Francis Marion University
The Cottage, Hendrick Room
Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 4:30 pm –5:35 pm

Mr. Robert E. Lee, Chair

Mr. Jody Bryson
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.
Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr. (by phone)
Dr. H. Randall Dozier
Mr. Benjamin I. Duncan, II
Mr. L. Franklin Elmore
Mr. R. Tracy Freeman
Mr. William Edward Gunn
Mrs. Patricia C. Hartung (by phone)
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Mr. Stephen N. Jones
Mr. Floyd L. Keels
Ms. Karen A. Leatherman
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Mark S. Moore
Dr. J. Kevin O’Kelly

Others Present:
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
Mrs. Kim Davis, Executive Assistant to the President
Mr. Daniel Dukes, Legislative Liaison
Mr. Jonathan P. Edwards, General Counsel
Mr. Larry Falck, Director of Multimedia Services
Dr. Karen Fries, Secretary of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Education
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
Ms. Kendria Mason, Student Government Association President
Mr. Matthew McColl, Director of Media Relations
Dr. Tracy Meetze-Holcombe, Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Education
Mr. Tucker Mitchell, Vice President of Communications
Ms. Lauren Owens, Morning News Reporter
Dr. Hari Rajagopalan, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Marketing
Mrs. Teresa Ramey, Vice President for Regional and Community Programs
Dr. Cheri Richardson, Director of Institutional Planning
Mrs. Lauren Stanton, Executive Director of the Francis Marion University Foundation
Mrs. Allison Steadman, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts – Costume Design
Mrs. Anna Todd, Director of Dual Enrollment and Continuing Education
Dr. Charlene Wages, Vice President for Administration and Planning
Ms. Demetra Walker, Dean of the Library
Dr. Alissa Warters, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Dean of the School of Health Sciences

Mr. Lee called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm, and then he asked Mrs. Davis to call the roll.  Mr. Lee then stated for the record that media notification had been made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, and that a quorum was present.

Mr. Lee brought the minutes of the August 1, 2019 meeting before the board for approval. Mr. Coleman made a motion that the minutes be approved, and Mr. Freeman seconded the motion.  The minutes received unanimous approval by the board.

Executive Affairs Committee:
Mr. Lee presented to the board Resolution 05-19 for the naming of the Hugh and Jean Leatherman Medical Education Complex, which was approved unanimously by the Executive Affairs Committee.  Mr. Lee made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. McIntyre seconded the motion.  The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.

Mr. Lee concluded his report.

Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:
Mr. Bryson gave the following report from the committee meeting:

  • Resolution 06-19 for approving the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Performing Arts at Francis Marion University was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. Bryson made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. Jones seconded the motion.  The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • In September 2019, the American Chemical Society approved the continuation of the university’s chemistry degree program through 2025.
  • The mechanical engineering program is scheduled to begin in January 2020.
  • Faculty Governance reported that course evaluations will be done completely on-line beginning next year.
  • Total Enrollment for Fall 2019 has increased almost 8% from Fall 2018.
  • 96 % of the incoming class for Fall 2019 is from South Carolina, and 61% is from the Pee Dee region.
  • Total applications for Fall 2020 have risen by 16% from Fall 2019, and acceptances have increased by 37%.
  • Freshmen applications for Fall 2020 are up by 8% from Fall 2019, and acceptances have increased by 23%.
  • Fall 2019 Commencement is scheduled for December 14, 2019. There are 273 undergraduate and 37 graduate students that are expecting to graduate.

Mr. Bryson concluded his report.

Development and Alumni Committee: 

Mr. Moore shared the following report with the board:


  • To continue celebrating the university’s 50th anniversary, Doug’s Day (Founder’s Day) is being held following the board meeting at 5:30.
  • The Christmas parties are coming up and will have a 50th anniversary celebration theme:
    • Community Christmas Party – December 5
    • Faculty/Staff Christmas Party and Dance – December 6
    • Children’s Santa/Christmas Party – December 11
  • Homecoming is scheduled for February 1, 2020.
  • FMU celebrates 50 Years with the Florence Symphony Orchestra will take place on February 10 at the Performing Arts Center.
  • The FMU 50th Anniversary Gala will take place on April 7, and tickets are $100 per person.  All proceeds go to the First Generation Fund which has raised almost $400,000.
  • Recent gifts include:
    • Science South contributed $89,000 and a Winnebago.
    • Hood Temple gave $10,000 and a piano.
    • The Foundation received a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy to go towards the new Freshwater Ecology Center.
  • The Foundation office has moved to the Stokes Administration Building.  Hope Health has signed a lease that began October 1 to expand its use of the Foundation Building.


  • Since the board meeting in August, there have been alumni events in Greenville, Florence, Columbia, and Charleston.  There were slightly over 100 people at the event in Charleston.
  • Alumni award receptions were held by the Biology and English departments.
  • There are many alumni events scheduled for Homecoming on February 1, which includes a reception at the Art Gallery and a tailgating reception.

Regional and Community Programs:

  • The Non-Profit Leadership Institute and the Local Government Leadership Institute are both being held again in Lake City.
  • The Performing Arts Center has the following shows coming up in December:
  • South Carolina Dance Theatre presents the Nutcracker on December 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30.
  • A Gullah Christmas: Marlena Smalls presents The Hallelujah Singers on December 13 at 7:30.
  • Florence Symphony Orchestra presents Holiday Pops on December 16 at 7:30.
  • The University Place Gallery had a successful opening.  They are currently displaying a Water Media Exhibit that will continue through December 20.

Mr. Moore concluded his report

Finance and Facilities Committee:

Mr. Gunn shared the following information from the committee meeting:


  • The university received an unmodified opinion on the recent audit conducted by Mauldin and Jenkins.  It included the financial statements, federal programs, and NCAA reviews.
  • Fall revenues are up by $348,000 over last year.  Total general fund revenues have increased by 2% from last year.
  • General fund expenditures are at 29.5% of the budgeted amount, which is comparable to last year.


  • Construction has begun on the Honors Center and the Medical Education Complex, and everything is on schedule.
  • Site work has started on the land for the Freshwater Ecology Center, and the procurement process has been initiated for selecting a design-build team.
  • The process for approval of the bonds to fund the renovations at the Smith University Center and Fieldhouse Athletic Facility has begun.

Mr. Gunn concluded his report.

Student Life and Athletics Committee:

Ms. Leatherman gave the following committee report:

Student Life:

  • Student Government Association elections were recently held.
  • The SGA sponsored a Mental Health Awareness Week, and there were approximately 400 students that participated in the opening event. The other Mental Health Week events that followed had around 50 in attendance.
  • The SGA has initiated a food pantry where students in need can confidentially go to get food.
  • The Grille After Dark and FMU’s Got Talent events were very successful.
  • The group, Step Afrika, recently presented a wonderful show at the Performing Arts Center.
  • The FMU Color Run and Octoberfest were sponsored in conjunction with the FM soccer matches on October 12.
  • There were approximately 2000 people in attendance at the FM A’Glow Festival, which was presented in conjunction with Florence School District One.


  • The university currently has 255 student athletes, which is a record number.
  • The men’s soccer team has a 13-4-1 record and was ranked in the top 25 for six weeks.  They will play in the conference semi-finals on Friday, November 15.
  • The women’s volleyball team, with a record of 18-12, improved by 5 wins from last season.
  • Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Lindsey Morgan, resigned Monday.
  • Athletic fundraising pledges are currently $243,409, and the goal is $325,000.
  • The National Championship Teams in Golf and Women’s Basketball will have a reunion during the Homecoming festivities on February 1.

Ms. Leatherman concluded her report.

President’s Report:

Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:

  • The first annual Doug’s Day (Founders Day) celebration will be held at 5:30 at the University Center.
  • Appreciation was extended to the trustees for approving the following resolutions
    • 05-19 Resolution for the Naming of the Hugh and Jean Leatherman Medical Education Complex
    • 06-19 Resolution for Approving the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Performing Arts at Francis Marion University.
  • A new FMU Freshman Supplement Scholarship program has been established to make a college education more accessible to freshmen who live in South Carolina and demonstrate a financial need.  The supplement will cover the balance of the student’s first-year tuition and fees not paid by grants or scholarships that they are awarded, provided that they are eligible for and receiving a full Pell Grant.

Dr. Carter concluded his report.

Unfinished Business:


New Business:


Executive Session:

Mr. Lee asked that a motion be made for the board to go into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter.  The motion was made by Mr. Jackson and seconded by Mr. Duncan.  The board gave unanimous approval to go into Executive Session.

After the discussion was complete, Mr. Lee asked that a motion be made for the board to be brought out of Executive Session.  Mr. Coleman made the motion, and Mr. Elmore seconded the motion.  Mr. Lee stated that no action was taken by the board during the session.  He then reported that the Executive Committee is bringing a proposal before the board to extend Dr. Carter’s contract to July 2026 and also to grant him the title of President Emeritus.  Ms. Leatherman made a motion to approve the proposal, and the motion was seconded by Mr. McIntyre.  The board gave unanimous approval to extend Dr. Carter’s contract to July 2026 and to grant him the title of President Emeritus.

Mr. Lee adjourned the meeting at 5:35 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Floyd L. Keels