Winthrop University trustees say if the school’s attendance rises to 7,000 students, they’ll likely look toward a private student housing facility just off-campus to fill the need.
Leaders said Friday they were going to monitor the development of a proposed private housing facility in the Knowledge Park/ University Center area on the former Bleachery site.
Winthrop president Dan Mahony said that facility is projected to be open in fall 2019.
The university has eight residence halls and apartments, including the Courtyard at Winthrop, for a total of 2,576 campus beds. All first- and second-year students are required to live on campus unless they reside within a 50-mile radius of the campus.
There is also one existing off-campus, private purpose-built student housing project adjacent to Winthrop’s campus.
Sixty-two percent of students surveyed said they were satisfied with their current housing situation, with around 9 percent saying they were very satisfied.
For a long-term solution, Winthrop officials say they will contract with a national financial advising firm to develop a comprehensive housing financial plan for the university.
The trustees voted Friday afternoon to flesh out board bylaws relating to the university's standing committees, which report and monitor the university's business.
The revisions, which passed with a unanimous vote from those attending the board's retreat at the DiGiorgio Campus Center, give the trustees more authority over Winthrop's strategic planning.
They also designate a principal liaison from each committee responsible for both reporting results and concerns to the board. In most cases, the standing committees are asked to “assist” the board in fulfilling its oversight responsibility.
The wording in the original bylaws stated that most standing committees wielded "general oversight" on their goals. The trustees have the power to create standing committees which report directly to the board.
There are seven standing committees, including the Executive Committee, the Committee on Academic Quality, the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Institutional Advancement and Development, the Committee on Student Life and Athletics, the Committee on Enrollment and Retention, and the Committee on Compensation.
Trustees also decided to postpone a decision considering whether to open a new board seat for Winthrop staff members.
That decision will come at the next full board meeting March 10.