Winthrop University Board of Trustees

November 7, 2008
Dunlap-Roddey Room, Johnson Hall
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina


Minutes of Meeting of the Board of Trustees

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

Members absent:  Lee Cox

Representatives present:  Sarah MacDonald, Student Representative; Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent:  None

Others present:  Faculty and staff of Winthrop University; Bobby Rosinki, WRHI; Nicole Smith, The Johnsonian


The Board of Trustees met on Friday, November 11 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 Bigham called the meeting to order at 1 p.m.    


Approval of Board Minutes of June 8, June 9, and September 25, 2007

Dalton Floyd moved, seconded by Bob Thompson that the Board approve the minutes. This motion was approved unanimously as presented by voice vote. 


Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board

Next, Chair Bigham reported that the Executive Committee had met on campus on October 23, 2008.  Several matters were reviewed and discussed. 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 agendas


The Executive Committee asked that the Board consider the following Resolutions.


  1. A Resolution to Endorse the Agency Head Objectives 200809.  The resolution passed unanimously.
  2. A Resolution to Endorse the Vision of Distinction 200809.   The resolution passed unanimously.


Chair Bigham 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.


Report of the Academic Affairs Committee

Sue Smith-Rex reported on the work of the Academic Affairs Committee as Chair Cox was unable to attend today's meeting.  The committee heard from Vice President Tom Moore as he reported on the collaboration with York Technical College to create a smooth transition for transfer student. A combined working group from Winthrop and York Tech continue to meet and make good progress.  Dr. Moore also highlighted the work of the group implementing the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA).  The group's major initiative is to align English, science, and mathematics high school courses with our entry level courses. 

In order to prepare for the upcoming Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS) reaffirmation, a team headed by Dr. Pat Graham and Ms. Karen Jones, has been identified and tasked with preparing a readiness audit.  The audit is expected to be completed in the late spring. 

Following the academic unit updates from each of the Deans, Dr. Yvonne Murnane, Dean of Graduate Studies reported on the latest initiatives from the Graduate Studies and Summer Session programs.


Report of the Finance Committee

Mr. Wade Dawson of Cline, Brandy, Kochenower and Company reviewed the Independent Auditor's report.  The committee discussed ways in which they could become better versed in the auditing of the University and in general auditing responsibilities. Mr. Dawson agreed to provide information on possible webinars or other ways in which the Board could learn about auditor responsibilities and auditing principles.

The next reviewed the 2008-09 Allocation Status Report noting the upcoming $3.4 million adjustment to the state appropriations. 

The committee discussed the resolution to adopt a $50 partial state appropriation reduction adjustment for the Spring 2009 semester to be presented to the full Board for consideration at the meeting later today.

Mr. Dalton Floyd challenged each Trustee to make a donation of $1,000 toward an emergency fund to be used to assist students in dire need of financial help.  He also challenged the members of the other Winthrop Boards (Foundation, Real Estate, etc.) to donate to the emergency fund.


Report of the University Relations Committee

Intercollegiate Athletics:  Athletic Director Tom Hickman reported on recent changes in travel polices for NCAA sponsored travel.  In addition to changes in travel, changes in length of the men's baseball season are being considered.  Internally, our Athletics department is working a reporting process to allow on-line submission of academic progress reports for our student-athletes. 

The Athletics website has been has been enhanced to include a video tour of the athletic facilities, a photo store link, RSS feeds, and the ability to buy tickets online.

University Advancement and Enrollment Management:  Vice President Kathryn Holten reviewed the Divisional Objectives for Advancement and Enrollment Management.  The final new freshmen total for this fall is 1075 students with a 22 point increase in average SAT scores to 1075.  Out of state freshmen enrollment increased to 193 and transfer student enrollment increased to 329. 

Applications for Fall 2009 continue to be on the rise.  Significant changes to the campus visit experience have been made and we expect applications and enrollments to continue their upward trend.

University Development and Alumni Relations:  Vice President Brien Lewis reviewed the Divisional Objectives as well as highlighting the feasibility plan for a future capital campaign. Plans are underway to access the financial landscape and provide feedback on the likelihood of success of a campaign. Currently, our regular fundraising is ahead of schedule.

Student Life:  Vice President Frank Ardaiolo reviewed his Divisional Objectives as well as a review of the efforts to include academic pre-advising into residence hall programming.  The Center for Career Development and Internships continues to expand EAGLElink to include listings for part-time jobs, internships, and full time professional opportunities. 

The group was briefed on the new wellness initiatives being delivered to the students, faculty, and staff.


Report from the Chair of Faculty Conference and Faculty Representative to the Board

Dr. Cheryl Fortner-Wood reported on the recent actions of the Faculty Conference.  The Governance Review Committee is continuing to solicit feedback in preparing its recommendations for changes in the governance structure.  The faculty are excited about the new calendar changes specifically the increase in the number of 75 minute classes. 

Addressing the challenging financial situation being faced by the University, Dr. Fortner-Wood said she "would rather not be in this situation but if we have to, I'd rather be in it here."


Report from the Chair of the Council of Student Leaders and Student Representative to the Board

Sarah MacDonald, Vice Chair of the Council of Student Leaders, presented in place of the Chair Tatiana Sosa who could not attend today's meeting.  Sarah reported on the Council's retreat of September when they focused on team building and creating fluid boundaries between committees.  Names Behind the Numbers, an ad hoc group created in response to possible tuition increases was discussed.  Sarah reported students were concerned about how they would pay high tuition increases and urged the Trustees to take students into account when deciding future tuition increases.


Report from the President

President DiGiorgio began his report by welcoming our two newest Deans, Dr. Jennie Rakestraw, Dean of the Richard Riley College of Education and Dr. Yvonne Murnane, Dean of Graduate Studies. 

The president proceeded to put the current budget issues into context for the University.  Higher Education has become a fee for service business as 85% of our budget comes from non-public sources.  Only about 15% of our budget comes from the state appropriations.  If Winthrop adopted that thinking and passed on the pending budget cuts to our students it would result in our students paying an additional $791 in the Spring semester.  Clearly, we will not do that.  Instead, we are imposing a modest $50 supplemental fee and will look internally for ways to manage the rescission without compromising our educational tenets.  

While changes in our state funding  has required us to re-examine every aspect of our spending plan, we will continue to approach this situation with both the short-term and long-term interests of Winthrop in mind, and three previously established specific goals as our guiding priorities:

  • Protect the quality of our students' academic and personal development experiences at Winthrop
  • Continue to invest in safety and security of the campus community
  • Continuing to recruit a high-achieving student body.

The president urged the Board to keep in mind that the Bureau of Economic Advisors would be releasing in January new estimates of sales tax revenues from the holiday shopping season.  If those revenues are down, it is most likely to result in additional rescissions.  If this is the case, Winthrop must look at the option of additional furlough days (beyond the five currently mandated) as a way of closing the gap in funding.  In any event, 2008-09  tuition will not be increased beyond today's action. 


Old Business

There was no old business


New Business

There was no new business.



Dalton Floyd moved, seconded by Frances Davenport, that the Board adjourn.  The motion was passed unanimously by voice vote and the Board adjourned at  3:15 p.m.


Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board for 2008-09.