Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees Executive Committee

Friday, June 8, 2023 | 10:00 a.m.  
Winthrop University | Minerd Executive Seminar Room
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Committee Members Present:  Glenn McCall, Kathy Bigham, Ed Driggers, Dr. Randy Imler, Gary Williams
Committee Members Absent:  Tim Sease
Others Present:  Robbie Sisco, Trustee via video conference for his presentation; Edward Serna, President of Winthrop University; Dr. Peter J. Judge, Interim Provost; Todd Hagins, General Counsel & Interim Secretary to the Board; Justin Oates, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs; Joseph Miller, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing; Manning Kimmel, WRHI (media)

Public Notice

Pursuant to state law, Winthrop University published a notice to the public on its website providing the meeting agenda on June 7, 2023, and a notice affixed outside the meeting location on June 8, 2023.

Call to Order

A quorum being present, Chairman Glenn McCall, called the regularly scheduled meeting to order at 10:32 a.m.

Approval of Minutes

Chairman McCall called for any objections to accepting the minutes as written. The question of adopting of minutes approved.

Chairman Remarks

Chairman McCall commended President Serna and the Administration, as well as the Board of Trustees, for their work in moving Winthrop forward. Chairman McCall provided the Executive Committee with an overview of areas the Board will work on to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings in FY23-24, including standing rules, consent agenda, and the use of committee vice chairs.

Board Survey

Todd Hagins provided an overview of the April Board survey to gather feedback. The Board responded favorably to changes to the format order.

Graduation Etiquette Policy Draft

Chairman McCall discussed the proposed policy to regulate expressive conduct at graduation ceremonies. After an exchange of ideas, Mr. Driggers recommended that the Board draft a resolution that would require the Administration to formulate and publish a policy to address the issue. Chairman McCall accepted the suggestion.

President’s Report

President Serna reported that he recently returned from the Big South Conference meetings in Hilton Head and a Winthrop Alumni event in Washington, DC. President Serna informed the Committee that the DC event was the seventh alumni group meeting of his first year. President Serna stated there is excitement with alumni and a growing desire to become more involved in Winthrop from the groups.

Budget Update

Vice President Justin Oates provided an overview of Winthrop’s budget. Mr. Oates stated that he is projecting to be within budget expectations for FY22-23. Mr. Oates stated the FY23-24 budget is complicated due to the state budget impasse. In preparation for the June Board meeting, the Winthrop Budget Office will provide the Board with scenario-based budget proposals for review. The final budget will be driven by Fall admissions and the final state budget. Mr. Oates stated the Administration will submit a final budget for Board approval in August.

Enrollment Update

Vice President Joseph Miller provided an update on student enrollment for both the Summer and Fall semesters. Mr. Miller stated that Winthrop continues to meet with students admitted in Spring 2023 to ensure they return in the Fall. Mr. Miller informed the Committee that while graduate admissions are down year-over-year, freshman enrollment is up 28% year-over-year. Mr. Miller reviewed the Administration’s admissions and financial aid strategy and noted that the numbers indicate the strategy is working.

Strategic Planning Update

President Serna provided the Executive Committee with an update on the strategic planning process. BRG is currently finalizing its recommendation on Winthrop’s Mission and Vision statement. On schedule, BRG will deliver a draft proposed mission and vision statement next week with presentation to the board.

Economic Impact Study

President Serna provided an update on Winthrop’s project to demonstrate the University’s economic impact on York County and Rock Hill. President Serna stated the project is currently in the data collection phase. The project is on schedule and will be released to coincide with the release of the strategic plan.

Wofford and Richardson Update

Mr. Oates provided an update on the demolition of the Wofford and Richardson Residence Halls. The abatement phase contract will be brought by the Administration to the Board in the June meeting. Abatement is scheduled to last from August 2023 to February 2024, with the entire project completed in Summer 2024.

Fraternity and Sorority Life

President Serna indicated Vice President Sheila Higgs Burkhalter created a task force to explore why participation is declining and how to strengthen the fraternity and sorority system at Winthrop. Trustee David McDonald will serve on the task force. A task force timeline will be provided to the Board.

Executive Session

Kathy Bigham moved for the Executive Committee to move into executive session pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-70(a)(1)-(2). The Executive Committee approved the motion by unanimous voice vote.

Mr. Driggers moved for the Executive Committee to exit from the executive session, which was seconded. No votes were taken during the executive session.

Planning and Review for June Board Meeting

Dr. Imler requested additional time for his committee due to it consisting of three significant areas. Chairman McCall directed the period for presentation for Dr. Imler’s committee to increase by 15 minutes.

Agency Head Review Process

Trustee Robbie Sisco appeared before the Executive Committee via video conference to provide an update on the Agency Head Review process. Mr. Sisco provided a timeline of the process, which will culminate with a performance review submitted to the State of South Carolina Agency Head Commission in September 2023.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Dr. Imler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and approved by a unanimous voice vote. The Executive Committee stood adjourned at 1:31 p.m.


Mr. Driggers moved to adjourn the meeting at 2:08 p.m., seconded by Mr. Williams. The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.