Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Monday, August 23, 2021
Virtual meeting originating in the Thomson Conference Room, Tillman Building
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC


Members present: Kathy Bigham, Ed Driggers, Julie Fowler, John Brazell, Tim Hopkins, Randy Imler, Dr. Jane LaRoche, Glenn McCall, Tim Sease, Robby Sisco, Janet Smalley, Sandra Stroman, Isaiah Venning, Ashlye Wilkerson, Gary Williams, President Hynd (ex-officio)

Members absent: None

Others present: Justin Oates, James Grigg, Adrienne McCormick, Jeff Bellantoni, Kaetrena Kendrick, Takita Sumter, and Kimberly Faust


The Board of Trustees met on Monday, August 23, 2021 via virtual meeting with the meeting originating in Thompson Conference Room in Tillman Building


Call to Order

Chair McCall called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. in the Thomson Conference Room, Tillman Hall. He welcomed all present. Glenn McCall delivered an invocation.


Approval of Minutes

Gary Williams made a motion to accept the minutes of the following five meetings, June 25, 2021, July 12, 2021, August 10, 2021 (9:00 a.m.), August 10, 2021 (5:00 p.m.), and August 16, 2021 as written. Robby Sisco seconded the motion.


Executive Session

Ashlye Wilkerson moved with a second from John Brazell to move into executive session pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) for the purpose a discussion of proposed contractual arrangements. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. Kimberly Faust was invited to remain for portions of the executive session.

Tim Hopkins moved with a second from Sandra Stroman to end the executive session with no report. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.


Report from the Executive Committee

On behalf of the Executive Committee, Chair McCall brought forth a resolution to accept the Interim President Hynd’s Agency Head Goals for AY 2021-22. The goals include the following items: (1) Development of a mission statement that clearly and concisely supports the vision of the university and serves to communicate purpose and direction to students, employees, alumni, community members, and other stakeholders, (2) Use the analysis of the Strategic Plan to reset the metric targets to appropriate levels and determine if new and better metrics are needed to measure success, (3) Complete an Academic Master Plan for program refresh, development, and/or elimination as well as complete the SACSCOC reaffirmation report, (4) Complete the previously started comprehensive job classification and employee compensation study, and identify and budget financial resources to begin to address compensation issues, (5) Creation of a Facilities Master Plan through a constituent-driven planning process, and (6) All divisional budgets will achieve budget reduction targets.

As this resolution was from a standing committee, no second was needed. Chair McCall called for the vote. It was unanimous in favor of the resolution.


Report from the Committee on Finance

Chair Sease began his report with thanks to former committee chair, Dr. Randy Imler. Dr. Imler has worked closely with the finance staff over the past few years to realign and redesign budgets, budget reporting, and forecasting.

VP of Finance and Business, Mr. Justin Oates, gave a summary of the financial situation of the university. Total operating revenues ended the fiscal year down $6M, just under 5% below FY2020 revenue. Specifically, tuition and fees were down 1.9% or $1.5M, auxiliary revenues were down 24.9% or $3.8M, and other fees/revenues were down $700K.

Due to the influx $12.2 M of federal and state COVID-19 funds, unrestricted net position increased to $37.1M. HEERF totaled $9.2M and SC CARES brought in $3M in reimbursements for expenses incurred as the university responded to the pandemic.

Mr. Oates stated that $7.4M of the $37.1M in the unrestricted net position is committed to specific uses including $4.2M is investments in campus infrastructure and classroom technology, therefore the true available balance of net position is $29.7M.

The $12.2 M of COVID-19 funds, will be used to invest in COVID-19 mitigation, classroom technology, and creation of a funding backstop to help us prepare for FY2022 if enrollment continues to suffer in future semesters.

Other planned uses of the net position include spending of prior year commitments (capital infrastructure, FY2021 rollover dollars for the Campus Master Plan, course fees, division-approved FY2021 unspent dollars, and classroom/technology upgrades), as well as a $1M deficit in other revenue funds which includes Athletics, bad debt, and vacation accrual funds.

Mr. Oates continued his report with an update on fall enrollment numbers. Undergraduate enrollment will be significantly down this fall, by as much as 10%. Total enrollment will be down around 4.8%, and total degree-seeking students are projected to decrease 8.8% for fall 2021, equaling 4,751 total degree-seeking students (3,740 undergraduate and 1,011 graduate).

Based on fall enrollments, total operating revenues are projected to decrease 3.6% or $4.2M in FY2022 as compared to FY2021. Revenues are dropping faster than we can drop expenses.

Compared to FY2021, tuition and fees are projected to be down 9.7% or $8M, auxiliary revenues are projected to increase 14.1% or $1.8M, and other revenues are projected to be up $2.5M driven by $1.9M in additional state recurring allocations.

At the same time as our revenues are projected to decrease, our total operating expenses are projected to increase 2.0% or $2.3M. This is due to state-mandated expense increases such as the state pension increases and the 2.5% employee raises. Conversely, we have been given $19M in one-time state appropriations funding directed toward capital improvements and infrastructure upgrades.

Our FY2022 budget planning has been focused on beginning a two- to three‐year process to reduce expenses to better match current annual operating revenue expectations. We will continue, in the near term, to rely on vacancies for some of our revenue. The last four years we have achieved $3-$4M in annual vacancies to balance the budget. We must be aggressive in addressing expenses for FY2023 and beyond, including overcutting our budget in order to continue to invest in new programs and technology.

Based on the above information, Chair Sease brought forth a resolution on behalf of the Committee on Finance to accept the Fiscal Year 2021-22 operating budget. As no second was needed, Chair McCall called for the vote. The vote was unanimous in favor of the resolution.

Update and presentation on Knowledge Park

President Hynd welcomed Dr. Skip Tuttle and Mr. Jerry Passaro and invited them to give a progress update on work underway in University Center. Within Knowledge Park and adjacent to Winthrop, is University Center, a mixed use development of 14 buildings that include: market rate apartments, student housing, Class A office space, the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center, a hotel, numerous retail and food vendors, restaurants, an outdoor entertainment venue, and more.

The Rock Hill Sports & Event Center hosts city athletic programs, sports tournaments, conferences/conventions, concerts, and other special events. The ±170,000 square foot Rock Hill Sports & Event Center features a ±12,500 square foot Championship Court with ±1,200 stadium seats, a ±72,000 square foot Main Court with 700 permanent seats, 8 basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, and a walking track, as well as state-of-the-art equipment, concession stands, locker rooms, and a parent/team room.

The Nest Student Housing provides 305 beds and is currently 100% leased for the fall semester. Winthrop campus police have agreed to provide escort service from the parking areas to the apartments until the new parking garage is completed. Students seem to be highly receptive to the new apartments although the price point is higher than nearby competitors.

Presently, Winthrop has a two year residency requirement for freshmen and sophomores. At this time, there is no interest in eliminating the requirement.



Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

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