Minutes of the of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gold Room, DiGiorgio Campus Center

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 (via teleconference), Randy Imler, Donna Glenn Holley, Scott Middleton, Ashlye Wilkerson, Julie Fowler, 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; Andrew Kiel, WRHI; Alison Rauch, CN2; representatives of WSOC, WBTV, Fox Charlotte; members of Winthrop faculty and staff;

The Board of Trustees held a special called meeting on Friday, March 13, 2015, in the Gold Room of the DiGiorgio Campus Center on Winthrop University's campus.

Public Comment
There were no requests for public comment.

Call to Order
Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. She welcomed all present and thanked the media for attending. She then thanked Dr. John Bird for his wisdom, guidance, and leadership during the president search process, the Board of Trustees and Kimberly Faust for the many hours of time they devoted to the search, Bill Funk for his assistance in identifying candidates, and Debra Boyd and the senior administrators for keeping the university on task during the search. Ms. Bigham also thanked the community and business leaders, our local legislators, and the President Search Advisory Committee for their additional assistance in interviewing candidates and providing feedback. Ms. Bigham stated the willingness of all to engage in the search process truly made a difference.

Executive Session
Don Long motioned to move into executive session for the purpose of personnel matters related to the selection of the 11th president of Winthrop University with an announcement that they would return to public session no earlier that 2 p.m. for an expected report and action regarding the selection of the next president of Winthrop University. Ashlye Wilkerson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Return to Public Session/Vote for the 11th president of Winthrop University
The Board resumed public session at 2:00 p.m. Karl Folkens moved, pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws, S 59-125-90, that the Board appoint Dr. Daniel F. Mahony, current dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services at Kent State University, to be the 11th president of Winthrop University, subject to finalizing acceptable contract terms with Dr. Mahony, and further that the Board Chair be authorized to execute an employment contract embodying those agreed upon contract terms. Sue Smith Rex seconded the motion.

Kathy Bigham stated her support of Dr. Mahony was related to his accounting background gives him a business-like management approach that is important to this Board in terms of institutional accountability and effectiveness; his academic discipline emphasizes team-building to fulfill organizational responsibilities; his research background and administrative experience give him analytical abilities attuned to academic quality and successful outcomes for our students; his personality and demeanor inspire confidence across disciplines and will earn trust and respect on campus and beyond. Further, Dr. Mahony's judgment and temperament match trustees' expectations of a Winthrop president and Dr. Mahony's values align with the deep sense of shared purpose felt by those of us who have chosen Winthrop as our campus and our cause. For all those reasons, she stated that she believed Dr. Dan Mahony is the best choice to lead Winthrop into the future.

Karl Folkens stated that today's vote marks the end of an unprecedented search. Each time the Board met Dr. Mahony, they had a chance to learn more about him. Mr. Folkens continued that Dr. Mahony is committed to increasing enrollment, raising campus morale, fundraising, friend-raising, and to building strong town-gown relationships. He concluded that Dr. Mahony is, by far, the best fit for Winthrop University.

John Bird indicated his job as faculty representative to the Board is to give input on behalf of the faculty. In this case, he believes faculty to be uniformly impressed and overwhelmingly supportive of the Board's choice of Dr. Mahony as our next president. The faculty and staff feel very confident about the future under the direction of Dr. Mahony.

Chair Bigham called for the vote. It was unanimous in favor of appointing Dr. Mahony as the 11th president of Winthrop University.

At the conclusion of the vote, Dr. Mahony was called via teleconference. Chair Bigham informed him of the vote and asked if he would accept the offer. He confirmed he would accept the offer to be the 11th president of Winthrop University.


Donna Glenn Holley motioned to adjourn the meeting. Julie Fowler seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Kimberly Faust, Secretary to the Board