BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY
Francis Marion University
The Cottage, Hendrick Room
Thursday, November 19, 2020 – 4:00 pm – 4:40 pm

Presiding:
Dr. H. Randall Dozier, Vice Chair

Present:
Mr. Jody Bryson
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.
Mr. H. Paul Dove, Jr (by web meeting)
Mr. Benjamin I. Duncan, II (by web meeting)
Mr. L. Franklin Elmore (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

Others Present:
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
Mr. Murray Hartzler, Director of Athletics
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. Dozier called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm, and then he asked Mrs. Davis to call the roll.  He noted for the record that Mr. Lee has an excused absence.  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 August 6, 2020 and October 30, 2020 meetings before the board for approval. There being no objections, the minutes received unanimous approval by the board. 

Executive Affairs Committee:
Dr. Dozier presented to the board Resolution 06-20 for the Acceptance of the Gift of Property from the FMU Education Foundation, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Dr. Dozier brought the resolution before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the resolution received unanimous approval by the board.

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

  • Mr. Bryson presented Resolution 07-20 for approving a change to the mission statement to provide for more than one professional doctoral program, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval. There being no objections, the resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Faculty Senate Elections for 2020-21 were held in October.
  • Total enrollment for Fall 2020 decreased approximately 2% compared to Fall 2019. However, graduate enrollment for Fall 2020 increased by 17% from Fall 2019.  This is the largest graduate enrollment since 2008.
  • 97% of the incoming freshmen class is from South Carolina with 50% being from the Pee Dee area.
  • The Office of Admissions has held one Open House this fall with one more scheduled on November 21. Three additional Open Houses will be hosted during Spring 2021.
  • Doug Brady has been hired as the new Director of Admissions and will begin on January 4, 2021.
  • Rogers Library has remained open to serve students during the pandemic.
  • To allow for proper social distancing due to COVID, there are five mini-commencements planned for the Fall 2020 graduates. One will be held on Friday, December 11 at 7:00, and the other four are scheduled for 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 12.  There are 224 undergraduates and 115 graduate students who plan to graduate in December.

Mr. Bryson concluded his report.

Development and Alumni Committee:
Mr. Moore shared the following report with the board:

Foundation:

  • The Jamie Herring Endowed Scholarship has received $72,488 to award scholarships to Nurse Practitioner students from Marion County.
  • The Aiken Foundation gave $120,000 to the First Generation Fund for awarding scholarships to first generation students who are Nursing majors and $50,000 for the Ann Birch Aiken Scholarship for those that are Education majors.
  • Mr. James Harrell has been elected as the new Chair of the FMU Education Foundation Board.
  • Mr. Kevin Barth recently became a new member of the FMU Education Foundation Board.

Alumni:

  • The Alumni Office continues to stay engaged with alumni through social media at events such as the FMU Alumni Baseball Weekend, the Foundation Golf Tournament, and the mini-commencements held in September 2020.

Regional and Community Programs:

  • The University Place Gallery has hosted three exhibits since July.  Each display lasts four to six weeks.  The mixed media exhibit that is currently being shown is called Beauty and Strength.  This exhibit will be on display through December 18.
  • The Richardson Center for the Child has successfully fulfilled all of the requirements for their license renewal.  This license will not need to be renewed again until 2022.
  • The Performing Arts Center hosted Fresh Air Fest Concerts during October and November which were held at the outdoor amphitheater.  In addition, FMU Music and Arts Day was held at the amphitheater on November 7 and included performances by music faculty, choral groups, the FMU Jazz Ensemble, and the FMU Music Industry Ensemble.

Mr. Moore concluded his report.

Finance and Facilities Committee:
Mr. Gunn shared the following information from the committee meeting:

Finance:

  • The university received an unmodified opinion on the recent annual audit.
  • As of October 31, Fall revenues were at expected levels.

Facilities:

  • The Honors Center and Leatherman Medical Education Building are almost complete.  It is expected that classes will be held in these buildings in Spring 2021.

Mr. Gunn concluded his report. 

Student Life and Athletics Committee: 

Ms. Leatherman gave the following committee report:

Student Government Association:

  • The Student Government Association organized a number of events for the fall semester, some of which were virtual, even with the challenges of the COVID -19 pandemic. Some of those events included:
    • SGA Diversity and Inclusion Events
    • Mental Health Week
    • SGA Week
    • Financial Literacy Initiative
  • The SGA has continued with the following initiatives:
    • SGA/CAB Merger
    • SGA Food Pantry/Clothing Closet continues to assist students in need of clothing or food.
    • Student Voter Registration Task Force

Student Life:

  • The committee received an update from the COVID-19 Response Team Office. As of November 19, there are 8 current cases on campus with a total of 75 cases since March 25.    The fact that students seem to be actively using the Health Champion Mobil App has been an immense help to the COVID-19 Response Team Office in identifying COVID cases and tracking people who have been in contact with them.  Students use this app to answer a few questions each day to indicate how they are feeling, and the responses are sent to the COVID-19 Response Office.
  • The Student Life Office hosted the following activities during the fall semester:
    • Student Life Instagram/Facebook Sites
    • Student Activities Fair (Virtual Event with On-Line Chat Room Participation)
    • Virtual and Hybrid Greek Recruitment Events
    • FMU’s Got Talent (Reduced Audience and Live Streaming)
    • Comedy and Movie Night held with social distancing
    • FM A’GLOW (Drive-thru event)

Athletics:

The following changes have taken place due to COVID-19:

  • All fall team sports are being played in the spring.
  • The NCAA has granted the athletes participating in fall and winter sports an extra year of eligibility.
  • All locker rooms have been closed.
  • The soccer, baseball, volleyball, and softball teams are surveillance testing 25% of their athletes every two weeks.

Recent Awards:

  • 36 FMU student athletes have been named to the 2020 Division II Athletic Director’s Association Academic Achievement Awards.  This award requires having a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • For the second consecutive year, the men’s soccer team has received a Team Academic Award by the United Soccer Coaches Organization for having a composite team GPA of 3.22.

Ms. Leatherman concluded her report.

President’s Report:

Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:

  • Appreciation was extended to the trustees for passing Resolution 07-20 for approving a change to the mission statement to provide for more than one professional doctoral program.  This will allow FMU to request doctoral degrees in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in the future.
  • Over the next few years, the university will seek approval for new baccalaureate degrees in Veterinary Studies and Environmental Science.  In addition, the university will consider starting a third engineering program.  The engineering faculty will be consulting with regional employers to determine which additional area of engineering should be offered based on the needs of the Pee Dee area.
  • Since March 25th the University has maintained a moderate level of active COVID cases (5 – 8).  Our faculty, staff, and students are to be congratulated for their diligence in masking, social distancing, and other precautions.
  • There will be five mini-commencements held for the Fall 2020 graduates in order to adhere to proper social distancing while allowing the graduates to invite a small number of their family to celebrate with them.  The Platform Party will be small, consisting of the President, Provost, Chair of the Board, Vice-Chair of the Board, Chair of the Faculty, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Associate Provost, Registrar, and person giving the invocation and benediction.  The mini-commencements will be held as follows:
    • Friday, December 11 at 7:00 pm – College of Liberal Arts: Biology and Psychology
    • Saturday, December 12 at 9:00 am – School of Business and School of Education graduates
    • Saturday, December 12 at 12:00 pm – College of Liberal Arts: English, Fine Arts, General Studies, Mass Communication, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Political Science and Sociology
    • Saturday, December 12 at 3:00 pm – School of Health Sciences Undergraduate Degrees
    • Saturday, December 12 at 6:00 pm – School of Health Sciences Graduate Degrees
  • The last day of class for Fall 2020 is Wednesday, November 25. The faculty are permitted the option of giving their final exams during the last week of regular classes or giving them on-line during the week after Thanksgiving.  There are approximately 40 students that will be staying in the dorms during the week after Thanksgiving to take their exams on-line because they do not have the needed technology to gain proper computer access from home.  Resident students that would like to have a COVID-19 test prior to leaving campus will be given the opportunity to do so at no cost on Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24.
  • Spring 2021 classes will begin on January 19.  There will not be a Spring Break, but the Provost Office is working on scheduling a series of four days off during the course of the semester to give everyone a periodic break.  These days will not be consecutive nor scheduled as part of a weekend.

Dr. Carter concluded his report.

Unfinished Business:
None

New Business:
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 2022. This would allow the term of current officers to extend through June 30, 2022.  There being no objections, this special action received unanimous approval by the board.

Executive Session:
None

Dr. Dozier adjourned the meeting at 4:40 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Floyd L. Keels

Secretary