Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | 5:00 pm
Virtual Call 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, Tim Sease, Robby Sisco, Janet Smalley, Sandra Stroman, Isaiah Venning, Ashlye Wilkerson, and Gary Williams

Members Absent:  Robby Sisco, Sandra Stroman

Others Present:  James Grigg, Jennifer Jordan, Justin Oates, Jeremy Whitaker, Kimberly Faust, David Ibragimov of the Johnsonian.


The Board of Trustees met on September 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm, on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order 

Chair McCall, called the meeting to order at 5:01 pm. He welcomed all present both in person and online and gave an invocation.

Resolution Regarding 2022-2023 Operating Budget

The Board decided to wait until September to approve the operating budget for this fiscal year in order to have the latest enrollment numbers.  The other options were to pass a continuing resolution using last year’s budget or to pass a budget earlier in the summer and then amend it.  The decision was made in consultation with the Finance Committee.  

The Board of Trustees at Winthrop University examined the tuition and fee structure at Winthrop University and adopted, on June 24, 2022, the recommendations provided by the Finance Committee incorporating no increase in undergraduate tuition for the third consecutive year.  

The Finance Committee has now examined the projected revenues and projected commitments based on the adopted tuition and fee schedule, current student enrollments for 2022-23 and the state mandated 1% pension increase, 3% salary increase, and $1,500 bonus for eligible employees.  The recommended operating budget totals $115M in annual revenues while expenses and net transfers total $123M, equaling an $8M deficit. Justin Oates noted that approximately $5M of the $8M deficit are planned investments in classrooms and technology ($2.9M), grounds ($750K), auxiliary projects ($500K), and marketing funds ($300K) that we have budgeted for through savings in past years. The remaining $3M deficit is an approved use of net position by the Board of Trustees to cover annual operating costs and FY21 rollovers.

After a second year of significant enrollment declines, the president stated that we must look to new strategies to address Winthrop’s loss of market share and the increased cost of doing business.  He thanked the Board for their support and fiscal oversight that gave Winthrop the ability to handle an $8M deficit.

Conversation about the budget included questions about how many employee positions will need to be unfilled in order to meet this budget and what services may have to be eliminated.  

As this recommendation is coming from a committee and no second is needed, Chair McCall called the vote.  It was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Contract Approvals

The following contracts were presented for approval: Watermark Student Learning & Licensure, a student learning and licensure renewal for the College of Education at a cost of $182,367 for five years; Janitorial Services to support the residence halls and our internal staff will switch to support the academic and administrative buildings at a cost of $461,160 for five years; Grounds Maintenance  Primarily related to our landscape maintenance program which includes mowing, edging and trimming, debris removal, and insect disease & weed control at a cost of $710,040 for five years.

Kathy Bigham moved to accept the contracts as presented.  Gary Williams seconded the motion.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the resolution.


Resolution Regarding Revised Bylaws

In the fall of 2020, Board Chair Glenn A. McCall convened an ad hoc bylaws committee to complete a comprehensive review of the Board’s bylaws in order to determine whether any provisions in the current articles should be eliminated, updated, or revised as well as new articles added.  Dr. Julie Fowler chaired the Committee consisting of Ed Driggers, Tim Hopkins, Robby Sisco, and Kathy Bigham.  The Committee reviewed the bylaws and solicited input from the entire Board as well as the university general council and the president.

The committee presented proposed amendments to the Trustees for approval on June 25, 2021 and received their approval via a unanimous vote.  As the new bylaws were operationalized and applied to the work of the Board and expectations of the university, it became apparent that clarity in some areas was needed.  Therefore, Chair McCall requested the ad hoc Bylaws Committee to reconvene to review and revise the bylaws with input from the Board and university administration.  The Committee did so and today have presented language modifications to clarify the intent of the bylaws.

As this recommendation is coming from a committee and no second is needed, Chair McCall called the vote.  It 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

Julie Fowler moved with a second from Tim Sease 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, Jennifer Jordan, James Grigg, Jeremy Whitaker and Kimberly Faust were invited to remain for the executive session

David McDonald moved with a second from Tim Hopkins to end executive session with no action.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion



Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at  5:33p.m.


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