that the Committee had received an update on summer projects including “The Big Dig” which is required for relocation of all infrastructure systems related to the Lois Rhame West Center and the future Campus Center.

Skip Tuttle also noted that the Committee had reviewed the Athletic Department’s audit, and commended them for the good report.

Report of the University Relations Committee
Glenda Owens reported that the University Relations Committee received a briefing from the Advancement division. She noted that the Development Office is doing some restructuring based on momentum from the successful capital campaign, with a focus on annual giving and planned giving. She also noted that the upcoming Alumni Reunion Weekend would include a musical tribute to Jess Casey and the first official Ring ceremony in the Little Chapel.

Glenda Owens reported that the Committee had also received updates from the division of Athletics. She noted that the GPA was 2.88 overall, with volleyball at 3.5 and baseball at 3.19. She reported that the Committee was introduced to new staff members including the new Strength & Conditioning Coach and the new Student Services and Compliance officer. The Committee was also briefed on the credentials of the new Women’s Basketball Coach. Glenda Owens also noted that the bidding process for building the new Intercollegiate Track is underway.

Glenda Owens reported that the Committee had been updated on Admissions, noting that applications are down from last year, which was a record high, and still ahead of the pace from two years ago. Glenda Owens also reported on the REACH mentor program for freshmen who had under a 2.0 GPA in their first semester. She noted that 33 students had asked for a mentor and that 89 individuals had volunteered to serve as mentors, 70 of whom are faculty.

Glenda Owens reported that the Committee had been briefed on the Bookworm vendor bidding process. She noted that the current contract is with Follett and it expires in July. Dr. Frank Ardaiolo, Vice President for Student Life, noted that permission is being sought for a 10 year contract that would encourage greater investment by the successful vendor in the new bookstore in the planned Campus Center.

Glenda Owens also reported that the Committee had been updated on the temporary relocation of the Student Life offices, which are moving to various places across the campus during the work being done on the Dinkins building. Dr. Ardaiolo expressed his appreciation to all those hosting Student Life personnel in temporary space.

Report from the Faculty Representative
Faculty Representative Marilyn Smith distributed a written report, noting for all trustees the special invitation to the next Faculty Conference on April 23 to help celebrate the conclusion of the General Education curriculum review process.

She also noted that she had reviewed national graduation data from the National Science Foundation which reported that 57% of students attend more than one school as undergraduates. She noted that this made transfer policies and General Education requirements a major issue, especially since 35% of students cross state lines to attend colleges, and 62% attend during summer terms, 22% are stop-outs (such as New Start students. She reported that this data has an impact on 4, 5, and 6 year graduation rates that should to be incorporated into discussions about retention and success. She also reported that a workshop had been held with transfer personnel from institution across South Carolina to explain the process under Winthrop University’s new General Education program.

Marilyn Smith also reported that the Common Book Project was underway for the fall and that the book had been selected after substantial discussion on defining objectives and criteria and deciding where the book would be used.

Report from the Student Representative
Student Representative Richard Fowler reported that the Council of Student Leaders had conducted voting on its membership for next year and that places are kept open for freshmen. He noted that he had been re-elected chair of the Council and Sydney Shealy had been elected Vice Chair.

Richard Fowler reported that academic integrity surveys had been completed and were being compiled, with initial indications showing no significant differences with comparable national data. He also reported that the Council would continue to work with university personnel in designing the Campus Center and encouraging voter registration at Winthrop or in a student’s hometown.

Richard Fowler reported that the original plans for Homecoming and EagleMania had been changed due to a major snow storm, and that EagleMania had been rescheduled to coincide with the Relay for Life fundraising event. He noted that at least 500 people attended the events on a cold night and that the Council would be looking at options and venues for a similar event next year. He reported that Relay for Life had more than doubled the amount that was raised last year and that EagleMania was a good collaborative effort between Dinkins Student Union, the Council of Student Leaders, and the Resident Students Association.

Report from the President
President DiGiorgio congratulated Rich Fowler on being re-elected and noted that the continuity would benefit the Council and the Board.

President DiGiorgio reported on the latest developments in the state budget process. He stated that the House has passed its version of the budget and that the Senate Finance Committee is currently working on its own version. The appropriation reduction for Winthrop University in the House version is around $250,000 and the current Senate Finance budget calls for a reduction of around $350,000. The House had passed a tuition cap based on the Higher Education Price Index plus $250 tuition cap but the current Senate Finance version has no tuition limit. The House approved a 2% salary increase for state employees while the current Senate version calls for a 3% increase. The President noted that the State does not actually fund 100% of that increase and, as a result, the higher state pay raise goes the more Winthrop University has to pay. The President noted that any differences between the House and Senate versions would have to be addressed in a Conference Committee.

The President also reported on the passage of the Life Sciences Bill which includes funds for capital maintenance projects. He reported that it is not yet clear when Winthrop University can expect to receive its anticipated $2.8 m allocation, especially since a lawsuit has been filed against the legislation by a private citizen. President DiGiorgio noted that the university may need to take out short term notes to take care of pending projects such as replacement of the Tillman roof.

President DiGiorgio also reported that preliminary results in the Performance Funding process show the university once again "Substantially Exceeds Standards". He noted that the leadership of the Commission on Higher Education and the university presidents had met recently to try to move forward with developing a replacement system for Performance Funding. The President described the meeting as positive.

The President also noted the work to be done on the major facilities summer projects, particularly the “Big Dig”. He reported that work was underway on developing parking plans to address the impact of the projects over the next 4 to 5 years of major construction.

President DiGiorgio also reported that Coastal Carolina University is petitioning for its own Masters of Business Administration program. He noted that Winthrop currently has an interactive distance program with Coastal that has been good for Coastal but very labor intensive for Winthrop. He also noted that the experience had been instructive for Winthrop in teaching us a lot about our niche but that losing the Coastal students would not be major impact on Winthrop.

President DiGiorgio also reported on the recent visits to campus by the Board of Visitors, the 1989 Board of Trustees and the Community Leaders Advisory Group. He noted that all had had very positive reactions.

Old Business
There was no Old Business.

New Business
There was no New Business.

Executive Session
Larry Durham moved, seconded by Karl Folkens, that the Board go into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel and contractual matters. As part of the motion, the Faculty and Student Representatives were not invited to participate in the session. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote. No actions were taken in Executive Session.

Adjournment
Upon returning to public session, Glenda Owens moved that the Board adjourn. The Motion was seconded by Skip Tuttle and approved unanimously by voice vote. The Board adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Brien Lewis, Secretary to the Board.

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