BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY
Francis Marion University
The Cottage, Hendrick Room
Thursday, March 4, 2021 – 4:00 pm – 4:25 pm
Mr. Robert E. Lee, Chair
Mr. Jody Bryson
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.
Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr (by web meeting)
Dr. H. Randall Dozier
Mr. Benjamin I. Duncan, II (by web meeting)
Mr. R. Tracy Freeman (by web meeting)
Mr. William Edward Gunn (by web meeting)
Mrs. Patricia C. Hartung (by web meeting)
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Mr. Stephen N. Jones (by web meeting)
Mr. Floyd L. Keels (by web meeting)
Ms. Karen Leatherman (by web meeting)
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Mark S. Moore (by web meeting)
Dr. J. Kevin O’Kelly
Mr. Darryl Bridges, Vice President for Finance and Facilities
Dr. Fred Carter, President
Mrs. Kim Davis, Executive Assistant to the President
Mr. Larry Falck, Director of Multimedia Services
Mr. Glen Gourley, Chair of the Faculty and Professor of Theatre Arts and Speech – Directing
Dr. Christopher Kennedy, Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Peter King, Provost
Mr. Tucker Mitchell, Vice President of Communications
Mr. Tymoshio Robinson, SGA President for 2020-2021
Mrs. Lauren Stanton, Executive Director of the Francis Marion University Foundation
Dr. Charlene Wages, Vice President for Administration and Planning
Mr. Lee called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm, and then he asked Mrs. Davis to call the roll. Mr. Lee then stated for the record that media notification was made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, and that a quorum was present.
Mr. Lee brought the minutes of the November 19, 2020 meetings before the board for approval. A motion was made by Dr. Dozier to approve the minutes, and Mr. McIntyre seconded the motion. The minutes received unanimous by the board.
Executive Affairs Committee:
Mr. Lee presented to the board Resolution 01-21 for Tuition and Required Fee Freeze, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mr. Lee made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Jackson seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:
Mr. Bryson gave the following report from the committee meeting:
- Professor Glen Gourley was re-elected as Chair of the Faculty for 2021-2022.
- At the last General Faculty Meeting, the faculty approved the following proposals:
- Biology – Add a major in Veterinary Studies
- Math – Add a minor in Statistics
- Performing Arts – Definitions and Differentiations of BA degrees and BS degrees
- School of Health Sciences – Add a Doctor of Occupational Therapy
- Resolution 02-21 for Approving the Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Francis Marion University was brought before the board, which has been approved by the faculty and comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mr. Bryson made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Dr. Dozier seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
- Total enrollment for Spring 2021 is down by 3% from Spring 2020.
- The Admissions Office has hosted two in-person Open Houses during Spring 2021. Two additional Open Houses are scheduled for March 6 and April 17.
- Interviews for the McNair Scholarship were held on January 22. Ms. Ronisha Genwright, who attends Mullins High School, was awarded the McNair Scholarship for Fall 2021.
- Scholarship and Awards Day/Orientation is planned for May 1.
- There were 226 undergraduate degrees and 109 graduate degrees awarded during the commencement exercises held on December 17 and 18, 2020. Commencement exercises for Spring 2021 are currently being planned for May 7 and 8.
- Faculty and students in the School of Health Sciences will assist with administering vaccines to FMU faculty and staff on Friday, March 5 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Floyd Conference Center at MUSC Health – Florence Medical Center.
- Dr. Courtney Clayton has been named the new Dean of the School of Education and will begin on July 1, 2021.
Mr. Bryson concluded his report.
Development and Alumni Committee:
Mr. Moore shared the following report with the board:
- A gift was given by the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation to support the Pee Dee Medical and Health Science Education Consortium.
- An anonymous unrestricted gift was received as well as an anonymous gift to the First Generation Fund.
- Two endowed scholarships were received:
- Virtical Education Endowed Scholarship
- Bostick-Camp Endowed Scholarship
- The Alumni Office has the following events scheduled:
- Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony (March 4, 6:00 pm, Performing Arts Center)
- School of Business Alumni Awards Ceremony (March 30, 6:00, Performing Arts Center)
Regional and Community Programs:
- The Local Government Leadership Institute has two sessions remaining before the end of the academic year which are scheduled for March 11 – 12 and on April 9.
- The Performing Arts Center is currently planning for the Spring Fresh Air Fest at the amphitheater.
Mr. Moore concluded his report.
Finance and Facilities Committee:
Mr. Gunn shared the following information from the committee meeting:
- As of February 11, 99% of Fall 2020 revenues have been collected, and Spring 2021 revenues are being received at a comparable rate. Therefore, the university has decreased budgeted expenditures accordingly.
- Scholarship support for students continues to increase.
- The Honors Center and Leatherman Medical Education Complex are complete. Classes are being held in each building, and faculty have moved into their offices.
- Work on the dam at the Freshwater Ecology Center is near completion, and the docks are being installed.
- The university received a $700,000 grant from the EDA to assist in funding the $875,000 storm water drainage project on campus.
- Construction has begun on the Research Building and Conference Center at the Freshwater Ecology Center.
Mr. Gunn concluded his report.
Student Life and Athletics Committee:
Ms. Leatherman gave the following committee report:
Student Government Association:
- Spring 2021 SGA Events:
- January 28 – Lighting The Way
- March 16 – SGA State of the Student Body Address
- March 23 – TEDxFMU: The Story of Being First
- March 29 – “We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know” Virtual Diversity/Inclusion Event
- April 6 – K-12 Education Symposium
- Spring 2021 SGA Initiatives:
- A resolution recommending an $8 campus-wide minimum wage was proposed to the SGA by President Ty Robinson. The wage increase from $7.25 to $8.00 an hour became effective on January 19, 2021.
- Reorganization of the SGA Judicial Branch brought about the creation of a new SGA Attorney General position. Ariana Prete, a sophomore Political Science major, was appointed to this new position.
- COVID numbers continue to be low. The total of faculty, staff, and student active cases as of March 4 is nine. Masks are still required and social distancing is still being practiced for the Spring 2021 semester.
- A virtual Holocaust Remembrance event was held on January 27.
- The Homecoming King and Queen will be selected by virtual on-line voting.
- Round 1 of the fourth annual President’s Bowl was held on Tuesday, March 2 at 6:00 in the University Center Gym. The final round will be held on Monday, March 22 at 7:00.
- Spring sports for 2021 are being played competitively this semester.
- Spectator attendance at athletic events is limited to 250, and all tickets are presold. The presold tickets include season passes purchased, tickets for families of team members, a maximum of ten student tickets, and a limited number for families of the opposing team members when possible.
- Spectators are required to wear masks at athletic events, and the seating is marked in adherence with social distancing protocol.
- The average GPA for student athletes during the fall semester was 2.909.
- The Athletic Auction is scheduled for April 29th at the Performing Arts Center.
Ms. Leatherman concluded her report.
Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:
- Appreciation was extended to the trustees for approving the following resolutions:
- Resolution 01-21 for Tuition and Required Fee Freeze:
This resolution gives approval to freeze tuition for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. It also makes available a student health plan with no extra cost to the students. FMU is the only university in the state that provides a student health plan at no additional cost. Appreciation was extended to Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Bridges for working closely with Mr. Carl Humphries, CEO of Hope Health, to develop this initiative.
- Resolution 01-21 for Tuition and Required Fee Freeze:
- Resolution 02-21 for Approving the Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Francis Marion University
- The university has maintained low COVID numbers throughout the pandemic, due largely to faculty, staff, and students adhering to COVID protocol by wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. Vaccinations will be given exclusively to FMU faculty, staff, and trustees on Friday, March 5 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Floyd Conference Center. Appreciation was extended to Dr. David Cole, President of the Medical University of South Carolina, for working with FMU to organize this vaccine clinic.
- The following gifts have been received by the university:
- $12.5 million from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation for Circle Park Building Operations Support
- Anonymous gift to the First Generation Fund
- Anonymous gift to the International Program for travel support
- Anonymous unrestricted gift
- One change on the Board of Trustees’ calendar is the date for the Board Retreat and Meeting for 2021 which has been moved to July 29th.
- There will be three separate commencement ceremonies for the Spring 2021 graduates. The first one will be held on Friday, May 7 at 7:00 pm. The other two are scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. There will be approximately 300 students graduating, and each student will be allowed three tickets for guests. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. The Platform Party will consist of the same members that participated in the Fall 2020 commencement.
In concluding his report, Dr. Carter reminded the trustees that, following the board meeting, the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony will be held at the Performing Arts Center beginning at 6:00. Due to COVID precautions, there will not be a reception prior to the ceremony.
Mr. Lee adjourned the meeting at 4:25 pm.
Floyd L. Keels