Diversity, fundraising, technology: Winthrop president lays out goals of 10-year plan

Winthrop University President Dan Mahony is seeking to increase diversity both in the student body and in the staff, double the university’s endowment and invest significantly in campus technology upgrades.

Mahony, in his second year as school president, also laid out a timetable to raiseoverall student enrollment to 7,500 during his inaugural “State of the University” address Thursday in Byrnes Auditorium.

The goals were part of a detailed 10-year plan Mahony said would guide the university through 2025, including initiatives to boost enrollment, satisfaction and fundraising.

Mahony stressed the success of the school’s 2025 goals would be evaluated each year and would drive the school’s allocation of funds.

“We will live and breathe it everyday,” he said, “and everyone will know what we are hoping to achieve.”

The Winthrop president said he began meeting with members of each department and office last fall to gather feedback and data to shape the strategic planning process. Plans were formed with the help of a “strategic planning committee” comprised of faculty, staff and students.

Mahony emphasized the importance of attracting and retaining a talented, diverse staff and student body. To that end, he laid out concepts to increase the percentage of minority faculty/managerial staff from 14.4 percent to a possible 20 percent by 2025. He also hopes to see the percentage of African-American, Latino-American and Native-American students rise from 39 percent to 45 percent over the next decade.

He said he felt the school could do more to increase the diversity of staff hiring pools.

“We must stop being a well-kept secret and do a better job at telling the Winthrop story,” said Mahony.

The president seeks to nearly double the school’s endowment assets by 2025 – from $43.1 million to $80 million in 10 years.

Winthrop also seeks to nearly double its alumni giving rate from 8.6 percent to 15 percent.

Mahony told students that many of the school’s classrooms would receive upgraded technology, and he said that by 2025, the school should aim to outfit 50-60 classrooms with new gear. The school plans to spend between $15 million to $22 million annually on facilities, according to the plan. That’s up from $11.1 million.


“In order to be competitive and provide a 21st century learning experience, we have to implement better technology,” he said.

Mahony said that Winthrop will become a “national model” by achieving the long-term goals.

“We all have a role to play in the implementation of the Winthrop plan, and I ask each of you to find the many ways that you can contribute,” he said. “If we all do that, I am confident that we will be able to stand together in 2025 with pride in the success we will have achieved.”

David Thackham: 803-329-4066, @dthackham