Minutes of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Friday, October 3, 2014

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC


Members present: Kathy Bigham, Karl Folkens, Glenn McCall, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Janet Smalley, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Tim Sease, Randy Imler, Donna Glenn Holley, Scott Middleton, Ashlye Wilkerson, Cindy Van Buren, Scott Talley, Debra Boyd (ex officio).

Members absent: None

Representatives present: Ian Deas, Student Representative; John Bird, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None

Others present: Anna Douglas, The Herald; Adarrell Gadsden, The Johnsonian; Mikala DuBarr, Andrew Kiel, WRHI; members of Winthrop faculty and staff; Mr. Mike Fortune, Mrs. Judith Fortune, Mr. Richard Davis

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, October 3, 2014, on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Public Comment

Mr. Mike Fortune and Mr. Richard Davis were granted the opportunity to address the Board with a request to rename Tillman Administration Building due to comments of a racist nature made in the early 1900s by former South Carolina Governor Benjamin Tillman.

Call to Order
Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 1:09 p.m. She welcomed all present.

Approval of Minutes
Tim Sease moved to accept the minutes from the meetings of August 26, 2014, and September 17, 2014. Jane LaRoche seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the minutes as submitted.

Randy Imler moved with a second from Tim Sease that the Board meet in executive session for discussion related to proposed contractual arrangements with the presidential search consultant and the receipt of legal advice pertaining to former and current employees. The vote was unanimous. Kimberly Faust, Debra Boyd, John Bird, and Ian Deas were invited to remain for the executive session. Janet Smalley moved the Board end executive session; Jane LaRoche seconded. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. No actions were taken in executive session.

Report of the Executive Committee and Board Chair
Chair Kathy Bigham announced the decision to appoint Dr. John Bird as the presidential search committee co-chair. Although an unusual option, the Executive Committee felt the choice of Dr. Bird would ensure strong faculty and staff representation on the search committee. The remaining members of the search committee will be named in the next few days along with the announcement of a search consultant.

Report of the Committee on Academic Quality
Honorary Degree Policy--Committee Chair Sue Rex brought forth a resolution to approve the new Honorary Degree Policy. The policy sets forth the criteria for awarding an honorary degree, describes the nomination process, creates and specifies the Honorary Degree Review Committee consisting of the Chief Academic Officer, Chief Faculty Marshal, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, Executive Director of the Winthrop University Alumni Association, and the Chief of Staff. Upon recommendation of candidates for the degree, the president of Winthrop University will review and rank order the candidates to be presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval. As the resolution was from a standing committee, no second was needed. The vote was unanimous in favor of the resolution.

SACS Update--Karen Jones and Meg Webber briefed the committee on the status of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) report due in March 2017. It requires updates on a number of indicators including our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Our QEP is the Global Learning Initiative (GLI). Learning outcomes for the GLI are focused on global understanding, global attitudes, and global engagement. GLI activities span the campus including individual class teaching, choice of common books, study aboard programs and a variety of other activities.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)The Committee discussed the use of KPIs by focusing on recent trends in student retention. Our freshman to sophomore retention rate increased from 72% last year to 76.9% this year.

General Education UpdateWith Board approval in Spring 2014, the minimum number of hours required for an undergraduate degree at Winthrop dropped to 120 hours. The change was made in order to shorten the time to degree completion. This has necessitated a realignment of required classes in the majors and programs of study. All programs, with some specific exemptions, must now also require 1 credit hour of physical activity. The Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum is reviewing all proposed changes.

Report of the Committee on Compensation
Committee Chair Janet Smalley began her report on the first meeting of the newly formed Committee on Compensation by thanking Lisa Cowart, Associate Vice President for Human Resources for providing an array of supporting materials needed by the committee to understand their role within SACS accreditation requirements and to begin a collaborative and meaningful conversation. Future work of the committee will be to create a mission statement and scope of responsibilities to ensure compliance.

Higher Education Efficiency and Administrative Policies Act (HEEAPA)--Lisa Cowart provided an overview for the committee members. She gave the history of the Act and its purpose of providing more delegated authority to higher education institutions for compensation decisions. She also reported on Winthrop's new compensation policies for classified and for unclassified/academic personnel, employee types, and clarified the differences between the policies.

University salary studyPresident Boyd expects to name a committee in the next few weeks that will be tasked with working on this initiative.

Report of the Committee on Enrollment and Retention

Committee Chair Karl Folkens reported on the first meeting of the new committee. The meeting began with a presentation by Rob Dellibovi, Admissions Counselor, illustrating what prospective students and families experience when they visit campus. Josh Bistromowitz discussed the duties of the counseling staff and their territories.

Mr. Eduardo Prieto, Vice President for Access & Enrollment Management, presented updated information on the Fall 2014 admissions funnel, data from the Student Clearinghouse, and new marketing initiatives. Also discussed was information on the new and revised scholarship opportunities including the new Blue Line scholarship aimed toward middle-income families, a revised Winthrop Fellow scholarship, and a new scholarship for Boy's State and Girl's State participants.

Discussion of trustee engagement with recruitment and retention was postponed until the November 21, 2014, meeting.

At the presentation, each of the committee members was given a Winthrop drawstring gym sack identical to the ones prospective students receive when visiting campus. Additional sacks have been also been provided to the full Board.

Report of the Committee on Finance
Committee Chair Glenn McCall began his report by thanking President Boyd for taking the initiative to institute a salary study committee to begin the long-term process of salary adjustments. The committee reviewed the budget to date and feels it is on target. Some changes in the budget are due to the state mandated 2% pay raises, fringe benefits increases, and the 10% non-operating budget freeze issued by President Boyd. The 2% pay raise had a total cost to Winthrop of $1.1M in salary increases plus $500,000 for benefits. The amount provided by the State to offset costs only totaled $476,706.

Report on Construction Projects for 2014-2015Mr. Walter Hardin reported on a number of projects including the INDES studio and classrooms and a television editing lab and classroom for Mass Communication. While partial roof improvements and repairs to Withers have been done, we have also have commissioned the design for the permanent roof replacement on Withers in a phased approach so work can proceed as funding is available.

Report of the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development
Chair Tim Hopkins began his report by acknowledging new hire, Mr. Ken Sheetz, in the Development Office. The current fundraising campaign now totals over $44 million which is approximately $5.5 million short of the initial target amount. In order to finish the campaign, staff are focused on raising scholarship dollars under the theme of Winthrop Stands.

Alumni Relationswith the resignation of Dr. Debbie Garrick, Mr. Ryan Sheehan is interim director of Alumni Relations. Based on consultation with a number of constituency groups, a new position description/vacancy announcement is planned for publication in November with a start date of early Spring 2015.

Foundation--currently, the Winthrop Foundation has 773 named funds 80% of them being restricted in nature. Of those funds, 8% are focused on and available for need-based aid. Due to operational efficiencies, the Foundation was able to allocate an additional $170,000 in need-based aid.

University Relationsthe committee was briefed on the materials prepared for the upcoming 50th anniversary of integration at Winthrop.

Report of the Committee on Student Life and Athletics

Chair Scott Talley began his report by reviewing the information related to governance restructuring in NCAA Division I sports programs and its possible impact on Winthrop's sports programs. The changes are being led by the "group of five" conferences and include changes to athletic scholarships, redefining rules on use of governing agents and advisors to assist student-athletes with career planning, and providing funding for athletes to complete their undergraduate education if they choose to return to school at a later point in time.

Changing issues involving studentsthe committee heard a follow up report to an earlier discussion on the interplay of the judicial system, campus police, and our student needs. Dr. Frank Ardaiolo reported on at-risk students, the definitions of the at-risk behaviors, and how our Student Life staff copes with the behaviors as well as how they work to mitigate the outcomes of those behaviors.

Report of the Chair of Faculty Conference and Faculty Representative to the Board
Dr. John Bird reported on the work of the Academic Council as it studies potential changes in the general education requirement in light of the reduced number of hours needed for graduation and the reduction's impact on requirements for the majors at Winthrop. The Council is working on how to reduce overall hour requirements of general education, lessening roadblocks to graduation, removing difficulties in transferring credits, and easing the way for students to change majors.

Faculty remain interested in a salary study and are supportive of President Boyd's plans to create a comparative salary study committee to investigate salary issues on campus.

Dr. Bird invited Trustees to attend the next Faculty Conference meeting to be held on Friday, October 10.

Report from the Chair of Council of Student Leaders and Student Representative to the Board
Mr. Ian Deas began his report on the work of the Council of Student with the news that nine new members (six are freshmen) were elected to the Council. The voter education drive is underway with a focus on how to obtain absentee ballots and how to use voting machines. The Council has also introduced a new "fast facts" feature in the Johnsonian newspaper, held a town hall, created a comment box in the campus center, and has allocated a total of $1,775 of funding to student organizations with $27,153 remaining for the academic year.

Report from the President
President Boyd discussed the fiscal year 2013-14 accountability report with the Trustees. She explained that Winthrop will use this document as a template to structure activities in every division of the university. Everything we do will be focused on this document. For example, it will guide the development of our legislative budget request and our budget request to the Governor. This has not always been the case in the past, but Winthrop will adopt this model moving forward. It will be a good way to hold ourselves accountable while others hold us accountable.

The four guiding principles in the accountability report are: (a) Promote access and degree attainment for an increasing number of students; (b) Continually enhance the quality of the Winthrop experience for all students; (c) Enhance the work environment for faculty and staff; (d) Forge new and solidify existing government, organizational, and business partnerships that create mutual benefit.

Ashlye Wilkerson moved to adjourn the meeting with a second from Tim Sease. The vote was unanimous. The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board