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 Minutes of the of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees


Thursday, April 5, 2018
Evans Room, DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University

Call to Order

Chair Folkens called the meeting to order at 10:04 a.m.

Members present: Karl Folkens, Tim Sease, Glenn McCall, Kathy Bigham, Janet Smalley, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Julie Fowler, Randy Imler, Ed Driggers, Ashlye Wilkerson, and Dan Mahony (ex officio).

Members absent: Scott Middleton, Donna Glenn Holley, Sandra Stroman, Jane LaRoche, Tim Sease

Representatives present: Tadean Page, Student Representative; Michael Lipscomb, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None

Others present: Various faculty and staff of Winthrop University

The Board of Trustees began their meeting on Thursday, April 5, 2018 with a presentation on national tuition models given by President Dan Mahony, Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs Justin Oates, and Vice President of Enrollment Eduardo Prieto.

The presentation began with general assumptions of tuition models such as models that reduce or hold tuition are not being accomplished with significant reductions in operating expenditures, most universities have been trying to cut expenditures since the mid-2000s with public universities particularly hard hit since 2007; net revenue reductions would most likely negatively impact educational quality, and universities are faced with increasing expenditures such as health care and retirement costs.

The nine tuition models presented were a. High Tuition, High Discount model, b. “Truth in Advertising” model, c. “Free” College model, d. Low Tuition Set model, e. Charge Per Credit Hour model, f. No Tuition Increase for One Year or More model, g. Cap Tuition for Four Years model, h. Predetermined Tuition Escalation model, i. Significantly Reduce Tuition while Also Significantly Reducing Discounting model, and j. High Tuition, High Discount model that Winthrop has used for a number of years.

Moving forward, as the various tuition models are considered for use at Winthrop, it is critical to examine the components that comprise net tuition and fees. Those components are full-time tuition & fees Fall & Spring revenue (in-state & out-of-state), summer school tuition & fee revenue, Information Technology fee revenue, lab fee revenue (i.e., Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Visual & Performing Arts, and University College), student activity fee, dual enrollment program fee revenue, on-line revenue share from Wiley, and financial aid expense.

From 2015 to 2017, the net tuition as a percentage of tuition and fees has dropped from 59% to 56%.

The meeting was recessed until Friday afternoon.

The meeting was resumed at 1:34 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018 in the Gold Room of the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

Members present: Karl Folkens, Tim Sease, Glenn McCall, Kathy Bigham, Janet Smalley, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Julie Fowler, Randy Imler, Ed Driggers, Ashlye Wilkerson, Sandra Stroman, Jane LaRoche, Tim Sease, and Dan Mahony (ex officio).

Members absent: Scott Middleton, Donna Glenn Holley

Representatives present: Tadean Page, Student Representative; Michael Lipscomb, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None

Others present: Various faculty and staff of Winthrop University

Public Comment

There were no requests for public comment.

Approval of Minutes

Don Long moved to accept the minutes as written from the meeting of February 2-3, 2018. Tim Sease seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the minutes as amended.

Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

As per Article III, Section B of the Board bylaws, Chair Karl Folkens appointed from among the voting members of the Board the members of a Committee on Nominations. Chair Folkens appointed Mr. Tim Sease as chair of the committee, with Dr. Jane LaRoche and Dr. Julie Fowler as the remaining two members. Randy Imler made a motion to accept the nominations. Kathy Bigham seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. As noted in the bylaws, the committee will notify the full Board of their slate of nominees for chair and vice-chair within 30 days of the next meeting which in this academic year will be May 21, 2018.

Chair Folkens concluded his report by commending the Compensation Committee for their extra called meetings to review personal actions related to a salary offer of $100,000 or more.

Report from the President

President Mahony began his report by announcing the selection of Dr. Robin Lammi, professor of chemistry, as the 2018 winner of the Award of Excellence. The award recognizes an individual who has excelled in implementing the Winthrop Plan and has demonstrated extra effort and made remarkable progress in transforming the university’s shared vision into reality. Dr. Lammi was chosen for her leadership in undergraduate research.

The president gave an update on the State Budget. The Senate Finance Committee gave final approval to the budget on Wednesday. In their version of the budget, Winthrop received $569,515 in recurring revenue for “Access and Affordability for In-State Students- Tuition Mitigation Funding.” The Senate Finance Committee added an additional $$19.9 million for deferred maintenance that will be distributed by formula by the Commission on Higher Education. The Senate Finance Committee also funded $8 million in the Lottery Technology proviso. The Senate Finance Committee kept the House appropriations in the Capital Reserve Bill where Winthrop received $3.3 million in non-recurring revenue for maintenance.

Vice President for Student Affairs –Nearly 100 applications were received for the position. Four candidates have been invited to campus to for interviews in the next two weeks. They are Parris Carter, Becky Spurlock, Gigi Secuban, and Shelia Burkhalter. The president congratulated the work of the selection committee led by Dr. Meg Weber for the depth and experience of the candidate pool.

Korn-Ferry Employee Satisfaction Survey--513 responses were received for 51% response rate. We partnered with Korn Ferry to ensure your responses were kept strictly confidential, and the results we received were in the aggregate and did not include individual responses.

Sixty-one percent of respondents were satisfied “overall” with working at Winthrop. Though a different survey, the “Let Your Voice Be Heard” results compare favorably to the 51% overall satisfaction percentage reported by our employee satisfaction work group survey from the 2015-16 academic year. This result has exceeded the goal of the Strategic Plan. Moving forward, the goal will be increased.

The Korn Ferry results indicate Winthrop employees are proud of the work they do and the services Winthrop provides. They feel Winthrop provides a high quality educational experience and is student focused. Employees also report that they have a good understanding of the direction and goals within their work groups and how they align with Winthrop’s direction and goals. Ours is a respectful environment, employees say, with the accessibility of supervisors receiving the highest overall favorable rating.

The results also show where employees are not satisfied and where we have opportunities for improvement. Employees do not feel they are compensated fairly compared to other organizations – pay-related responses received the lowest overall ratings. Employees also report they do not feel there is clear link between performance and compensation.

A larger number of answers were given to the open ended questions. Those answers will take some time to analyze. Results will be shared once the analysis is completed.

Knowledge Park-- has been under development for a number of years. It is now a multi-faceted concept meant to transform Rock Hill as a walkable, urban business district, a strategic approach to building a modern economy, and a way of reinventing the original heart of Rock Hill. Knowledge Park's boundaries are flexible and ever-expanding, with the core of the district stretching from Winthrop University to Fountain Park.

Currently the City of Rock Hill is working on the Knowledge Park Action Plan. The goal is to establish 5-Year goals and work programs for Knowledge Park that have input from all parts of the community including Winthrop, that are supported by community leadership, and that serve as the basis for activities and investments by the City, RHEDC, and their allies in Knowledge Park.

Eight planning committees (Action Teams), under the direction of Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation (RHEDC), will lead the process. Each planning committee will be asked to Identify and describe up to 5 priority projects, programs or investments that could be achieved during the next 5 years which would help to ensure Knowledge Park’s success.

The action teams are: Jobs & Business Growth, Talent Development & Attraction, Marketing & Communications, Connectivity, Inclusiveness, Development, Placemaking, and Tourism. Winthrop faculty and staff have joined these groups.


Report from the Committee on Finance

Chair Randy Imler updated the Board on current plans to explore options to self-develop and finance a new residence hall. University leadership has been working on a 5-year financial plan to balance need for new residence halls and the upkeep and repairs of current halls. Current estimates are $10.8M for deferred maintenance and an estimated $26M for a new residence hall.

A review of the current FY2018 Year-to-Date activity shows the university is on target to meet both the operating revenue and expense budgets. VP Oates is planning 3rd quarter meetings with all divisions on campus to ensure proper usage of funds in the 4th quarter of the fiscal year.

Chair Imler noted the Committee reviewed the make-up of the $18.8M Unrestricted Net Position and reported that the Net Position will likely go down by approximately $1M in FY2018 based on projects previously approved by the Board of Trustees.

The Committee heard a report on the FY19 Planning activity to-date and the potential expense increases that will need to be covered in the FY19 operating budget. The required increases of $1.8M are associated with increases in pension costs, health care, master Lease, and other programing costs across campus. There may be an additional $875K of anticipated costs for FY19 that will need to be considered once the increases in revenue projections are established.


Report from the Committee on Compensation

Chair Glenn McCall shared results from the Korn Ferry Hay Group employee satisfaction survey. Full-time and part-time faculty, staff, and administrators participated in the survey. The survey consisted of 74 questions with four open-ended questions. The 14 dimensions measured included areas such as employee engagement, pay and benefits, confidence in leaders, training, and respect and recognition. The top three dimensions scored favorably by employees were quality and customer focus; clear and promising direction; and respect and recognition. The three dimensions scored the most unfavorable by employees were pay and benefits; work, structure, and process; and training. The overall satisfaction rate was 61%.

As a result of the survey there are a few initiatives already underway. Plans include exploration of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide free services such as mental health visits, financial counseling, legal and wellness assistance, and other services. Staff are also researching other benefits such as long-term care and short-term disability that could be made available for employees to purchase.

The Committee received a report from Vice President Lisa Cowart on the terms of the university’s directors’ and officers’ insurance. She noted that last year’s insurance renewal was a five-year contract with People’s First Insurance in Rock Hill, which began on March 1, 2017 and ends on March 1, 2022. While People’s First Insurance is not the actual provider, they are responsible for finding an insurance carrier and ensuring coverage for the university for the five years. Last year’s carrier was Allied World whose coverage ended on March 1, 2018. The new coverage is with XL Catlin, which began on March 1, 2018 and will end on March 1, 2019. The terms include a deductible no greater than $50,000 per claim, a maximum limit liability no less than $2M each policy year, and an annual premium of $37,768.86. The insurance covers all directors and officers (past, present, and future), employees, volunteers, committee members, committee chairs, and trustees.

Chair McCall reported the results of the Report to the General Assembly regarding Winthrop’s affirmative action goals for women and minorities. For the second year in a row, Winthrop ranked #2 among the four-year state institutions, increasing our goal attainment from 83.5% to 84.3%. Winthrop missed the #1 spot by one-tenth of a point to the University of South Carolina.


Report from the Committee on Academic Quality


Chair Tim Hopkins brought forth two resolutions from the Committee for the consideration of the Board.

Resolution to Establish Master of Education in Teacher Leadership--The proposed new program in Learning Design and Technology will expand upon the existing concentration to become a full thirty credit hour Master’s degree program. It will prepare professional educators in a variety of fields to create, analyze, deliver, and evaluate learning materials and improve human learning and performance through the appropriate use of learning theory and technology tools.

Additionally, it will provide degree candidates with a comprehensive study of the field of learning design and technology and the appropriate tools and skills used by professionals in the field; and will provide for professional preparation and career advancement to educators working in traditional education environments, such as K-12 districts and schools and will serve the needs of professional educators working in corporate, health care, government, military, nonprofit, and higher education environments.

As no second was needed, Chair Folkens called for a vote. The vote was unanimous in favor of the first resolution.

Resolution to Establish Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology—the proposed new program will modify the existing program in Curriculum and Instruction to reflect the needs of school districts to develop educational leaders in teaching roles and will meet the advanced educational needs of teachers who work in diverse educational settings. The program’s degree candidates will acquire the knowledge base and skills needed in the areas of curriculum development and assessment, pedagogy, and leadership so they can affect high-impact teaching and learning in their classrooms and positively influence change in their schools.

As no second was needed, Chair Folkens called for a vote. The vote was unanimous in favor of the second resolution.

Each program is expected to enroll 20 to 25 new graduate students per year.

The Committee received a report from Dr. Robin Lammi, director of undergraduate research, and Dr. Gloria Jones, dean of University College, on the role of undergraduate research at Winthrop University. Every student at Winthrop has the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research (UR) with a faculty mentor. The Committee received a history of UR at Winthrop, goals of the UR Office, and information on the kinds of research conducted and the venues where it is shared. After the presentation the Committee visited the lobby of Sims Hall where five students shared their work in undergraduate research.

The Committee also heard from Terri Wright, executive director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research. This fiscal year, Winthrop received 35 awards and appropriations totaling $17,360,936. The McNair Scholars Program has been awarded a new grant, beginning FY 2019 for 5 years. This grant supports first generation, low income, and at-risk students as they prepare for graduate education.

Provost Boyd updated the Committee on the Commission on Higher Education’s review of programs that do not meet the CHE Productivity Standards. Of the 19 programs on Winthrop’s list, four have already been “taught out,” and will be terminated. One degree program had already been revamped and modifications accepted by CHE. Three programs will become concentrations instead of independent degrees, and the remaining will either receive exemptions or will be modified to increase productivity.


Report of the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development

Chair Janet Smalley summarized the report received from Jeff Perez, vice president for university relations. University Events revenue from external clients has more than doubled over the previous year and is near its year-end goal of $150,000 at the end of the second quarter. University Communications and Marketing continues to work on increasing Winthrop’s profile regionally and nationally and generating revenue for the university.

The Committee received a report from Mr. Neal Miller, director of university events, explaining how the Office of University Events has been working to enhance Winthrop’s engagement with the community. Mr. Miller now sits on the boards of several tourism-related activities in the region, and University Events has entered reciprocal partnerships with local organizations to make Winthrop facilities available “at cost” in return for the same consideration.

Ms. Ellen Wilder-Byrd, associate vice president for university communications and marketing, presented an update on the university rebranding initiative. While the new logo is important, she reminded the Committee that it is only one element of rebranding, which includes refining the messaging on campus and creating a cohesive identify that conveys Winthrop’s strengths in a competitive higher education market.

Ms. Wilder-Byrd provided a summary of the four phases of Winthrop rebranding. In addition to the logo, her staff will be working with offices across campus to update signage and interiors, develop departmental co-branding, refresh bookstore merchandise and roll out a new website.

Vice President of University Advancement, Evan Bohnen, briefed the Committee on the DB Johnson Society event on April 4, 2018. It is a part of gift planning initiative to reengage donors. A second event is scheduled for March 29, 2019.

The Committee learned 16.98% net of investment advisory fees were posted earnings, there were reductions in advisory fees from 1% to .26% and in endowment management from 3/5% to 2.25%. The endowment increased from $46,773,541 to $53,828,912 and scholarships also increased by $1,120,149. There have been 49 new scholarship/departmental support funds created in 2017.

Report of the Committee on Enrollment and Retention

Chair Julie Fowler presented information shared at the Committee meeting including a follow up report to the February 2018 Board of Trustees meeting. This report sought to explain three questions posed about Winthrop’s admissions policies and factors that impact student success. Three admissions options were presented to the Board of Trustees. Statistical analysis and advantages and disadvantages were shared about implementing a GPA-tied test optional admissions policy. Further research is recommended to identify another data point, in addition to GPA, for the admissions criteria. The second option was to modify the current admissions policy to include acceptance of students who receive the South Carolina Life Scholarship but do not meet the requirements for admittance to Winthrop. A number of other schools in the region apparently already admit all SC Life eligible students. The third option, to keep the admissions criteria as is, was discussed with supporting advantages and disadvantages to this option. Additional information was discussed regarding the Winthrop Bridge Program and Winthrop Dual Enrollment Program.

Dr. Jack DeRochi, dean of the Graduate School, shared with the Committee a report on the enrollment status of the online programs and the positive response in the market about the programs offered. The degree completion programs are on schedule to be offered starting Fall 2019 and are currently being reviewed by the Academic Counsel.

A review of applications to date shows an increase of 600 applications as compared to last year but as of today, enrollments have not increased by as much.


Report of the Committee on Student Life and Athletics

Chair Tim Sease reminded the Trustees they had all received copies of the minutes from the Committee on Student Life and Athletics and he encouraged them to thoroughly read the minutes as they are detailed and informative.

Mr. Sease applauded the good work of the Athletics department regarding their efforts at student success. Sherika Montgomery, associate athletic director for student success, shared an overview of the operations by discussing the individual components that support student success for athletes at Winthrop. Those areas are Compliance, Sports Performance, Academic and Student Services, Athletic Training, Leadership Development, Sports Performance Consultants.

The Committee also received a report from Dr. Casey Tullos. She presented an in-depth review of the evolution of residence education moving from broad student development practices to focused learning interventions. She covered four historical stages of the past 60 years: psychosocial development (1960’s), student engagement (1990’s), student success (2000’s), and student learning today.

Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference

Dr. Lipscomb reported on the task force formed to assess and review guidelines for pre-tenure, tenure, post-tenure, and promotion. Membership of the task force includes representation from all academic units including both administrators and faculty members. The Task Force on Tenure and Promotion Protocols is charged with reviewing all policies and practices related to the tenure and promotion protocols as well as pre-tenure and post-tenure review.

The Faculty Conference voted to create a Standing Committee on Academic Integrity with a charge to propose and develop initiatives designed to help create and maintain an expectation of academic integrity in the Winthrop University community. In addition to a national search for the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Academic Affairs also engaged in 35 searches for instructional faculty in 2017-18 with 27 of those searches being tenure track positions. Additionally, five librarian faculty position searches were done this year.

Dr. Lipscomb concluded his report by thanking the president and provost for working with the chair of Faculty Conference and the Faculty Committee on University Priorities to explore ways in which administration and faculty might work to address the threat of faculty “burnout” related to workloads across the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship.
Report from the President of the Council of Student Leaders

President Tadean Page had to temporarily step out of the meeting to attend a required class. In his absence, Dr. Frank Ardaiolo, vice president of student life, reported on the recent election for Academic Year 2018-19 Council of Student Leaders officers. Nearly 200 Winthrop University students participated in the 2018 election process. Ximena Perez-Velazco and Jared Garrett have been elected as the 2018-2019 Student Body President and Vice President. Perez and Garrett will assume office on July 1, 2018, but will officially begin duties at the conclusion of May Commencement.

Executive Session

Tim Hopkins moved with a second from Jane LaRoche that the Board meet in executive session pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) and (2) for the purposes of discussion of employment matters involving certain current and former university employees as well as discussion of a contractual matter regarding university property.

The vote was unanimous. Kimberly Faust was invited to remain for the entire session while Michael Lipscomb and Tadean Page were invited to remain for a portion of the executive session. Sandra Stroman moved the Board end executive session, Ashlye Wilkerson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Return to Public Session

Upon returning to pubic session, Chair Karl Folkens brought forth a motion to approve a resolution adopting the President’s House policy. The policy will establish guidelines for the design, décor, maintenance and improvement of the house while promoting a system of oversight, efficiency and financial transparency. This will assist the Board’s desire to preserve, protect, maintain and enhance the house’s historical heritage and its use as an event venue for the University while accommodating the President’s use of the house as a home for the current and future Presidents’ families.

Don Long moved to accept the motion as presented. Jane LaRoche seconded the motion. The vote approved the motion.

Adjournment

Hearing no objections, Chair Folkens declared the meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m.



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


APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON JUNE 22, 2018.
IN THE HEART OF THE CAROLINAS
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