Winthrop tuition to rise 3.1 percent; trustees OK Comstock’s contract

Posted June 7, 2013 4:41 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Jayne Marie Comstock meets with students during a campus meet-and-greet prior to her selection as the school’s tenth president. (FILE/Judy Longshaw)

It’s going to cost more to attend classes and live on campus at Winthrop University next year.

Winthrop’s Board of Trustees Friday approved a 3.1 percent tuition hike in-state students, while out of state students will pay 6.1 percent more for their undergraduate degrees. That amounts to $6,715 per semester for in-state student, $202 more than last year. Out of student tuition will cost $13,000 or $762 more than last year.

Students living in on-campus dorms will pay an additional five percent for room and board fees. Those fees vary depending on various living options.

Friday’s increases are all pending final budget approval by the state legislature and final review by Governor Nikki Haley.

This year, Winthrop is set to receive a $350,000 increase in state appropriations, the first such increase since state funding was cut in half to $13 million in 2007.

“The state now provides less than 10 percent of Winthrop’s funds,” outgoing Winthrop University president Anthony DiGiorgio said, addressing the school’s Board of Trustees. “If the $350,000 for next year is approved as a recurring allocation, that will be a first step toward extending benefits of the state’s  economic recovery to our annual operating budget. That’s the good news. The bad news is, there’s still $12 million more to go to get back to the state funding level Winthrop had seven years ago.”

New President’s Contract Approved

Also Friday, trustees approved a five-year contract for incoming president Jayne Marie Comstock. Comstock was named earlier this year as Winthrop’s tenth president, replacing DiGiorgio after 24 years leading the university.

Comstock’s contract officially runs July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018 and was approved by unanimous vote.

“This formally brings to a conclusion Winthrop’s search for a tenth president and prepares us for a smooth start to the new fiscal year on July 1,” said Board Chair Dalton Floyd. “As a rolling contract, it follows the concept that has been in place at Winthrop for many years.”

Comstock will earn a state funded salary of $169,970 per year, including a supplement fro the Winthrop University Foundation. The contact also provides for $5,000 in moving expenses, a monthly car allowance, membership dues in sate and national professional educators’ organizations and reserved parking spots around campus.

Comstock is also eligible for up to a three-month sabbatical following her third year in office.

New Board of Trustees Chair

Winthrop alumna Kathy Bigham was named Friday as the next chairwoman of the schools Board of Trustees. Florence attorney Karl Folkens was named as vice chair.

Both will serve one-year terms, following the departure of outgoing chairman Dalton Floyd, Junior. The Surfside Beach attorney joined the board in 2007 as an appointee of Gov. Mark Sanford.

Bigham, led the university’s ten-member presidential search panel, that ultimately ended with the selection of Jayne Marie Comstock.