Thursday, October 12, 2023 | 9:00 a.m.
Gold Room | DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University | Rock Hill, South Carolina

Board Members Present: Mr. Glenn McCall (Chair), Ms. Kathy Bigham (Vice Chair), Mr. John Brazell, Mr. Ed Driggers, Mr. Joel Hamilton, Dr. Randy Imler, Mr. Rick Lee, Dr. David McDonald, Mr. Tim Sease, Ms. Janet Smalley, Dr. Ashlye Wilkerson, Mr. Gary Williams
Board Members Absent: Mr. Robbie Sisco, Ms. Sandra Stroman, Mr. Isaiah Venning
Other Board Members Present:
Others Present: Dr. Edward A. Serna (President), C. Todd Hagins (Secretary to the Board and General Counsel), Peter Judge (Interim Provost), Shelia Higgs Burkhalter (Vice President for Student Affairs), Joseph Miller (Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing), Kevin Hughes (Vice President for University Advancement), Chuck Rey (Director of Athletics), Justin Oates (Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer), Lisa Cowart (Vice President for Human Resources, Employee Diversity, and Wellness) and others of the Winthrop Community and general public.

FOIA Compliance Notice
Pursuant to state law, Winthrop University published a notice to the public on its website providing the meeting notice on July 1, 2023, and posted the agenda affixed outside the Office of the President and Board of Trustees in Tillman Hall on October 10, 2023. On the day of the meeting, the Secretary to the Board caused to be affixed to the door of the meeting location the agenda for the Board and all associated committees.

Call to Order
A quorum being present Chairman McCall called the meeting to order at 9:01 a.m.
Approval of Consent Agenda
Upon the conclusion of the Invocation, Chairman McCall asked for any motions related to the Consent Agenda. Mr. Less moved to adopt the Consent Agenda as presented, which was seconded and passed by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman McCall made remarks thanking the admission’s staff and the faculty for all they are doing in recruiting and retention.

Report from the Chairman
Chairman McCall made remarks noting the energy presented by the Winthrop Community since the Board last met them in the prior academic year. He made additional remarks thank the Admissions staff and faculty for all they are doing to recruit and retain students.

Report from the President
President Serna discussed the committee meetings and strategic initiatives the Administration is engaged in. He noted Winthrop continues to evolve and move forward. President Serna spoke about the Mr. Simrill and his leadership with the strategic plan.
President Serna spoke about the upcoming Winthrop Economic Impact Study and its anticipated release in January 2024. President Serna noted a core of the Administration’s plan is focused on market-driven academic programs and curriculum efficiency. He further notified the Board of the Administration’s intent to move forward with a new procurement Request for Proposal focused on new marketing and branding effort.
In discussing enrollment markets, President Serna noted that Winthrop is focused on legislative efforts to expand in-state tuition to students in North Carolina’s Charlotte Metro area.
President Serna thanked the Board for its strategic investment in programs. He ended his presentation by updating the Board on the Provost search, noting that Winthrop has a strong pool of applicants. The goals is to hire a Provost who can start in January 2024.

Committee Reports
Committee on Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Enrollment Management
Dr. McDonald reviewed the approved resolutions and discussed important issues facing Winthrop such as student housing in the future and the Fraternity and Sorority Task Force. He echoed Chairman McCall’s appreciation of the enrollment management team.
Committee on External Engagement and Athletics
Mr. Williams reported Winthrop is seeing an increase in giving through the advancement team. Mr. Williams provided an update related to the Athletic Department’s engagement with the community especially student athletes being involved in local schools and hospitals. Mr. Williams noted the impact of esports in the area and updated the Board on matters related to the golf course, and the U.S. Disc Golf Championship.
Committee on Strategic Planning and Facilities
Mr. Driggers updated the Board on the strategic plan process and noted it sought input from multiple stakeholders to include not only faculty and staff, but also those in the community. Mr. Driggers noted the ongoing construction throughout campus.
Committee on Finance
Mr. Sease thanked President Serna for his leadership. Mr. Sease also noted that Winthrop’s Board was diverse and lead by a diverse leadership team that he believed was not as well noted by the state, when such diversity is ordinarily lauded. Mr. Sease noted Mr. Oates and President Serna are very transparent in the budget process. He ended by encouraging Board members to review the Financial Audit Report.
Ad Hoc Committee on Economic Development and Community
Mr. Lee informed the Board of a Italian auto show coming to the Coliseum on November 16, 2024 as well as the Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council holding a meeting at Winthrop on November 26th. Mr. Less stated that Winthrop would be announcing partnerships in the near future for internships.
Ad Hoc Committee on Governance
Mr. Brazell provided an update to the Board on the Governance Committee to include an update on the schedule for completing Agency Head Review for President Serna by April 2024.

Liaison Reports
Faculty Conference Report
Dr. Glover, chair of the Faculty Conference, stated that throughout the strategic planning process the Administration has ensured that the faculty is engaged. He also noted the Administration ensures they are a part of the process and have input in shared governance as shown in having faculty representation on the provost search committee. Dr. Glover noted that he has been on campus for 10 years and is sensing a spirit of optimism that he has not seen before. Dr. Glover reiterated that the faculty supports President Serna’s and the Board’s plan for what Winthrop should be.

Saff Conference Report

Ms. Simmonds, chair of the Staff Conference, informed the Board that she was elected as the new chair of the Staff Conference, having been employed by Winthrop for the last 4 ½ years. Ms. Simmonds noted the Staff Conference meets 5 times per year now instead of monthly and are interested in staff development. Ms. Simmonds reported that staff morale has increased and attributes it to President Serna’s stable leadership and other changes he has adopted with staff input.

Council of Student Leaders Report

Ms. Ekindayo, president of the Council of Student Leaders introduced herself to the Board, noting that she is the first grad student to be elected president of the Council of Student Leaders. She provided an overview of the CSL leadership team and noted the students have a positive energy about Winthrop’s direction.

Executive Session: Dr. Wilkerson moved for the Board to enter into Executive Session pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-70(a) for the purposes of discussion of employment matters involving certain present university employees and contractual items related to Winthrop University. The motion was seconded and approved by unanimous voice vote.
Chairman McCall invited President Serna and Secretary Hagins to remain. Chairman McCall informed the others present that the Board would not take on any further business at the conclusion of the session.

Dr. Wilkerson moved for the Board to exit Executive Session. The motion was seconded and approved without objection. The vote to exit Executive Session, being the only Motion or Vote taken during the session.

There being no further business before the Board, Chairman McCall ordered the Board to adjourn without objection.
The Committee adjourned at 12:04 p.m..

Minutes were formally adopted on April 25, 2024, as a true and accurate record of the events of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees. Pursuant to Board By-Laws and practice such approved minutes are certified by the Secretary of the Board who is responsible for maintaining official copies of all Board-related business.