Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

April 11, 2008
Dunlap-Roddey Room, Johnson Hall
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina


Members present: Karl Folkens (Chair), Frances Davenport, Kathy Bigham, Janet Smalley, Glenda Owens, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Donna Tinsley, Lee Cox, Dalton Floyd, Sam Foster, Anthony J. DiGiorgio (ex officio)

Members absent: David Vipperman

Representatives present: Dustin Evatt, Student Representative; Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None

Others present: Faculty and staff of Winthrop University, Jessica Schonberg of The Herald

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm in the Dunlap-Roddey Room of Johnson Hall on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.


Call to Order

Chair Folkens called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m. As there were no requests made for public comments, the meeting began as Kathy Bigham made a motion to approve the minutes from the meetings of February 22-24, 2008. The motion seconded by Glenda Owens. The minutes were approved unanimously as presented.


Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

Chair Folkens reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on April 2, 2008. The materials from the meeting have been forwarded to each of members of the Board. Most of the issues that were discussed will be or have already been a part of today's agenda.

Chair Folkens reported the Executive Committee also had an executive session for discussion of legal, personnel, and contractual matters. No action was taken in the executive session.

The Chair of the Board, Mr. Karl Folkens, appointed a nominating committee consisting of Glenda Owens, Sam Foster, and Francis Davenport. Ms. Owens will chair the committee. A slate of officers for the 2008-09 academic year will be put forth by the committee and distributed to the full board 30 days in advance of the next Board meeting The elections will be held on June 6, 2008.


Report of the Academic Affairs Committee

Committee chair Lee Cox noted the longer than usual time period allotted for today's committee meetings and expressed appreciation as well as a request to repeat this practice annually. The extended meeting time permitted a more fulsome discussion of recent events in Academic Affairs. Chair Cox also praised the divisional notes and summaries distributed by the deans.

The committee began its work today with a report from Vice President Tom Moore. Dr. Moore discussed the continuing work with the Roles and Rewards issues; the Calendar fora and plans to modify the class schedule calendar to better utilize the campus facilities; an update on the Core Commitments program; and an update on the searches to fill the vacant Dean positions. At this point, two Deans have been named. Dr. Gloria Jones has accepted the position of Dean of University College, and Dr. Yvonne Murnane has accepted the newly created Dean of Graduate Studies. The search for the replacement of Dean Patricia Graham of the Riley College of Education is still on-going with an offer expected to be made in late April.

Chair Cox remarked that the Academic Unit updates were illustrative of the true, substantive collaboration among the many departments and programs at Winthrop University. The first update, from Arts and Sciences, began with the self-studies of Political Science and English as they have completed their own internal reviews and are now in the process of arranging for external reviews through site visits. The 32nd annual Model United Nations was held on campus last month. It was well attended and the students reported and enjoyable time. The first pre-med chapter of the American Medical Association in South Carolina has recently begun at Winthrop. Dr. John Shelton Reed, a noted Sociologist specializing in southern culture, is scheduled for a presentation on campus in conjunction with his visit to York County.

The update from the College of Business Administration included reports on the many activities completed by students including the 3rd Annual Ethics Bowl and the regional Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition where Winthrop students again won regional awards and will travel to the national meeting to compete. The Pinnacle Society inductions were held on April 17 and work with our partner university in China continues.

The update from the Riley College of Education included a discussion of the nearly $800,000 in grant monies received for various programs including a grant for teaching autistic children as well as a grant for training teachers who work with children who are not native speakers of English. In addition to grant work, the faculty are supervising 382 students who are completing field experiences as part of their studies. The college is seeking approval for bachelor degrees in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, and Teacher Training. Full approval is expected for these programs in the near future.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts showed a DVD from the first Create Carolina Festival and used the opportunity to preview the second annual festival to be held the last week of May and first week of June 2008. The College is especially excited about the play created for this festival as it is a collaborative effort and will focus on the 1872 presidential election when Victoria Woodhull, the first female stockbroker, ran for president along with former slave Fredrick Douglass as her vice presidential running mate.

The Library updated the committee on the status of PASCAL funding. In years past, we have been able to pay $25,000 in fees to receive over $200,000 in services. If the state budget does not include funding for PASCAL, students and faculty at Winthrop will not be able to access the wide range of journal articles typically made available to them.

Seventeen student related programs are now in place in University College. The TRiO grant is coming to an end but we are in the process of reapplying for a continuation of funds. The grant deadline is in October and we have a good chance of being funded for a second cycle.


Report of the Finance Committee

Committee chair Kathy Bigham reviewed the resolution for room and board fees. The increase in fees will be used to offset the need for additional full-time Residence Life Coordinators for residence halls as well as the recently announced 12% increase in utilities. The full board will have the opportunity to discuss the resolution at the end of the committee's report.

Ms. Bigham reported was very little change to the Allocation Status Report from the version the Board received in their meeting packets. She reported that the end of year balance was still projected to be positive.

As the President typically reports on the state budget, Chair Bigham said she would defer to his report later in the meeting.

She then gave an update to the major campus facilities projects underway, Carroll Auditorium, the Campus Center and Scholars Walk. Each is currently on track to finish as projected. Additionally, Winthrop has a new five-year contract with the external audit group, Cline Brandt and Kochenower & Company. The choice of this company has been approved by the state auditor's office.

At this point the committee brought forth the resolution for the 2008-09 Auxiliary Student Fees. As it was from the committee, no second was needed. After a brief discussion in which it was noted that we are in the middle range of fees for public institutions in South Carolina, the resolution passed unanimously.


Report of the University Relations Committee

Committee chair Glenda Owens stated that the report from Intercollegiate Athletics was again positive with our student athlete average GPAs are at 3.0 or higher for the fourth year in a row. Our APR reports are as expected and no issues have arisen with eligibility or retention rates among our student athletes. At this time, we have plans for three Big South Tournaments to be held on our campus. The outdoor track, men's and women's tennis, and women's softball will be held at our facilities. Our teams are expected to do well in each of these events.

The report from the Division of University Relations and Enrollment Management highlighted the increase in applications as compared to last year as well as the increase in SAT and GPA scores. At this time, the division is undergoing an analysis of financial aid practices in order to be more responsive to student financial needs. A review of our campus visit was completed earlier in the year and changes to our program are being implemented as needed. The division is looking forward to the upcoming visit from a selection of out of state high school guidance counselors. This is a critical step as we work toward a balanced ratio of out of state students.


The report from the Division of University Development and Alumni Relations advised the committee on the increased number of donors and the increased amount of unrestricted dollars donated to the Winthrop Foundation compared to this time last year.


The report from the Division of Student Life began with the introduction of Amy Sullivan, the new Director of Career Development and Service Learning. Amy was hired to replace Michele Wolf who recently left the university. The committee was pleased with the demonstration of the new Career Development EAGLElink Online Job Search Program. The demonstration helped the committee understand how the program can assist students and alumni to find employment as ell as internships both domestically and abroad. Finally, the committee heard an update on the work of the Critical Incident Management Team as it continues to focus on campus safety and security.


Report from Faculty Representative and Chair of the Faculty Conference

Dr. Cheryl Fortner-Wood gave an update on the work of the Faculty Conference's efforts to reevaluate and redevelop its committee structures as a way to create a more efficient and timely faculty governance structure. She reported good progress being made in the five areas under review. She also noted that this is a particularly busy time of year as most faculty are engaged in finishing semester as they plan and create final exams, grade term papers, and advise students for the upcoming semester.


Report from the Student Representative

In his final report to the Board, Mr. Dustin Evatt introduced the incoming officers of the Council of Student Leaders, Chair-elect Ms. Tatiana Sosa and Vice Chair-elect Ms. Sarah MacDonald. Mr. Evatt continued his report with an update on the efforts of the various committees of the Council. Particularly, the transportation committee is in the process of negotiating special student rates with Carolina Cab Company; the Vision and Growth committee is assisting in the creation of an electronic suggestion box on Wingspan; the Publicity committee is planning future events to publicize the work of the Council; and the Fitness and Wellness committee is working with the staff of the West Center to encourage students to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion, Mr. Evatt thanked the Trustees for the opportunity to serve as the student representative to Board and wished them well as they continue their work for Winthrop University.


Report from the President

President DiGiorgio began his report by thanking Dustin Evatt for his two years of leadership of the Council of Student Leaders as well as his work with the Trustees. He also thanked outgoing Dean Pat Graham and Acting Dean Jennifer Solomon for their service to Winthrop. The president then introduced Ms. Michele Czerwinski as the newest member of the President's Office staff.

Next, the president briefed the trustees on the status of the state budget. He began with state finance committee's effort to revise a budget recommendation that had been recently released. The budget recommendation that will go to the full Senate later this month redirects revenue from a variety of sources across the government, giving it to K-12 without too many additional cuts in higher education's operating funds as compared to the House's version of the budget. Unfortunately, there is no funding marked for a pay raise for state employees in the coming year.

This is a tentative budget recommendation because it possible that revenue estimates could change as the appropriations process moves forward, making it possible for some items that have been cut by the Senate to be restored. The process will continue throughout the remainder of the legislative session, nearly to our next Board meeting and it is difficulty to predict what the outcome will be. As of now, the only new revenue on under discussion is an increase in taxes on cigarettes and this money is not likely to be directed toward higher education.

Given the House version of the budget included approximately 3% reduction in state support for every public college and university including Winthrop. When this reduction is added to the last year's nonrecurring appropriated dollars it means Winthrop faces an overall reduction in state support of close to $2 million dollars.

The president urged caution in interpreting the budgets of the House and Senate committees as the budgets often change prior to the final adoption by the legislature. When we are given our final appropriation amounts, we will use those numbers to calculate the necessary increases in tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. The president reports Winthrop University will continue to move forward with technology upgrades, campus safety and security, and the mission critical record system but that we may not be able to introduce many new programs or fund new initiatives given the expected reduction in state appropriations.


Old Business

There was no old business.


New Business

There was no new business.



Hearing no objections, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 2:55 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2007-08.