Winthrop University President Dan Mahony is focused on increasing student enrollment, improving student and staff diversity, and offering more opportunities for non-traditional students.
The president gave an update on the plan for the college’s future through 2025 during his State of the University address Tuesday.
Mahony gave an update on the initiatives outlined in the Winthrop Plan, the university’s strategic plan that was launched in 2016. The plan aims to increase enrollment, retention, student success, diversity and fundraising.
“We must elevate our reputation as an institution and undertake initiatives that will help other institutions see what is possible,” Mahony said.
Winthrop strives to be a “national model for a student-centered university experience,” he said.
Earlier this year, Winthrop launched a new logo and branding initiative. Mahony said in February the new logo brings a more cohesive look to the campus and university as a whole.
“Refining and highlighting what makes Winthrop special has proven to be vitally important in our efforts for recruiting, fundraising and creating a focus for the pride we all feel for Winthrop University,” Mahony said.
Mahony addressed where the university stands on several goals:
- Winthrop was ranked second in the nation for black student success by an Education Trust national report last year, according to a Winthrop statement. The university’s black student average six-year graduation rate is 60 percent, 14 percentage points higher than the national average.
- In a S.C. Human Affairs Commission report looking at recruitment goals for women and minorities, Winthrop was ranked second in the state among four-year institutions, Mahony said. Winthrop also is seeing an increase in applications from minorities across campus positions, according to the release.
- Overall, Winthrop’s six-year graduation rate is down for 2018 but is expected to exceed the target goal of 60 percent for next year and set a record for the university, Mahony said. The four-year graduation rate has increased by more than seven percent. “It ultimately comes down to student success, so that for me is the biggest highlight,” Mahony said.
- Mahony said total headcount enrollment for 2018 is down. It’s a trend Mahony said is being seen in public universities.
- Winthrop is focused on increasing enrollment by adding new opportunities, Mahony said. Seventy-five students enrolled in Winthrop’s four online graduate programs in the fall. For working adults who seek a degree, the university’s bachelor of professional studies will allow them to finish school. Winthrop is seeking approval for that new program. “The fastest growing segment of the college market is non-traditional students, and this program will help serve their needs,” Mahony said.
- Mahony also said Winthrop is working to revise its general education program to be more “transfer-friendly.”
- Mahony said Winthrop’s partnerships with the community will bring benefits. Winthrop is involved in Rock Hill’s Knowledge Park program, Comporium’s Bike Share program and Miracle Park.
- Winthrop also is focused on improving its standing financially, Mahony said. The university’s debt ratio is decreasing and endowment funding is growing. Last year, the school provided $21 million in scholarships and grant dollars, according to the release.
A complete report is available on Mahony’s website at winthrop.edu/president/.