Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Thursday, August 25, 2022 | 5:00 p.m.
Virtual Originating in Thompson Conference Room | Tillman Building
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC


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

Members Absent:

Others Present: Justin Oates, Kimberly Faust, Chase Duncan of The Johnsonian


The Board of Trustees met on Thursday, August 25, 2022, on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.


Call to Order

Chair McCall, called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. He welcomed all present both in person and online. On behalf of the Board, he welcomed Dr. Edward Serna to his first meeting as president of Winthrop University. Chair McCall stated the Board is excited for the future under President Serna’s leadership.


Approval of Board Minutes of June 24, 2021

Sandra Stroman made a motion to accept the minutes of the June 24, 2022 minutes as written. Tim Hopkins seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.


Executive Session--pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) and (2) for the purposes of discussion of employment matters and contractual items related to Winthrop University

Robby Sisco moved with a second from Randy Imler to move into executive session pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) and (2) for the purpose of discussions of personnel issues and legal matters. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Justin Oates and Kimberly Faust was invited to remain for the executive session

Janet Smalley moved with a second from Ashlye Wilkerson to end executive session with no action. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.


University Update

President Serna began his report by thanking the Board for the clear directives included in the Agency Head Planning document. He has already shared the basic objectives with faculty and staff at the welcome address last week. He stated he will continue to use this document as the university’s touchstone in building this year’s work plans.

Student move-in to the residence halls had a few glitches with some mildew and repair issues by overall a good experience for the campus. He noted a special thanks to Trustee Janet Smalley who volunteered to help the students move into the residence halls.

Moving forward, we will continue to address WiFi on campus by making steady progress. Other campus repairs are continuing but delays in material shipments are interfering with our progress.

Convocation returned back to main campus and included community members in the spirit of the original blue line. It was a good turnout with many churches and nonprofit groups on campus.

As a way to better connect with students, Student office hours are being scheduled once month for students to make an appointment to visit the President’s Office and speak with the president. Additionally, AMA—Ask Me Anything—will occur once a month when the president will be available in the lobby of the campus center for students to stop by and chat or ask a question.

Fridays are now being designated as Garnet & Gold Fridays when faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to wear Winthrop colors and/or Winthrop gear. This idea will be rolled out to alumni with a request for them to send us photos of their Garnet & Gold Fridays at their jobs, events, etc. The president encouraged Trustees to do the same.

The president ended his update by cautioning the Trustees not to be surprised when they receive this year’s parking hangtag. The teal color does not mean we’re Coastal Carolina fans but rather we must rotate colors so that campus police can immediately identify current tags.


Action Items

Resolution Regarding 2022-2023 Agency Head Goals for President Edward A. Serna

The Executive Committee of the Board met earlier today to endorse the Agency Head Goals for AY 2022-23 and recommend them to the full Board for a vote. Chair McCall thanked Randy Imler and Julie Fowler for their good work in goal setting and the development of a leadership agenda as part of the president search process. Those goals and leadership agenda items were incorporated into the Agency Head Planning document.

As this motion was from a standing committee, it did not need a second. Chair McCall called for the vote. It was unanimous in favor of the motion. The document will be submitted to the Agency Head Salary Commission as required.


MOUs and Contracts for Approval

David McDonald made a motion to accept the five contracts submitted for approval. Sandra Stroman seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. The five contracts approved were Better World Books, the WISE project, Blackboard LMS, Wiley online, and a strategic planning consultant to be procured later this semester.

Chair McCall explained that the Finance committee would be meeting in the next few weeks to review the fiscal year budget. After their review, the Board will convene to vote on the budget.

Robby Sisco asked that the university pay close attention to the communication strategy and to be proactive about any messaging regarding the impact of the budget.



Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at 5:52 p.m.


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