BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY
Francis Marion University
The Cottage, Hendrick Room
Thursday, November 11, 2021 – 4:30 pm – 4:57 pm
Mr. Robert E. Lee, Chair
Mr. Jody Bryson
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.
Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr.
Dr. H. Randall Dozier
Mr. R. Tracy Freeman
Mr. William Edward Gunn
Mrs. Patricia C. Hartung
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Mr. Stephen N. Jones
Mr. Floyd L. Keels (by phone)
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Mark S. Moore
Dr. J. Kevin O’Kelly
Dr. Vernon Bauer, Chair of the Biology Department and Professor of Biology
Dr. Mark Blackwell, Vice Chair of the Faculty and Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Mr. Darryl Bridges, Vice President for Finance and Facilities
Dr. Fred Carter, President
Mr. Lee Daugherty, Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving
Mrs. Kim Davis, Executive Assistant to the President
Mr. Ralph Davis, Director of Facilities Management
Mr. Daniel Dukes, Legislative Liaison
Mr. Larry Falck, Director of Multimedia Services
Dr. Karen Fries, Secretary of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Education
Dr. Karen Gittings, Dean of the School of Health Sciences
Mr. Glen Gourley, Chair of the Faculty and Professor of Theatre Arts and Speech – Directing
Mr. Murray Hartzler, Director of Athletics
Dr. Christopher Kennedy, Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Peter King, Provost
Dr. Jennifer Kunka, Associate Provost for Advising and Professor of English
Mr. Alfonso Leggette, SGA President for 2021-2022
Dr. Hari Rajagopalan, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Marketing
Dr. Cheri Richardson, Director of Institutional Planning
Mrs. Elizabeth Shefton, President’s Office Staff
Mrs. Lauren Stanton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Mrs. Allison Steadman, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts – Costume Design
Mr. John Sweeney, Vice President of Communications
Dr. Charlene Wages, Vice President for Administration and Planning
Ms. Demetra Walker, Dean of the Library
Dr. Alissa Warters, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Mr. Lee called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm, and then he asked Mrs. Davis to call the roll. He also noted for the record that Mr. Elmore and Ms. Leatherman have an excused absence. 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 July 29, 2021 meeting before the board for approval. Mrs. Hartung made a motion that the minutes be approved, and Mr. Bryson seconded the motion. The minutes received unanimous approval by the board.
Executive Affairs Committee:
Mr. Lee stated that the Executive Affairs Committee met and no action was taken.
Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:
Mrs. Hartung gave the following report from the committee meeting:
- Resolution 09-21 to approve the Environmental Science and Environmental Studies programs at FMU was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mrs. Hartung made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Moore seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
- Resolution 10-21 to approve two accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education at FMU was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mrs. Hartung made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Freeman seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
- Resolution 11-21 to approve a Master of Arts in Teaching Multi-Categorical Special Education program at FMU was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mrs. Hartung made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Coleman seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
- FMU is hosting five international exchange students from Germany and the United Kingdom for the fall semester. For the spring semester, the university will host four students from Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
- The International Program Exchange Committee has approved seven FMU student applications to study abroad in the Spring 2022 semester. The prospective exchange partners include Carlow College (4), University College Cork (2), and Universität Koblenz-Landau (1). Registration and preparations for health safety and travel requirements are being done with the understanding that these exchanges could be suspended or cancelled at any time.
- Dr. Derek Jokisch, Professor of Physics, has been appointed to Chair a new Department of Energy’s Scientific Committee for the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. The committee is tasked with developing a commentary on Methods and Models for Estimating Organ Doses from Intakes of Radium.
Mrs. Hartung concluded her report.
Development and Alumni Committee:
Mr. Moore shared the following report with the board:
- Doug’s Day will be held after the board meeting at 5:30, at the Performing Arts Center, with a performance by Yacht Rock Schooner at 7:00.
- There has been a generous donation to the Darla Moore Scholarship.
- Duke Energy has provided the Foundation with a grant to remodel a Student Experiential Vehicle, which will be used as a mobile field station.
- The Foundation has received the following endowed scholarships:
- Donald Finklea Poston Endowed Scholarship
- F. Howard DeBerry Business Endowed Scholarship
- University Place Gallery is currently hosting an exhibit by Yvette L. Cummings titled “Disruptive Experiences”.
- The Performing Arts Center currently has three concerts scheduled in the beginning of 2022.
- The Center for the Child has maintained steady enrollment numbers.
- Local Government Leadership Institute currently has 28 participants. They have completed two sessions this fall and have another planned for February 2022.
- Alumni Affairs has started a project through Publishing Concepts to verify alumni data and collect stories, which will be used to publish an oral history.
- There have been successful Alumni After Hours events this fall in Charleston and the Grand Strand. Additional events are planned for Spring 2022.
Mr. Moore concluded his report.
Finance and Facilities Committee:
Mr. Gunn shared the following information from the committee meeting:
- Resolution 12-21 for approval of Bond Resolution and Series Resolution to Authorize Refinancing of the 2009A Athletic Facilities Revenue Bond and New Funding for Athletic Facility Improvements was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Mr. Gunn made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Jones seconded the motion. The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
- The university’s annual audit report has been received. The auditor issued an unmodified opinion and no adjustments were proposed.
- Capital project plans are underway, after receiving initial state approval to move forward with bids. The facilities team has developed plans to coordinate the projects over the next couple of years.
- Fall revenue and expenditures are at expected levels.
Mr. Gunn concluded his report.
Student Life and Athletics Committee:
Mr. Dove gave the following committee report:
Student Government Association:
- The SGA hosted two successful events this fall.
- September 30 – “Leadership – One on One”
- November 5 – Commuter-Students Appreciation Day
- The SGA has the following upcoming events:
- November 22 – Mental Health Awareness Day
- December 3 – Coffee and Study: A Study and Tutoring Session
- Student Life hosted a Student Activities Fair on September 9. Introducing students to the many student organizations available on campus.
- Food Truck Thursdays continued on campus for the Fall 2021 semester.
- FMU’s Got Talent show had an excellent turn out with very talented students performing.
- The First Friday event, which was postponed from August 27 to October 1, was a huge success.
- The 4th annual FM A’Glow, an illuminated pumpkin/Halloween festival, was held on October 30. Close to 300 cars went through the drive thru event. There was a pumpkin throwing competition; in which eight teams signed up and the mechanical engineering students won.
- Students were eager to return face to face this fall.
- Planning has started for Homecoming, which is scheduled for February 19, 2022.
- UC after Dark events, such as Poetry slams, Karaoke and Bingo nights, will be continued for Spring 2022.
- Teams donated 806 items to Harvest Hoop, a canned food drive, during the month of October. FMU came in second in the Conference Carolinas Challenge.
- The men’s soccer team won the regular season conference championship. The Patriots are 11-4-2 overall and posted a 10-0-1 conference mark.
- The men’s golf team had a great fall season. Their Golfstat ranking at the end of fall was the best of any Southland Conference Schools, placing them ahead of Coastal Carolina, Wofford and USC Upstate.
- The women’s volleyball team won the East Division Crown on November 10 and finished with a conference record of 15 wins and 2 loses.
- Basketball season opens Friday, November 12.
- On December 3, between home basketball games, Pearl Moore’s induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame will be recognized.
Mr. Dove concluded his report.
Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:
- The COVID infection rate at the beginning of the fall semester started in the 40s; but has gradually lowered to single digits.
- The university’s mask mandate will remain in effect through fall commencement, as a continued safety precaution due to COVID and the flu season.
- Dr. Kennedy and his staff in the COVID Response Office were acknowledged for their excellent work in maintaining the COVID safety protocols on campus.
- Appreciation was expressed to Dr. Wages for coordinating approximately 12 COVID vaccine clinics on campus. In addition, there will be Saturday vaccine clinic days available for the children of the faculty and staff. Recognition was also given to MUSC Florence, McLeod Hospital and DHEC for their support in organizing the vaccine clinics.
- The Fall 2021 commencement will be divided into two ceremonies. The first will be on Friday, December 17 at 7:30 for the School of Education and the School of Health Sciences. The second ceremony will be on Saturday, December 18 at 10:00 for the School of Business and the College of Liberal Arts. There will be a limited platform party, as was done in previous commencement ceremonies during the pandemic.
- Appreciation was expressed to the trustees for passing the following resolutions:
- Resolution 09-21 to approve the Environmental Science and Environmental Studies programs at FMU
- Resolution 10-21 to approve two accelerated Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education at FMU
- Resolution 11-21 to approve a Master of Arts in Teaching Multi-Categorical Special Education program at FMU
- Resolution 12-21 for approval of Bond Resolution and Series Resolution to Authorize Refinancing of the 2009A Athletic Facilities Revenue Bond and New Funding for Athletic Facility Improvements
- Funding provided to the university in the 2021-22 state budget is allowing the university to move forward with pending deferred maintenance projects.
- Mrs. Elizabeth Shefton, who will be taking Mrs. Davis’ place upon her retirement at the end of December, was introduced.
Dr. Carter concluded his report by reminding the trustees about the Doug’s Day event this evening at 5:30 at the Performing Arts Center.
Dr. Dozier stated that, given the situation with the pandemic, he is asking the board to consider a special action to suspend the bylaws and extend the next election of officers to Spring 2023. This would allow the term of current officers to extend through June 30, 2023. Mr. Jackson made a motion to approve and Mr. Coleman seconded the motion. The proposal to extend the terms of the officers to June 30, 2023 received unanimous approval by the board.
Mr. Lee adjourned the meeting at 4:57 pm.
Floyd L. Keels