Meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees


Friday, June 23, 2023 | 10:15 a.m. Gold Room | DiGiorgio Campus Center

Winthrop University | Rock Hill, South Carolina

Trustees Present:  Glenn McCall, John Brazell, Ed Driggers, Joel Hamilton, Dr. Randy Imler, Dr. David McDonald, Tim Sease, Robby Sisco, Janet Smalley, Sandra Stroman

Trustees Absent:  Kathy Bigham, Rick Lee, Dr. Ashlye Wilkerson

Others Present: President Edward A. Serna, C. Todd Hagins (Interim Secretary to the Board and General Counsel), Vice President Justin Oates (Finance and Business Affairs), Vice President Lisa Cowart (Human Resources, Employee Wellness, and Diversity), Ben Kochenower (external auditor), and others in the campus community.

FOIA Compliance

Pursuant to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, Winthrop University published a public notice of the Committee’s agenda inside its primary administrative building, Tillman Hall, and on its website and through email notification to media outlets on Monday, June 19, 2023. Prior to the call to order, Winthrop University’s Secretary of the Board posted a notice of meeting outside its location at the DiGiorgio Campus Center.

Call to Order

A quorum being present, Mr. McCall called the meeting of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees Committee o on Finance to order at 10:32 a.m.

Chairman Remarks

Mr. McCall thanked Winthrop faculty and staff for their hard work and sacrifice over the last year. Mr. McCall thanked Dean Beth Costner for her presentation and for bringing areas of growth to the Board. Mr. McCall expressed appreciation to Vice President Shelia Higgs Burkhalter for her attention in creating the Fraternity and Sorority Task Force and for Trustee Dr. David McDonald for serving on the task force. After speaking on Winthrop’s strategic plan, Mr. McCall reiterated the Board’s desire to focus on strategic areas of growth in the future.

Consent Agenda

Mr. McCall asked for any objections to the Consent agenda, including minutes of the April 28, 2023, Board of Trustees meeting. There being no objections, the Consent agenda was adopted.

Report from Trustee Janet Smalley on the Commission on Higher Education Seminar Ms. Smalley gave the Board an overview of her attendance at the Commission on Higher Education seminar as the Board of Trustees representative.

Report from the President

President Serna expressed gratitude to the Board for his opportunity to come back and serve as President to his alma mater. President Serna echoed the sentiments of Mr. Sease from the Committee on Finance of how revenue growth is the source of moving Winthrop forward. Winthrop and its administration are reaching out to the community, bringing in more students, but cautioned all the success must continue and Winthrop must continue to accelerate to turn the revenue curve.

Committee Reports

Dr. Randy Imler reported on increased enrollment numbers, the Greek Life Task Force, tenure, and promotions as well as emeriti status from the Committee on Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Enrollment.

Mr. Williams provided a report on the Committee on External Engagement and Athletics to include a review of advancement issues of campaign readiness, foundation funding of student scholarships, marketing efforts, and the academic success of our student athletes.

Mr. Driggers provided a report on the Committee on Strategic Planning and Facilities to include the importance of the strategic planning process and the work being done by facilities in improving campus by strategically investing in areas to help recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff.

Mr. Sease provided a report on the Committee on Finance to include an emphasis on Winthrop and its administration to continue to focus on execution along with its planning.

Report from Liaisons

Debbie Garrick previously submitted a report to the Board on behalf of the Staff Conference and supplemented it by emphasizing the staff working to move Winthrop forward.

Miguel Caldwell, President of the Council of Student Leaders, provided an overview of CSL’s year and thanked President Serna for giving students a seat at the table.

Executive Session

Mr. Hamilton moved that the Committee enter an executive session pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30- 4-70(a)(1)-(2) for the purpose of discussion of proposed contractual arrangements and employee matters related to Winthrop University. The motion being seconded was approved by a unanimous voice vote.

Mr. McCall invited President Serna and Mr. Hagins to remain.

Ms. Stroman made a motion to exit the executive session, which was seconded, and approved by a unanimous voice vote. As required by state law no votes or decisions were made during the executive session.

Board Chair and Vice Chair Election

Mr. Sisco, appointed chair of the Nominations Committee, reviewed the Board Chair and Vice Chair nominating process. He formally submitted the names of Glenn McCall as the recommendation by the Board for Board Chair, and Kathy Bigham as the recommendation by the Board for Board Vice Chair. A motion was made to accept the nominations, which was approved by a unanimous voice vote.

New Business

Ad Hoc Committees

Mr. McCall informed the Board that he intended to appoint several ad hoc committees moving forward to oversee areas of interest expressed by Board members.

Resolution Concerning Decorum at University Ceremonies

Mr. McCall provided an overview of the resolution to ask the Administration to submit for the Board’s review a proposed policy to prevent disruptions in university ceremonies. Mr. Driggers moved to accept the resolution as written, such motion being seconded, the resolution was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.

Resolution Concerning Selection of Secretary to the Board

Mr. McCall reviewed the resolution with the Board to elect Todd Hagins, General Counsel of Winthrop University, to serve as Secretary to the Board. Mr. Sisco made a motion to accept the resolution as written. Such motion being seconded, the resolution was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.


There being no further business, Mr. McCall asked for any objection to the chairman’s motion to adjourn the meeting. With no objection, the Board of Trustees adjourned at 12:45 p.m.