BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY
Francis Marion University
President’s Board Room, Stokes Administration Building
Friday, November 6, 2009 – 11:35 am –12:48 am

Presiding:
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr., Chairman

Present:
Mr. Bradley R. Boles
Mr. James A. Brown
Mr. T. Hal Campbell
Mrs. Laura S. Crowther
Dr. H. Randall Dozier
Ms. Melissa Johnson Emery
Mr. Edward S. Ervin, III, Member Emeritus
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., Member Emeritus
Mr. Robert E. Lee
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Timothy F. Norwood
Dr. J. Kevin O’Kelly
Mrs. Gail Ness Richardson
Mrs. Carolyn Beasley Shortt

Others Present:
Mr. D. Keith Best, Chair of the Faculty
Mr. Darryl L. Bridges, Vice President for Public and Community Affairs
Ms. Tracy Bridges, Morning News Reporter
Dr. L. Fred Carter, President
Dr. Richard Chapman, Provost
Ms. Angela R. Crosland, Public Information Coordinator
Mr. Jay Dowd, Vice President for Development/Executive Director of FMU Foundation
Mr. Daniel Dukes, Legislative Liaison
Mr. A. Glen Gourley, Secretary of the Faculty & Professor of Theatre Arts
Mrs. Rachel R. Hamaie, Executive Assistant to the President
Mr. Murray G. Hartzler, Director of Athletics
Mr. Jay Kispert, Vice President for Business Affairs
Dr. Kenneth D. Kitts, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Mrs. Teresa J. Ramey, Dean of Students
Mr. Matthew Richardson, South Carolina State University Trustee
Mr. Julian M. Young, Director of Alumni Affairs
Dr. Charlene Wages, Vice President for Administration
Dr. Gary Walters, Executive Director of the S. C. Commission on Higher Education
Mr. Ken Wingate, Chairman of the Board of the S. C. Commission on Higher Education

 

Mr. William Coleman called the meeting to order at 11:35 am. He then asked Mrs. Rachel Hamaie to call the roll. Mr. Coleman then noted for the record that media notification had been made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, and that a quorum was present.

Mr. Coleman presented the minutes of the August 7, 2009 Board Meeting to the Board for approval. Mrs. Gail Richardson made a motion for the minutes to be approved. The motion was seconded by Mr. George McIntyre. The minutes received unanimous approval by the Board.

Mr. Coleman then invited the Executive Director of the CHE, Dr. Gary Walters, and the Chairman of the CHE Board, Mr. Ken Wingate, to speak to the Board.  They presented the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education’s 30/30 plan for improving economic prosperity in the State.  The proposal was well received by the Board of Trustees.

Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:

Mrs. Gail Richardson stated that the committee received a report from Dr. David Peterson and Dr. Derik Yokisch regarding the US Nuclear Commission Regulatory grants for our health physics program.  Francis Marion University is the only university in South Carolina to offer an undergraduate health physics major.  It is one of only 13 undergraduate health physics programs in the entire United States. Students in this major are required to complete at least one paid summer internship.  The NRC grants will provide scholarships for health physics majors and will pay for laboratory equipment upgrades.  High school students are being recruited to this program in at least two ways: by the South Carolina Physics Scholars Institute and by the guidance counselors’ breakfasts that take place during the fall semester.

There are several faculty achievements to report to the Board.  Dr. Tim Shannon received a grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase a centrifuge.  Dr. Ken Autrey’s book of poetry, Pilgrims, will soon be published.  Dr. Jon Tuttle’s play, The Sweet Abyss, was performed at the Trustus Theater this fall.   One of his plays, Holy Ghost, will be performed in Hollywood, CA this spring.  Dr. Farrah Hughes is working with students who are parents and have their children enrolled in the Center for the Child.  Dr. Sharon Moore Askins continues to oversee an extremely successful teacher cadet program.  Dr. Shirley Bausmith has worked with Project Create and with area school districts in order to make available graduate instruction in the area of learning disabilities.

During August 2009 there were 794 new freshmen who began their studies at FMU.  This is a 17%  increase from last year’s freshman class.  The average SAT for the freshman class that entered in August 2009 is 963.  With respect to the current admissions cycle, the Admissions Office has launched a new recruitment initiative called “rock-and-roll admissions” where admissions counselors visit FMU’s most important feeder high schools and set up a station at which students who qualify may apply and be admitted to FMU on-the-spot.

Development and Alumni Committee:

Mr. Bradley Boles reported that the Foundation received an unqualified opinion.  Assets were valued at $18,016,304.  Melody Birmingham-Byrd joined the Foundation Board. The Foundation Athletic Auction and Golf Tournament will be held on March 11th and 12th of 2010.

The Biology Alumni Reception was held on October 22, 2009.  This year’s award winners were Dr. Robert Moore who received the John C. Boyce Award and Dr. Randall Voss who receive the Lawrence B. Swails award. The Psychology Alumni Event is scheduled for November 17, 2009.  The Baseball Alumni Event was held on October 3rd and 4th.  The Student Alumni Association has 93 members, which is a historical high. Homecoming is scheduled for February 15-20, 2010.

Executive Affairs Committee:

Mr. Coleman reported that the executive committee met but no action was taken.

Financial Affairs and Facilities Committee:

Dr. Randy Dozier asked the Board to review the annual audit report, which was sent out to the Board prior to the meeting.  The University received an unqualified opinion.  Dr. Randy Dozier then presented Resolution 08-09, Resolution for Issuance of Athletic Facilities Revenue Bonds Series 2009.  Mr. George McIntyre made a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Mr. Ken Jackson.  It received unanimous approval by the Board.  Dr. Dozier then asked the Board to refer to the budget summary report to note that the planned 4% cut was needed as state revenue appropriations were cut.

Student Affairs and Athletics Committee:

Mr. Ken Jackson reported that the committee had heard reports from Mr. Darryl Bridges and Mr. Murray Hartzler.  Though the women were defeated by UNC the previous night, the team played well.  The moratorium on Division 1 applications remains.  The NCAA will meet in January of 2011 to discuss changes.

There have been two H1N1 clinics on campus thus far, which have offered vaccines free of charge to faculty, staff and students.  The fall career fair was successful with 45 employers on campus.  Sixty five percent of the current freshmen class lives on campus.

Lastly, Mr. Jackson reminded the Board of the following sporting events.

November 6, 2009                   Men’s Basketball Exhibition Game against Clemson

December 20, 2009                 Women’s Basketball Tournament in Myrtle Beach

President’s Report:

Dr. Carter thanked the Board for their foresight and understanding with budget reductions this year.  The 4% cut that was projected and deducted from the university budget buffered the state cuts.  However, the critical question in the budget is not what has happened but what will come.

Dr. Carter then asked Senator Hugh Leatherman to brief the Board on the state of the budget in South Carolina.  Senator Leatherman began by thanking the Board for keeping tuition increases low despite the budgetary cuts.  Many universities, by passing on the cost of budget cuts to students, are pricing South Carolina students out of an education.  The current outlook is very dim and will be the most difficult budget crafted in his service history.  Lack of income tax and sales tax revenues are causing great deficits.  The high unemployment rates are causing these deficits.  The real unemployment rate, which also takes into account those who are under-employed and those who are no longer seeking work, is 18%.  Until South Carolinians are able to work, state revenues will not increase.

Dr. Carter then briefed the Board on recent events and upcoming university events.  Last week, the University hosted the McNair Symposium to celebrate the civil rights legacy of Bob McNair with guest speaker Walter Edgars. This was an extraordinary event for which the McNair Family joined us.  This week the University hosts the Pee Dee Fiction Festival with five nationally renowned authors.  The Performing Arts Center is coming into reality.  The Athletic Complex bonds were approved this morning which will be combined with private monies to begin the project with 9.2 million dollars.  The University staff has been working with the Board and the architects for the development of this plan.  At the February Board Meeting, a comprehensive plan and a program of cost for this facility will be presented.  The stimulus money has arrived and will be used for the acquisition of non-recurring capital projects.  These should be completed by the latter part of the spring. Dr. Carter again thanked Senator Leatherman for the defense of the stimulus monies.

The Universities fundraising efforts will be renewed in the spring focusing on scholarships.  Students from the Pee Dee lack the resources to obtain their educations with their own finances, and we must provide the help to increase the overall number of baccalaureate degrees in South Carolina.

During the past week, Dr. Carter, Mr. Daniel Dukes, Mr. Jim McGee and Dr. Richard Chapman met with Pee Dee legislators to request funding for two new health sciences degrees, the Nurse Practitioner Program and the Physician’s Assistant Program.  The legislative members were all supportive of these degree programs.

Unfinished Business:

None

New Business:

Mr. Coleman made a motion to adjourn. Mrs. Richardson seconded the motion. The Board adjourned at 12:48 pm.

 

Respectfully Submitted
Carolyn Beasley Shortt
Secretary