Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees

Friday, October 21, 2022 | 10:15 am
Gold Room | DiGiorgio Campus Center
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:  President Serna

Others Present:  Kimberly Faust, Chase Duncan                  


The Board of Trustees met on October 21, 2022, on the campus of Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC.


Call to Order   

Chair McCall called the meeting to order at 10:52 am. He welcomed all present and delivered the invocation. 


Approval of Board Minutes

Gary Williams made a motion to accept the minutes of the August 25, 2022, and September 27, 2022, minutes as written. Tim Hopkins seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.


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

David McDonald moved with a second from Sandra Stroman 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 was invited to remain for the executive session in its entirety. 

Robby Sisco moved with a second from Janet Smalley to end the executive session with no report.  The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.


Report of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Board
Chair McCall acknowledged new trustee to the Board, Dr. David McDonald. He also introduced the new liaisons Debbie Garrick, Chair of Staff Assembly, Miguel Caldwell, Chair of the Council of Student Leaders, Jennifer Jordan, Faculty Liaison, and Samantha Kroft, assistant to the VP/ Chief of Staff. Chair McCall was pleased with the support of education at the recent joint dinner. Chair McCall noted that it was a great suggestion to have the Alumni Board and Foundation Board, and the Board of Trustees share on meal.


Committee on Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Enrollment
Julie Fowler shared an update on the 2022-2023 enrollment status. Navigate implementation and updates were presented. Dr. Fowler was glad to have Peter Judge present for Meg Webber an update on Flight Ready and Emeriti College. In addition, it was reported that student,  Bautista Vivanco, was awarded a 2022 Nobel Week Dialogue Scholarship. He thanked those at Winthrop who were influential in his success.


Committee on External Engagement and Athletics
Chair Hopkins shared that Advancement operations and goals continue to move forward with the help of Dr. Serna and Gary Simrill. Several actions taken to support growth in fundraising and philanthropy include reorganization of the division and the use of Prospect Moves Management; a sales management program in nonprofit higher education. There is an emphasis on reaching goals of donor visits (375 for FY23), number of solicitations, amount asked for, and raised. Goal for major gifts is $1.25M (last year $600K was raised by major gifts). The divisional goals and objectives were set for FY23 in the summer.  Advancement is meeting monthly with the Deans to discuss development activities, fund balances, and stewardship communications. Advancement has also focused on the importance of having a partnership with athletics. The goal is to have one development officer assigned to each dean/college.

One indicator of progress is the growth of alumni donors and annual giving platforms. The collaboration between Alumni Relations and Annual Giving has helped in this process. Some results are increased reunion giving, the launch of President’s Circle and Winthrop Loyal, “Day of Giving,” the launch of “Day of Gratitude” in 2023, and the Annual Report on Philanthropy which is a true collaboration among Advancement, Alumni Relations and Foundation.

An update of the fountain restoration project was reported. The Foundation has agreed to guarantee the remaining $150K needed for the project to move forward.

Homecoming and Reunion is scheduled for the week of November 7-13, 2023.

The Foundation Endowment has seen losses of 22.42% YTD. 10% of endowments could be underwater in FY24 due to market losses. The Foundation moved all assets from Vanguard to JP Morgan in August 2022.

In Athletics, Chair Hopkins reported that Big South Conference Commissioner, Kyle Kallander, is retiring.  He gave an update on the Big South, Esports, disc golf, corn hole and BMX. Winthrop holds the most wins of any Big South school with 71 championships.

Gary Simrill shared remarks on external activities, as well as, Kevin Sheppard gave an update on Title IX.


Committee on Strategic Planning and Facilities
Chair Imler gave an update on the four options for meeting the dining needs at Winthrop. The main question is to refurbish or build. University Net Position funds will be used for certain capital projects. There was discussion about the 2021 resolution issuing debt up to $21M in financing to support auxiliary housing and dining facilities, which will be scaled back. Other projects include schedule Gantt charts of projects. Everyone was pleased with the new walkway by the DiGiorgio Student Center. Winthrop will be able to finance a large amount of projects.


Committee on Finance
Chair Sease was pleased to report that Winthrop received a good, clean report from the auditor. Over several meetings, the finance committee has reviewed a wide array of information and data related to the university’s auxiliary portfolio deferred maintenance, with particular focus on housing and dining needs. The following projects are proposed for approval: New Cafeteria – $10.5 million (A decision has not been made on whether to revamp Thomson’s eatery or to build in a new location.)  Margaret Nance Hall bathroom renovation – $3.6 million, Phelps and Lee Wicker roof replacement – $5.5 million, Interior repairs/renovations in residence halls, including lobby refresh and common area painting. Some smaller projects could be underway by summer 2023, while the eatery and roof work will not likely begin until 2024. In order to pay for these enhancements, the Finance Committee brought forth a resolution to authorize the University to move forward on issuing $14.7 million in bonds, using $3.8 million in reserves, and utilizing $2.5 million in funding from state allocations. Needing no second, the resolution was unanimously approved.


Motion to adjust course fees

The motion to adjust course fees was tabled.


President Update

President Serna was unable to attend.  In his absence, Chair McCall requested a review of the portfolio of properties for possible sale, complete an assessment and bring the information back to Board. He also noted that Winthrop had moved from Vanguard to JP Morgan as its institutional investment firm.

Chair McCall thanked the Trustees for taking the time to help current and future students at Winthrop, and noted the future is bright!

Dr. Peter Judge spoke and thanked everyone for the joint dinner.



Hearing no objections, Chair McCall adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.