Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 | 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting Originating in Thompson Conference Room | Tillman Building
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC


Members Present: Kathy Bigham, John Brazell, Ed Driggers, Julie Fowler, Tim Hopkins, Jane LaRoche, Randy Imler, Glenn McCall, Robby Sisco, Tim Sease, Janet Smalley, Sandra Stroman , Isaiah Venning, Ashlye Wilkerson, and Gary Williams

Members Absent:

Others Present: Joe Miller, Katie Price, Amanda James, Ellen Wilder-Byrd, and Kimberly Faust


The Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.


Call to Order

Chair Glenn McCall called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. He welcomed all present.


Receive Plan Regarding Use of Designated Marketing and Enrollment Funds

Vice President Joe Miller presented an update on the use of the designated marketing and enrollment funds as designated by the Board of Trustees. Mr. Miller began his report by commenting on the annual cycle for student recruitment. That cycle begins many months (or years) prior to the beginning of a student’s Junior or Senior year of high school. Early engagement initiatives focus on driving campus visits, leading up to the open date of the application for admission (usually opening during the summer months between the junior and senior years of H.S.). The traditional high school senior admission cycle is divided into four quarters, following the academic calendar, with activity that defines the drivers for each quarter (building on activity from each previous quarter).

  1. Quarter 1 (Sept. – Nov.) – Application generation, Fall Travel & College Fairs, Admissions Events, Campus Visits and early release of admission offers
  2. Quarter 2 (Dec. – Feb.) – Financial Aid package release, subsequent admission release dates, early yield engagement, faculty collaboration, and emphasis on evaluating leading indicators
  3. Quarter 3 (Mar. – May) – YIELD SEASON: Enrollment Deposits, Admitted Student events, Spring Travel, High School graduation and honors programs
  4. Quarter 4 (June – August) – Final Enrollment decisions, New Student Orientation, and Student Move-in

Winthrop’s proposal for use of the designated funds is formatted into a three phase plan.

Phase 1 – Items for immediate action (executed now – February 2022) that will focus on general applications for Fall 2022 enrollment. Specifically, the use of multi-channel tactics similar to Columbia campaign replicated in some other priority markets (outdoor, postcard, digital) in primary and secondary markets in Columbia, Rock Hill/Charlotte, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Charleston; a six-week, multi-media campaign (print, digital, social, video) targeted to new name buys through Encoura and Niche in primary and secondary markets; and videography that emphasizes academic excellence and outstanding outcomes with tie-in to 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Phase 2 – Items for strategies in Quarters 2 & 3 (executed February – May 2022) that will focus on yield of the Fall 2022 enrollment. Specifically, the implementation of marketing with messaging informed by results of the Carnegie Dartlet University Personality study; high-touch yield piece (College Survival Kit/Box) targeted for student yield; a Winthrop Teacher Campaign (partnership with Alumni Office and College of Education) to send Winthrop pennants/posters to display in the classrooms of Winthrop Alumni who teach in public/private high schools.

Phase 3 – Items for strategies in Quarter 4 and early engagement for Fall 23, 24, and 25 with a focus on yield for Fall 2022 and application generation for Fall 2023. Specifically, to pay for Search Engine Optimization (e.g. Brightedge, etc.); to use current Winthrop University students for user-generated content to curate for video production; and expanded strategies that will complement our heavy recruitment season/counselor travel/other recruitment strategies

The multi-phase strategy outlined today is aligned with adjustments in the recruitment cycle designed to deliver the greatest impact throughout the year. Likewise, since these discretionary funds are non-recurring, emphasis has not been placed on strategies that require a recurring investment.

The marketing team requested ability to encumber or sequester the funds in such a way (beyond this fiscal year) that will allow the university to draw down funds as needed as work advances through each of these strategies. In addition to the proposal above, the Office of Admission is currently reviewing all existing service contracts with vendors to evaluate their scope of work for performance effectiveness. Already, this process has identified two existing contracts that the Office of Admission is working with Caroline Overcash to cancel, pending legal review. The intention is to reallocate these investments with new vendors who are congruent with the proposal and strategy outlined in this proposal.



Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at 5:16 p.m.