Francis Marion University
The Cottage – Hendrick Room
Thursday, November 16, 2023 – 4:30 pm – 4:50 pm

Dr. Randall Dozier, Chair

Mr. Jody Bryson
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.
Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr. (by Phone)
Mr. R. Tracy Freeman
Mr. William Edward Gunn
Mrs. Patricia C. Hartung (by Phone)
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Mr. Stephen N. Jones
Ms. Karen A. Leatherman
Mr. Robert E. Lee
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Mark S. Moore (by Phone)

Others Present:
Mr. Darryl Bridges, Vice President for Finance and Facilities
Dr. Frances Burns, Chair of Speech-Language Pathology
Mr. Devan Campbell, SGA President
Dr. Will Carswell, Associate Provost and Assistant Professor of Music
Dr. Fred Carter, President
Mr. Lee Daugherty, Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving
Mr. Ralph Davis, Director of Facilities Management
Mr. Larry Falck, Director of Multimedia Services
Dr. Karen Gittings, Dean of the School of Health Sciences
Mr. Murray Hartzler, Director of Athletics
Dr. Benjamin Hilb, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Callum Johnston, Dean of the School of Education
Dr. Jennifer Kelley, Chair of Chemistry Department
Dr. Christopher Kennedy, Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Jennifer Kunka, Associate Provost for Advising and Professor of English
Dr. Sharon O’Kelley, Chair of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Mathematics
Dr. Hari Rajagopalan, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Marketing
Dr. John Rowan, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Mrs. Elizabeth Shefton, Executive Assistant to the President
Mrs. Lauren Stanton, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Mrs. Allison Steadman, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Theatre Arts – Costume Design
Mrs. Anna Katherine Strom, Marketing Coordinator
Dr. Jennifer Titanski-Hooper, Direction of McNair Institute for Research and Service
Mrs. Anna Todd, 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

Dr. Dozier called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm, and then he requested a moment of silence for Trustee Keels, who passed away.  Dr. Dozier asked Mrs. Shefton to call the roll.  Dr. Dozier then stated for the record that media notification was made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, and that a quorum was present.

Dr. Dozier brought the minutes of the September 7, 2023 meeting before the board for approval.  Mr. Coleman made a motion that the minutes be approved, and Ms. Leatherman seconded the motion.  The minutes received unanimous approval by the board.

Executive Affairs Committee:

Dr. Dozier reported that the Executive Affairs Committee met and no action was taken.

Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:

Ms. Leatherman gave the following report from the committee meeting:

  • Ms. Leatherman presented to the board Resolution 15-23 Approving the Bachelor of Science in Education, Multi-Categorical Special Education: Autism Studies, Pre-K through 12, at Francis Marion University, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Ms. Leatherman made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. McIntyre seconded the motion.  The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Prof. Padmaja Rao, Dr. Kay Lawrimore, and Dr. Sarah Kershner won the 2023 Societal Impact Award given by the Southern Business Administrators Association for work with their students in creating and building the Health Plus Me App, for assisting in rural healthcare in South Carolina.
  • FMU will host 6 international students this fall from the UK, Germany, and France.  Ten FMU students will study this spring at exchange programs in France, Germany, and Ireland.
  • The Hugh and Jean Leatherman Travel Fund was established this semester and will complement the Rachel Hodges and Hunter Britt funds.  These funds will provide scholarships to students who are studying abroad.
  • Commencement for Fall 2023 will be held in the Smith University Center.  The School of Business and School of Health Sciences ceremony will be Friday, December 15 at 7:00pm; the School of Education and College of Liberal Arts ceremony will be Saturday, December 16 at 10:00am.

Ms. Leatherman concluded her report.

Development and Alumni Committee:

Mr. Freeman gave the following report from the committee meeting:


  •   A Sporting Clays Tournament is a new event that will be held on October 13 at Moree’s Sportsman’s Preserve & Sporting Clays in Society Hill.
  • Giving Day will be held on January 29, 2024.
  • The Foundation received the following gifts:
    • Private Gift of one million dollars for Autism Studies
    • Track & Field Scholarships
  • Steven F. Gately Gallery will be hosting the FMU Faculty and Student Juried Exhibition until December 15.
  • The Performing Arts Center will host the following events:
    • Snow White will presented by State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine on January 17
    • Rumours: Fleetwood Mac Tribute on January 25
  • The Center for the Child maintains steady enrollment numbers.
  • Local Government Leadership Institute sessions were held on November 2 and 3.
  • The Fred R. Sheheen Non-Profit Leadership Institute sessions are held today and tomorrow.


  • The Lifetime Member Oyster Roast, held last night at the Freshwater Ecology Center, was well attended.
  • The Senior Toast will be held on November 30 at Local Motive Brewing, for graduating seniors and alumni.
  • The following Alumni Affairs After Hours events were well attended:
    • Columbia on September 26
    • Rock Hill on October 17
    • Greenville on October 24

Mr. Freeman concluded his report.

Finance and Facilities Committee:

Mr. Jackson gave the following report from the committee meeting:


  • Revenues and expenditures are in the projected levels for this time in the fiscal year.
  • The financial assistance portion, of the budget report, reflects a downward trend in student loans.  That results from the increase in student aid packages, including the South Carolina Need-Based Grants and our commitment to institutional financial aid.
  • The university’s annual audit report has been received.  The audit was unqualified with no material findings and/or deficiencies.


  • Smith University Center renovations are in the final stages with expected completion on November 30.
  • The School of Business/School of Education building remains on schedule.

Mr. Jackson concluded his report.

Student Life and Athletics Committee:

Mr. Jones gave the following report from the committee meeting:

Student Government Association:

  • SGA’s initiatives is to gain more members. They have ten new Senators sworn into office.
  • Resolution 101 was voted on and passed through the senate on October 26. This resolutions affirms that FMU will be the first public institution in the state of South Carolina to offer free pharmaceuticals to those students, faculty, and staff who are South Carolinians with no form of health insurance.  FMU will partner with a non-profit known as Welvista.
  • SGA is amending the Constitution for Elections and seats, to have rolling admissions throughout the year for senators.
  • SGA events/programs:
    • Mental Health Awareness Week
    • Celebration of Pride and the LGBTQ+ Community
    • Super Bowl Party
    • Patriot Pride Student Organization March
    • Homecoming events
    • Voter Registration Drive
    • Campus Safety Talks
    • Student Appreciation Day

Student Life:

  • Saturday, October 21 had a great turn out for the FMU Founder’s Fall Festival.
  • The Campus Activities Board will be hosting a whole series of events for the students this fall including the FMU’s got talent show, bingo night, karaoke night, and video game night.
  • Food Truck Thursdays will continue for the Fall.
  • Offering a once a month Yoga class, as well as a Latin Dance class.
  • COVID numbers continue to be the lowest in the state among our sister institutions, with very few active cases.


  •   The number of student athletes have grown.  For 2022-23 there were 247 students and for this year there are 352 students.
  • Men’s soccer won the East Division Crown and finished as the number one seed for the conference tournament.
  • Women’s soccer had a significant turnaround, finishing with the number three send for the conference tournament.
  • Volleyball plays tomorrow in Charleston in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
  • Basketball opened their season last weekend.  The first home game is on December 18 in the Smith University Center.
  • Homecoming is scheduled for February 24, 2024.

Mr. Jones concluded his report.

President’s Report:

Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:

  • A welcome was given to two faculty visitors, Dr. Benjamin Hilb and Dr. Jennifer Kelley.
  • Expanding on the SGA resolution, Welvista is a federally recognized Medicaid agency and they came to us with an idea to work with a college to make pharmaceuticals more available to students who don’t have any kind of insurance coverage.  With SGA’s work on the project, we hope that soon after January we will be able to begin the process of having many of our students, who have no prescription coverage, receive free prescription drugs through Welvista.
  • Appreciation was expressed to the trustees passing Resolution 15-23 Approving the Bachelor of Science in Education, Multi-Categorical Special Education: Autism Studies, Pre-K through 12, at Francis Marion University.  Appreciation was also given to the legislatures and donors for making the money available to us for the program.
  • Everything looks good financially for the university and for the development of programs.
  • Appreciation was expressed to the Senior Staff for how hard they work to make sure everything gets done.
  • Friday night’s commencement speaker with be Senate President Thomas Alexander and the commencement speaker for Saturday will be Senator Katrina Shealy.
  • A request for a vote of concurrence was presented to the board, to provide all full-time faculty and staff with a $2,000 holiday bonus, to be deposited on December 8, 2023.  Mr. Jackson made a motion to approve the request and Mr. Coleman seconded the motion.  The motion received unanimous approval by the board.

Dr. Carter concluded his report.

Unfinished Business:

New Business:

Dr. Dozier stated that the following board members have been appointed to the nominating committee for the Secretary vacancy:

  • Mr. Robert Lee, Chair
  • Mr. Jody Bryson
  • Ms. Karen Leatherman

Recommendations for the next board meeting.

Executive Session:

Dr. Dozier adjourned the meeting at 4:50 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Elizabeth Shefton
Recording Secretary