Minutes of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

January 29-30, 2016


Members present: Kathy Bigham, Karl Folkens, Glenn McCall, Jane LaRoche, Susan Smith-Rex, Janet Smalley, Tim Hopkins, Don Long, Randy Imler, Donna Glenn Holley, Ashlye Wilkerson, Tim Sease, and Dan Mahony (ex officio).

Members absent: Scott Talley, Julie Fowler

Representatives present: Ray McKetty, Student Representative; John Bird, Faculty Representative

Representatives absent: None

Others present: Carolyn Rennix, The Johnsonian; members of Winthrop faculty and staff

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, January 29 and 30, 2016 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.


Public Comment

There were no requests for public comment.


Call to Order

Chair Bigham called the meeting to order at 2:09 p.m. She welcomed all present.


Approval of Minutes

Don Long moved to accept the minutes from the meetings of October 16, 2015. Glenn McCall seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the minutes as submitted.


Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board
Chair Bigham reported on the Executive Committee's meeting in December 2015. Per the duties of the Executive Committee as described in the bylaws, the Executive Committee met to perform an informal personnel evaluation of President Mahony. As the evaluation is a personnel matter, details will be shared later in the meeting during the Executive Session but the general outcome of the evaluation is satisfactory.


Report from the Committee on Finance
On behalf of the Committee, Mr. McCall brought forth the Resolution to Refund/Refinance Higher Education Bonds. The issuance of new bonds is for paying off interest in previous old bonds resulting in approximately $80,000 a year savings in payments for principal and interest over current rates. The total estimated savings over the life of the bonds is estimated at $1.2 million.

As the resolution was from a Committee, no second was needed. Chair Bigham called for the vote. The resolution passed unanimously.


Report from the President

President Mahony reported on the proposed roles and duties of the Board committees. In order to ensure the Board has oversight of the University's long-term planning while being aware of intermediate steps, it is important to codify the roles and roles and responsibilities of the Board's committees. The suggested duties were developed based on the roles and responsibilities performed by public university Boards. The goal is to streamline the responsibilities of the Committees yet at the same time give a greater focus to the critical duties they perform.


Executive Session

Donna Glenn Holley moved with a second from Janet Smalley that the Board meet in executive session for the purposes of discussion of employment and compensation matters involving certain current university employees and contractual matters related to the possible sale of University property. The vote was unanimous. Kimberly Faust, John Bird, and Ray McKetty were invited to remain for the executive session. Tim Hopkins moved the Board end executive session, Sue Rex seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. No actions were taken in executive session.



Chair Bigham recessed the meeting with plans to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016

The meeting resumed at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2016 with Chair Kathy Bigham presiding. As the first order of business, the Trustees discussed the following questions.

  1. What makes Winthrop University distinct?
  2. If you had one word to describe Winthrop University, what would it be?
  3. What do you consider to be Winthrop's strengths?
  4. How can we best capitalize on those strengths?
  5. What, in your opinion, are the key challenges facing Winthrop over the next five years?
  6. What key areas should we prioritize for improvement over the next ten years?

President Mahony then gave an update on the strategic planning process that faculty and staff have used to help identify the priorities moving forward and how best to allocate resources in order to achieve them. The Strategic Planning Committee and the six working groups are now creating their reports. Those reports in addition to the feedback from the academic department meetings, the online surveys, and the staff meetings to be held in the next few weeks, will be used by the Strategic Planning Committee.

The remainder of the retreat was spent in discussing immediate as well as longer term challenges facing the University and the Board's role in meeting those challenges.



Don Long moved to adjourn the meeting with a second from Karl Folkens. The vote was unanimous. The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

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