Francis Marion University

The Cottage, Hendrick Room

Thursday, March 1, 2018 – 4:30 pm – 5:02 pm



Mr. Kenneth W. Jackson, Chairman


Mr. Jody Bryson

Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr.

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

Mr. Stephen N. Jones

Mr. Floyd L. Keels

Ms. Karen A. Leatherman

Mr. Robert E. Lee

Mr. George C. McIntyre

Mr. Mark S. Moore

Others Present:

Dr. J. Mark Blackwell, Vice Chair of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Mr. Andrew Boardwine, Morning News Reporter

Mr. Darryl Bridges, Vice President for Development/Executive Director of the Foundation

Dr. L. Fred Carter, President

Mrs. Kim Davis, Executive Assistant to the President

Mrs. Joyce Durant, Dean of the Library

Mr. Jonathan P. Edwards, General Counsel

Mr. Larry Falck, Media Production and Web Design Coordinator

Dr. Karen Fries, Secretary of the Faculty and Assistant Professor of Education

Mr. A. Glen Gourley, Chair of the Faculty and Professor of Theatre Arts and Speech – Directing

Mr. Murray G. Hartzler, Director of Athletics

Dr. Christopher M. Kennedy, Associate Provost and Director of Graduate Programs

Dr. Peter King, Provost

Mr. Jay Kispert, Vice President for Business Affairs

Dr. Jennifer Kunka, Associate Provost for Advising and Professor of English

Mr. Matthew J. 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

Dr. Hari K. Rajagopalan, Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Marketing

Mrs. Teresa J. Ramey, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Ms. Melissa Rollins, Darlington News and Press Reporter

Ms. Marcedes Smith, Student Government Association President

Dr. Charlene Wages, Vice President for Administration

Dr. Alissa Warters, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management

Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Professor of Nursing


Mr. Jackson called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm, and then he asked Mrs. Davis to call the roll.  He 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. Jackson brought the minutes of the November 16, 2017 meeting before the board for approval. There being no objections, the minutes received unanimous approval by the board.

Executive Affairs Committee:

Mr. Jackson reported that the committee met and no action was taken.

Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee:

Mr. Moore reported the following information that was shared with the committee:

  • Total Enrollment for Spring 2018 is 3,353, which is a slight increase from the Spring 2017 total of 3,326.
  • On February 26, the Admissions Office had received 3,843 freshman applications, of which 2,123 were accepted.
  • Total applications received (including transfer students) have increased by 19% from Spring 2017, and total acceptances have increased by 18%.
  • Resolution 01-18 for Approving the Master of Education in Teaching and Learning at Francis Marion University was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Jackson brought the resolution before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Resolution 02-18 for Ratifying the new option in Teacher Certification in the Bachelor of Science in History and the Bachelor of Arts in History was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Jackson brought the resolution before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • Resolution 03-18 for Ratifying the new options of Sports Management and Sports Marketing in the Bachelor of Business Administration was presented to the board, which comes from the committee with unanimous approval.  Jackson brought the resolution before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the resolution received unanimous approval by the board.
  • A new international exchange program with Carlow University in Ireland has been approved and should begin in Fall 2018.

Mr. Moore concluded his report.

Development and Alumni Committee: 

Mr. Elmore shared the following report with the board:


  • The annual Education Foundation Scholarship Reception for donors and scholarship recipients will take place on March 23.
  • The Chairman’s Classic Golf Tournament will be held on April 6 at the Country Club of South Carolina.
  • The Performing Arts Center has a great line-up of concerts scheduled for Spring 2018 including Graham Nash on March 3, Black Violin on April 21, and the Marshall Tucker Band on May 4.


  • The Office of Alumni Affairs will host the annual Alumni Association Awards Ceremony at the Performing Arts Center this evening at 6:00.

Mr. Elmore concluded his report. 

Financial Affairs and Facilities Committee: 

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

Budget Summary Report:

  • Collection of Fall 2017 revenue concluded at $18 million, which is 97.2% of budgeted revenue.  Fall 2017 undergraduate enrollment revenue was less than expected, but the short fall was offset to some extent by an increase in graduate nursing enrollment.
  • At the end of January, Spring 2018 revenues totaled $16.9 million, which is 100.5% of budgeted revenue.  The surplus in revenue estimates is a result of a strong student retention rate, the addition of the Doctorate of Nursing Practices, and prerequisites for the Speech Pathology program that will start in Fall 2018.
  • Total Operating Revenue received so far for the 2017-18 fiscal year total $37.3 million.
  • As stated in the November 2017 financial report, all appropriations ($16.3 million) have been received for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  In addition, the PEBA retirement credit has been received as a reduction in retirement expenses, but for budgetary purposes is reflected as a non-recurring revenue for the university.
  • Auxiliary and Designated Revenues received to date are primarily related to student fee collections and Dining Services and Patriot Bookstore contractual revenue for Fall 2017.
  • Capital and Debt related funds received are associated with interest earned by the university on capital project funds and funds transferred to cover debt service for the Athletic Complex.
  • Total Budgeted Revenues for 2017-18 is $88 million, of which $72.3 million is received.
  • As of the report date, 53% of general funds were expended.  This is in line with budget expectations and is comparable to the figure of 55% reported in January 2017.
  • Total Employee Headcount is 502, and FTE is 449.69. The four-year change is 15 for headcount and 12.39 for FTE.
  • The current financial aid estimate for 2017-18 is $52,229,599.  This is a 1.8% decrease from November’s report, which is due to a decline of $652,000 in estimated loans that students will obtain this year.

Mr. Jones concluded his report. 

Student Affairs and Athletics Committee: 

Mr. Bryson presented the following information reported to the committee:

Student Affairs:

  • The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration took place on January 11, and the keynote speaker for the program was City Councilwoman, Teresa Ervin.
  • Homecoming was a big success and included the following activities:
    1. The Patriot Experience – featured a three-point shootout with students and professors, a dunk contest, and performances by the Francis Marion Cheerleaders and Dance Team. (Over 140 students in attendance)
    2. Patriot Bonfire
    3. Homecoming Parade (Theme – “A Hero’s Homecoming”)
  •  An International Holocaust Program was held on January 24, and Marlene Roth with the Columbia Holocaust Education Commission was the speaker.
  • Student Government Association Executive Officer elections were held on February 27 and 28, and senate elections will be held on March 6 and 7.
  • The Student Government Association is planning a professional development trip to New York City during Spring Break.


  • The women’s basketball team finished their season with a record of 16-12.
  • The men’s basketball team finished third-place in the Peach Belt Conference regular season.  The team will be playing against UNC-Pembroke in the PBC Tournament Semi-Finals at Clayton State University on Saturday, March 3.
  • Detrek Browning, senior guard for the men’s basketball team, was named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year.  He was named the PBC Player of the Week a record seven times this season and a record ten times in his career.  In addition, he set program records for points in a game (41), season (699), and career (2318).
  • Former National Champion and All-American golfer, Matt Dura, and four-time All-American tennis player, Annamaria Karai Meadows, became members of the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame when they were inducted during Homecoming weekend.
  • The men’s and women’s cross country teams earned US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for the 2017 seasons, with team grade point averages of 3.41 and 3.29 respectively.
  • The overall GPA for student athletes for the Fall 2017 semester was 3.013.
  • Donations are still being accepted for the Swamp Fox Athletic Auction on April 26.

Mr. Bryson concluded his report. 

President’s Report: 

Dr. Carter made the following comments during his report:

  • Appreciation was extended to the trustees for approving the resolutions for the new Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning, the new option for Teacher certification in the Bachelor of Science in History and Bachelor of Arts in History, and the new options for Sports Marketing and Sports Management in the Bachelor of Business Administration.
  • The faculty of the Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Department has completed their feasibility study for a Mechanical Engineering Degree and has recommended that this program be started.  Their proposal will soon go before the faculty governance for approval, after which it will be brought before the board for approval.  Provided that the board approves the program, it is expected that funding for the Mechanical Engineering Degree will be included in the appropriation request for the following year.  This program will be an enormous compliment to our Industrial Engineering program as the university continues to work toward developing a comprehensive Department of Engineering.
  • Within the next few board meetings, resolutions will be brought before the trustees to approve new specialties in Nursing.
  • Mr. Tucker Mitchell published an article in the recent View Magazine regarding the agreement between FMU, Coastal Carolina University, and the Belle Baruch Foundation to establish the new Belle Baruch Institute for South Carolina Studies.  The program is well underway now, due in large part to the hard work of Dr. Lynn Hanson, who is the Co-Director.
  • Over the past five years, the university has focused on a number of initiatives:
    1. The first was to invest heavily in upgrades to campus security.  Those improvements included adding the new Swamp Fox Alert System, a new emergency siren system, additional security cameras, additional police officers, and enhanced equipment and professional gear for the police officers.
    2. The following year, the university sought appropriations to begin developing an Enterprise Resource Planning System in order to have an integrated information system across campus.  This system would serve students and other constituencies by providing them with timely information that would allow them to manage their own academic life with the support of faculty and staff.
    3. Two years ago, with support of the State General Assembly, the university made a serious effort to improve Graduation and Retention Rates by beginning the Center for Academic Support and Advisement.  Dr. Jennifer Kunka has done a remarkable job in leading CASA.  The university has realized notable successes in the support that we provide students, particularly first-year students.  These successes have been seen in areas such as academic advisement, the Writing Lab, the Math Lab, the Tutoring Lab, and Early Warning Alerts.
    4. Last Year, the university began working on revamping our admissions process, and Dr. Alissa Warters has done a wonderful job in leading this effort.  The following actions have been taken with regard to improving the admissions process.a.  Mrs. Jamee Hunt Freeman has been hired as the new Director of Admissions.
      b.  We have increased the number of Admission Counselors, who are the direct recruiters at high schools.
      c.  The university has changed its message to better alert people across the region and state that we are
      much more of a comprehensive university now with a wide range of majors.
    5. Next year, the university will focus on student programming and student activities.  Efforts are underway to           reorganize the Office of Student Affairs
  • Recognition is extended to Dr. Chris Kennedy and Mr. Tucker Mitchell who worked very hard to put in the place the President’s Bowl competition this year.
  • Arts International is being moved back to campus this year.  There will be many different and creative aspects added to the event this year, one of which is a collapsible boat race on Lake Coleman.
  • The SACS Reaffirmation Team arrives on campus in two weeks.  One part of the process will involve having the Board of Trustees complete an annual self-survey.  This will allow each trustee to address their own knowledge and competencies regarding their trusteeship.  Surveys were then distributed to each trustee by Dr. Charlene Wages, and they were asked to either complete them before leaving the meeting or return them to Dr. Charlene Wages by mail in the reply envelope provided.
  • The speaker at the university’s Spring 2018 Commencement will be Senator Harvey Peeler.
  • All trustees are invited to the Annual Alumni Awards Reception and Ceremony being held tonight at the Performing Arts Center.  The reception begins at 6:00, and the ceremony follows at 6:30.

Unfinished Business:

Mr. Jackson brought two items of unfinished business before the board:

  • The following amendments to the bylaws, which were approved unanimously by the Executive Committee, were distributed to the board members at the November 2017 meeting for consideration:

Proposed Amendments to the By-laws:

Amend Section 4 of the by-laws as indicated below:

4.  Officers of the Board

The officers of the Board of Trustees shall consist of the Chair, the Vice Chair and the Secretary. Election of officers in
shall be held at the quarterly fall winter meeting annually. After 2018, officer elections will be held at the spring
. New officers will assume office at the quarterly spring meeting on July 1st subsequent to the election. Each
officer is elected for two three years or until a successor is elected or qualified. In the event of a vacancy in the Chair’s
position, the Vice Chair will succeed to the position for the remainder of the term. All other vacancies in any office may
be filled at any meeting. A chair may not serve consecutive three-year terms. The other officers may serve multiple

Mr. Jackson brought the amendments before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the amendments received unanimous approval by the board.

  • The following slate of officers for 2018-2019, which were approved unanimously by the Executive Committee, were distributed to the board members at the November 2017 meeting for consideration:

Chairman:  Mr. Robert Lee

Vice Chairman:  Dr. Randall Dozier

Secretary:  Mr. Floyd Keels

Mr. Jackson brought the slate of officers before the board for approval.  There being no objections, the slate of officers received unanimous approval by the board. 

New Business: 


Executive Session:

Not needed

Mr. Jackson adjourned the meeting at 5:02 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

William Edward Gunn