Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Friday, February 17, 2023—Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 1:00 p.m.
116 E. Main Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730

Members Present: Kathy Bigham, John Brazell, Ed Driggers, Tim Hopkins, Randy Imler, Glenn McCall, David McDonald, Tim Sease, Sandra Stroman, Isaiah Venning, Joel Hamilton

Members Absent: Robby Sisco, Janet Smalley, Ashlye Wilkerson, Gary Williams

Others Present: Justin Oates, Joseph Miller, Kimberly Faust, Steve Probst, Faisal Amin, George Greanias

The Board of Trustees met on Friday, February 17, 2023, and Saturday, February 18, 2023, at the offices of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, 116 E. Main Street, Rock Hill, SC.

Call to Order

Chair McCall called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. He welcomed all present and introduced the newest Trustee, Mr. Joel Hamilton. Chair McCall then led the Board in an invocation.

Chair McCall stated that the Board of Trustees role is to determine what actions need to be taken and President Serna’s role is to determine how to make it happen.

Approval of Board Minutes

The approval of minutes from October 21, 2022, December 1, 2022, and December 12, 2022, was tabled until the April 2023 Board of Trustees meeting.

Executive Session-- pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) & (2) the purpose of a discussion of employment matters involving certain present university employees and contractual items related to Winthrop University.

Sandra Stroman moved with a second from John Brazell to move into executive session pursuant to South Carolina Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1) & (2) the purpose of a discussion of employment matters involving certain present university employees and contractual items related to Winthrop University. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion. Kimberly

Faust, Board Secretary, was invited to remain for the executive session in its entirety. Steve Probst was invited to remain for portions of the meeting.

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


Winthrop Vice President Joseph Miller continued the meeting with a report on the Spring 2023 enrollment numbers and the Fall 2023 enrollment estimates.

Spring ‘23 Enrollment: This week, activity on degree seeking Undergraduates remained flat over last week. VP Miller stated Winthrop added 90 new non-degree seeking Undergraduate students through dual-enrollment and teacher cadets. With this activity, VP Miller noted Winthrop remains at 90% Fall-to-Spring retention on its Fall 2022 Freshmen class.VP Miller informed the Board that Winthrop will experience its strongest Fall-to-Spring retention rate since Fall 2017 if the current rate remains at or above 89.6% by Spring Census date of March 1. VP Miller stated the variance in Undergraduate enrollment from Fall-to-Spring remains at 6.5%, compared to 8.2% this point in time last year and 8.7% from two years ago. Additional gains in both Undergraduate and Graduate activity will continue to be experienced mostly in Winthrop’s non-degree seeking student populations between now and March 1.

Fall ‘23 Admission Activity: VP Miller informed the Board that the next round of admission decisions deployed this week on Tuesday, February 14, bringing Winthrop’s grand total of Admissions for Fall 2023 to 4,028, compared to 3,313 for this point in time last year and 3,263 this point in time from two years ago. With these additional admits, Winthrop remains 22% ahead in admissions decisions over this point in time last year and 23% ahead from two years ago. Now that the February round of admission decisions are on the street, VP Miller indicated that Winthrop will now sequence into offering admission decisions on a rolling basis (every two weeks) from here until the end of the cycle. VP Miller stated that application generation activity remains strong as well at 10% ahead over last year and 2.5% over two years ago.

Fall ‘23 Financial Aid Activity: The next step with this newest round of admission decisions is to prepare and to deploy additional financial aid packages for recent admits. The Financial Aid team will be hard at work over the next two weeks downloading the ISIR’s into Banner and preparing packages to hit the street. So far, 217 Freshmen Enrollment Deposits and 19 Transfer Enrollment have submitted deposits from the first rounds of admission decisions and aid packages – and this activity will continue to increase rapidly over the following weeks as we build up for Spring Open House on March 4 and Winthrop Day on April 1.

House Bill 3325 (HB 3325) – The Board discussed potential impacts that the bill would have on Winthrop University. The latest update is that the bill was given a favorable report by the House Education and Public Works Higher Education Subcommittee. A previously recommended “cap” on students was eliminated. A previous version of the legislation had indicated a cap at 200 students in total at any one given time—permitting us to grant in-state tuition to only about 50 students per year. With the update, there will be no limit on the number of out of state students that we can enroll. Discussion continued on possible marketing opportunities, program development, and incentives for out of state students.

VP Justin Oates followed Mr. Miller’s report with an update on the budget. Total Fall 2022 degree seeking students were projected to equal 4,261 students with -6.8% total spring retention; the actual retention was slightly higher, which means the percentage decrease ended better than budget. Based on enrollment and associated revenues, the University has achieved 96.6% of the $115M revenue budget, compared to FY2022 where we had only received 93.1% of our year-end revenues through January. The University has achieved 97.0% of our tuition budget compared to 96.8% in FY2022, with the remaining tuition revenue coming in the summer. State appropriations are at 103.4% of budget given the additional allocations related to the bonus and 3% salary increases; noting a small year-end entry will reduce the current actuals by approximately $330K. Auxiliary Revenue and Student Fee Revenue are both approximately 98% of revenues achieved through January with the remaining revenues expected during the summer. The remaining revenues are in-line with prior year’s activity through January and leadership anticipates the budget goals will be met. VP Oates noted that the Self-Supporting revenue funds are difficult to project given they are ramping up slowly post pandemic and leadership continues to monitor and work with units on campus to track and steward those funds. Total expenses are currently 62.2% utilized of budget, compared to FY2022 where 60.4% of expenses had been expended through January. Divisional expenses are 58.4% utilized through January and the Budget Office continues to work with units to monitor and react to the FY2023 expense needs; this compares to 56.3% of Divisional expenses utilized through January 2022. Auxiliary expenses are 63.8% utilized through January, compared to 51.8% in FY2022; noting dining had issues invoicing in FY2022. All other expense line-items with our expected percent utilization and finance leadership will continue to monitor closely and work with the campus community to ensure the budgeted expense estimates are tracked through the remainder of the year.


Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at 3:19pm