BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY
Francis Marion University
The Cottage, Hendrick Room
Thursday, March 5, 2020 – 4:30 pm –5:00 pm

Presiding:
Mr. Robert E. Lee, Chair

Present:
Mr. Jody Bryson
Dr. H. Randall Dozier
Mr. Benjamin I. Duncan, II
Mr. L. Franklin Elmore (by phone)
Mr. William Edward Gunn
Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson
Mr. Stephen N. Jones
Mr. Floyd L. Keels
Ms. Karen A. Leatherman
Mr. George C. McIntyre
Mr. Mark S. Moore

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. Larry Falck, Director of Multimedia Services
Dr. Karen Fries, Secretary of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Education
Dr. Karen Gittings, Interim 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
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
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.  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 November 14, 2019 meeting before the board for approval. Dr. Dozier made a motion that the minutes be approved, and Mr. Jackson seconded the motion.  The minutes received unanimous approval by the board.

Executive Affairs Committee:
Mr. Lee presented Resolution 01-20 for Approving the Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts, Art Education at Francis Marion University to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Mr. Lee made a motion that the resolution be approved, and Mr. McIntyre 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:

  • Total enrollment for Spring 2020 is 3765, which is nearly an 11% increase from Spring 2019.
  • The number of new freshmen applications for Fall 2020 is 9% higher than Fall 2019.
  • Three McNair Scholars have been chosen, and all have accepted the scholarship and will enroll for Fall 2020.
  • On February 8, the Office of Admissions held the first Open House for the spring. Subsequent Open Houses are scheduled for March 7 and April 4.
  • The Office of Admissions will host eight new freshmen and transfer orientations during the summer.
  • There were 221 undergraduate degrees and 77 graduate degrees awarded at commencement in December 2019. The Registrar’s Office is currently planning for the Spring 2020 commencement, which is scheduled for May 9.

Mr. Bryson concluded his report.

Development and Alumni Committee: 

Mr. Moore shared the following report with the board:

Foundation:

  • There have been two new hires in the Foundation Office:
    • Mrs. Ashley Cartrette Prince – Administrative Coordinator – Foundation
    • Ms. Kayla Wilson – Special Program Coordinator
  • FMU Celebrates 50 Years with the Florence Symphony Orchestra was presented on February 10.  Over 200 tickets were distributed for this event, most of which went to alumni.
  • The Education Foundation Donor/Recipient Scholarship Reception was held on March 3.  Approximately 200 donors and recipients attended.
  • The FMU 50th Anniversary Gala is scheduled for April 7.
  • On May 21, the Education Foundation will host its annual golf tournament at the Country Club of South Carolina.
  • The Education Foundation has recently received a new International Fund Scholarship, a new Education Scholarship, and a donation of property.

Alumni:

  • The School of Education held an alumni awards reception on January 28, and over 70 people were in attendance.
  • Over 100 people attended the Homecoming Eve event at the University Place Art Gallery.
  • Tailgating at Homecoming was a great success.  There were 400 – 500 photos taken during the festivities which were uploaded with the event hashtag.
  • The Annual Alumni Awards Reception and Ceremony will be held this evening at 6:00 at the Performing Arts Center.
  • The Department of Psychology will host an alumni awards reception on March 9.
  • The School of Business Alumni Awards Reception is scheduled for March 31.

Regional and Community Programs:

  • Since its opening in August 2019, The University Place Art Gallery has had approximately 1500 people come to view past exhibits.  The art exhibit “Blood and Honey” by artist Adrian Rhodes is currently on display there.
  • The Performing Arts Center has a great line-up of shows for the spring including the following:
    • The Temptations (March 7)
    • Cinderella, presented by the Columbia City Ballet (March 14)
    • Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans (March 19)
    • Sleeping Beauty, presented by the South Carolina Dance Theatre (March 20 – 22)
    • FMU Music Industry Ensemble (April 9)
    • Songs for a New World, presented by the FMU Theatre (April 15 – 18)
  • The Non-Profit Leadership Institute and the Local Government Leadership Institute will conclude their sessions in April.
  • The Richardson Center for the Child continues to be recognized for its quality services by the ABC Quality Program administered by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.  In the ABC Quality Program, each provider is graded on the following:
    • Program Administration and Structure
    • Staff Education and Professional Development
    • Child Well-being
    • Family Communication, Engagement, and Cultural Competency

Currently, 54% of the families represented at the Center for the Child are FMU Employees.

Mr. Moore concluded his report

Finance and Facilities Committee:

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

Finance:

  • Resolution 02-20 for Issuance of Athletic Facilities Revenue Bonds, Series 2020 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. Moore seconded the motion.  The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Resolution 03-30 for an Adjustment of Dining and Housing Service Fees 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. Moore seconded the motion.  The resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Revenues for both fall and spring have exceeded budgeted amounts, which is attributable to enrollment exceeding budgeted projections along with expenses staying within budget expectations.

Facilities:

  • Both the Honors Center and the Leatherman Medical Education Complex are progressing as scheduled.
  • Development of the site for the Freshwater Ecology Center has begun, and selection of the design-build team is in progress.

Mr. Gunn concluded his report.

Student Life and Athletics Committee:

Mr. Duncan gave the following committee report in the absence of Ms. Leatherman and Mr. Dove:

Student Government Association:

  • The Student Government Association hosted several events during Homecoming Week, including a Silent Party Disco, Golden Mixer, and Patriot Bonfire Night.
  • Senate elections will be held March 9th – 13th. There are eleven students who are running for office, and the majority of them are upperclassmen.
  • The SGA Executive Officer elections are currently being held, and voting will end on Friday, March 6 at 5:00 pm.
  • Since it opened on October 29, the SGA Food Pantry has served over 90 students in need with non-perishable food items.
  • During Career Readiness Week, students were given opportunities to participate in a number of events to prepare them for the Career Fair, which is scheduled for March 25. The events included:
  • Mock Interview/Networking Sessions
  • Entrepreneurship 101
  • Resume/LinkedIn Session
  • Bring us back “TOO” Business
  • The SGA will host its annual Higher Education Symposium on March 26. The topic this year will be how K-12 funding affects students entering into Higher Education.  Panelists will include Representative Terry Alexander, Superintendent Kandice Bethea from Marion County School District, Superintendent Neil Vincent from Florence School District One, Dr. Tammy Pawloski, and SGA Senator Meisha Coles.
  • The SGA will hold the first annual FMU Campus Police Appreciation Day on April 24, which is the birthday of Investigator Farrah Turner, an alum of FMU, who was killed in the line of duty in October 2018. The SGA will provide lunch for the campus police officers and present them with an award.
  • The SGA will hand out bluebooks to students towards the end of the semester. Additionally, they will distribute doughnuts in the library during the first two nights of final exams.

Student Life:

  • There were over 4,000 in attendance for the Homecoming Parade and Tailgating on February 1.
  • The 2nd annual President’s Bowl was held February 3 – March 2. There was an increase in the number of teams and students that participated this year.

Athletics:

  • Ms. Chelsea Parker has been hired as the new Head Women’s Soccer Coach as of March 2.
  • The overall GPA for all student athletes for Fall 2019 was 3.002.
  • A record number of 133 student athletes had above a 3.0 GPA for Fall 2019, and 18 of those had a 4.0.
  • All teams have seen an increase in the number of games won this year compared to last year.
  • The men’s soccer team finished their season ranked 22nd in the nation.  They lost in the second round of the NCAA national tournament.  The team finished with a record of 16-5-1, which is the most wins by a men’s soccer team in 20 years.
  • The women’s basketball team lost in the conference tournament quarterfinals on the evening of March 4.
  • The women’s softball team has a record of 20-3 with conference play to start in two weeks.  There is only one senior on the team.
  • The women’s cross-country team earned All Academic team national recognition for the third consecutive year.
  • The annual Athletic Auction will take place on April 30 at 6:30 at the Performing Arts Center.
  • The installation of the new scoreboards/video boards/scorer’s table should be complete by April 1.

Mr. Duncan concluded his report.

President’s Report:

Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:

  • Eighteen of our student athletes earned a 4.0 GPA for Fall 2019.  Commendations were given to those students with a 4.0 GPA and the athletic department for this significant achievement.
  • The House Ways and Means Committee has passed its version of the 2020-2021 appropriations bill.  The university requested $1.8 million in recurring funds, and we received $2.2 million.  We also requested $7.5 million in non-recurring funds for maintenance, repair, and renovation of our facilities and infrastructure and received $5 million.  In addition, the Ways and Means Committee added a line item of $1 million in non-recurring funds for construction of the School of Business/School of Education building as a placeholder to see what occurs when the appropriations bill goes to the Senate.  If the House Ways and Means Committee version of the appropriations bill makes it through the Senate unchanged, a recommendation will be made to the board at the June meeting to freeze tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • The university has taken the following steps regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
    • All spring break trips abroad involving FMU Students have been cancelled.  Also, the university has suspended all upcoming study abroad trips for the Late Spring and Summer terms.  This was done upon recommendation of the Center for Disease Control as well as concern about the uncertainty of the students being able to return to the United States after their study abroad.
    • There are currently five students abroad in France and Ireland, and they have requested to stay where they are until their semester ends in early May.  The university is going to honor their request for now unless circumstances change and it becomes necessary to bring them back to the United States.
    • CDC posters listing best practices for preventing the spread of infectious diseases have been posted campus wide.
    • The number of hand sanitizer machines have been increased across campus.
    • The number of Custodial staff has been increased to allow for additional daily cleanings of the campus buildings.
    • The university has reached an agreement with a local health care provider to have additional medical staff at student health if needed.
    • The university’s administration is monitoring the COVID-19 virus situation daily.
    • University health advisories regarding the COVID-19 virus are posted on the web site.
  • The university’s new scoreboards/videoboards/ and scorer’s table should be installed by April 1.  This will allow for better viewing at basketball games and commencement.

Dr. Carter concluded his report.

Unfinished Business:

None

New Business:

None

Executive Session:

None

Mr. Lee adjourned the meeting at 5:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Floyd L. Keels
Secretary