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Minutes of the of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees 

November 4, 2016

Members present:                  Karl Folkens, Glenn McCall, Jane LaRoche, Janet Smalley, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Randy Imler, Ashlye Wilkerson, Tim Sease, Julie Fowler, Shane Duncan, Scott Middleton, Sue Smith-Rex, Kathy Bigham, and Dan Mahony (ex officio).

Members absent:                    Donna Glenn Holley                                

Representatives present:        Elisabeth West, Student Representative; John Bird, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent:         None

Others present:                       David Thackham, The Herald; members of Winthrop faculty and staff

 

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, November 4, 2016 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. 

 

Public Comment

There were no requests for public comment.

Call to Order

Chair Folkens called the meeting to order at 1:19 p.m. He welcomed all present.

 

Executive Session 

Scott Middleton moved with a second from Shane Duncan to move into executive session pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1)  and (2) for the purposes of discussion of employment matters involving certain current and former university employees and for a discussion of proposed contractual arrangements.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Sue Rex moved with a second from Randy Imler to end the executive session and return to public session.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

 

Approval of Minutes

Don Long moved to accept the minutes from the meeting of August 22, 2016.  Janet Smalley seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the minutes as submitted.

 

Report from the President

Dr. Mahony reported on the $3.7 million added to the reserve fund during FY 2016.  This brings the total to $5.5 million added over the last three years.  The additions to the reserves were made possible by a number of reasons including refinancing bonds, lower than expected utility payments, and vacancy savings. 

The searches for a new vice president of institutional advancement, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and dean of the College of Business Administration continue to move forward.  Dr. Ken Halpin will lead the faculty/staff search committee for the vice president position.  Dr. Jennie Rakestraw will lead the faculty/staff search committee for the dean of the College of Business Administration. Dr. Gloria Jones will lead the faculty/staff search committee for the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.  Both of the dean positions will have an expectation of fundraising for their colleges.

At the request of our students, the sculpture, Low Tides, has been moved from its original location in the lobby of Tillman Hall to the main floor of Dacus Library.  Haitian-born artist Babette Wainwright will visit the campus in the spring to talk about her work and how it is symbolic of oppressed and persecuted people worldwide.

A number of initiatives related to the Strategic Plan are underway. A newly designed dashboard has been created in order to track the metrics of success.  Deltak Wiley has been chosen as an online class provider and a contract will soon be signed.   Work on the Withers’ roof is continuing.  A housing study is underway and results will be available at the Board retreat.  A planning council for the Winthrop Women’s Coalition is in place with plans to expand the general membership.  Donorcast, a new system of donor data mining has been purchased and it ready for use.

 

Committee on Student Life and Athletics                                       

Chair Tim Sease reported on the information presented to the Committee.  Dr. Ken Halpin shared the candidates for induction into the Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame.  Chosen for induction are Chris Gaynor – Men’s Basketball (2005-2008), Shannon Sitzmann – Volleyball (2004-2008), Tom Hickman, former Athletic Director, and Richard Posipanko, former Soccer Head Coach.

Dr. Halpin has working on personnel restructuring within Athletics.  New hires include Dr. Renae Myles, Associate Athletic Director, Internal Operations and SWA Athletics; Matthew Martin, Associate Athletic Director, External Operations; Kyle Wilson, Athletics Business Operations Manager; and Kara Dixon, Administrative Specialist for Basketball

The Committee heard a report from Jessica Lynn, Executive Director of the South Carolina Campus Compact.  The Compact supports civic engagement on college campuses teaching students responsible citizenship, making community involvement a priority.

Dr. Frank Ardaiolo reported on a number of activities in the Division of Student Life including programs created by Student Life, Campus Police, Health and Counseling Services, Career and Civic Engagement, Residence Life, and Student Affairs. 

 

Report from the Committee on Compensation                                                      

Chair Janet Smalley briefed the Board of the reports received by the Committee including the new Diversity Officer’s work to train deans and department chairs on the hiring process for faculty positions and the attendance of President Mahony and other staff at the Compact for Diverse Faculty Conference in order to recruit minority Ph.D. candidates.  Also discussed was the plan to enroll in the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) which will increase recruiting efforts for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

Future work to be done is the reevaluating of faculty and staff salaries based on the new CUPA survey to be published in February 2017 and determining the distribution of the approved $150,000 for salary increases.

The Committee received the quarterly workforce summary report showing the movement of employees during the quarter (e.g., promotions, reclassifications, etc.). Also reviewed was the  update on the new overtime rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the progress Human Resources has made to communicate with those affected by the change.

 

Report from the Committee on Academic Quality                                     

Chair Sue Rex brought forth a resolution from the Committee to establish a Bachelor of Science in Special Education with Multi-categorical Teacher Classification.  The new program was developed in response to student requests to combine the existing concentrations into a single concentration and provide opportunities for students to become certified in multi-categorical disabilities thus greatly expanding employment opportunities for our students. 

As no second was needed because the motion came from a standing committee, Chair Folkens called for a vote.  The Board unanimously approved the resolution.

Dr. Rex continued her report with an update of the status of the SACSCOC fifth year report.  The final report is due to SACSCOC on March 15 and we are currently on track for a timely submission.

 

Report from the Committee on Enrollment and Retention                       

Chair Fowler summarized the update on marketing initiatives presented by Dr. Jeff Perez. 

The advertising strategy continues be focused on the Charlotte area with a change in priority from billboards to digital advertising.  The radio focus in Charlotte is for graduate students. 

FMB marketing firm has been awarded the state contract for marketing and branding.  The company will conduct research, meetings, and focus groups for approximately 12 months.  A year from now, the result will be new branding, a new website, positioning statement, and a marketing and promotional strategy. 

A Fall enrollment update was provided by Eduardo Prieto.  Growth in the number of graduate students resulted in a slight increase in overall headcount. 

 

Report of the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development        

Chair Tim Hopkins briefed the Trustees on the reports received by the Committee including the status of the phonathon with total pledges down by 13% this year.  The Office of Alumni Relations facilitated the publication of an Alumni directory.  Nearly 55,000 alumni were contacted and asked to update their contact information.  17% (9,724) did so. 

The Foundation Board will issue an RFP for a new investment advisor/firm in order to reduce operating expenses and increase earning.  The year to date fundraising totals are $3,574,536. 


Report from the Committee on Finance                                                                 

Chair Randy Imler began his report with an update on the audit of Winthrop University’s financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2016.  Our external auditor, Mr. Kochenower, reported the audit firm’s opinion was unmodified on the financial statements.  There were no difficulties in dealing with management and no major issues occurred.  Mr. Kochenower also reviewed with the committee the impact of GASB Statement 68, which requires Winthrop to report its proportionate share of the State’s unfunded pension liability.  He noted that even though the university isn’t required to pay out that liability, the university will continue to see increases in the unfunded pension liability. 

The Committee reviewed the Total Unrestricted Net Position information specifically the FY2016 ending balances in each of the Unrestricted Net Position components.  Improvement in the Position is due to a mild winter, higher than expected revenues, nearly $1M savings with the refunding (refinancing) institution bonds, and an increased number of vacant positions throughout the year.

On behalf of the Committee, Dr. Imler brought forth a motion requesting Adjustments for Projected One Time Commitments to the previously approved FY2017 budget.  The adjustments total $698,000.  The motion passed unanimously. 

Dr. Imler brought forth a second motion requesting approval for Planned Facilities Refurbishments from the Institutional Capital Project Fund (ICPF) in the amount of $1,080,000.  The motion passed unanimously. 

                       

Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference

Dr. Bird reported on the work of the Faculty Conference regarding new curricular changes to select academic programs.  He also reported on the status of the two dean searches. 

                                               

Report from the Chair of the Council of Student Leaders  

Ms. Beth West spoke of plans for the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service planned for January.  This day of service is an opportunity for Winthrop students to be involved in the local community.  Additionally, Ms. West reported on the idea of a Unity Day event. 

 

New Business

There was no new business.

 

Adjournment

Chair Folkens adjourned the meeting at 4:54 p.m.

 

Minutes submitted by Kimberly A. Faust, Secretary to the Board 

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