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Winthrop University
South Carolina, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Oct 18, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Chancellors & Presidents
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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at Winthrop University in South Carolina

For complete information, see the Search Profile.

Winthrop University seeks an exceptional, vibrant, and visible leader with creativity, energy, and vision to serve in the executive leadership role of President. With the abilities to balance and prioritize, the President will possess the discernment to assess, modify, and define a path on which Winthrop can pursue its mission and goals.

For complete information, see the Search Profile


The Opportunity

This presidential search is an opportunity to lead one of the outstanding universities in the nation. Winthrop is a public, comprehensive, masters-level university in the thriving city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, a vibrant suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. Ranked 6th by U.S. News & World Report among Southern public universities and in the top 20 of public and private institutions in the region, the University provides an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement, enabling students to develop the knowledge, skills, and values that enrich their life and prepare them for all the future holds.

     Serving approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Winthrop prides itself on being a close-knit, diverse campus family. The University is at the forefront of educational opportunities and offers degrees that meet today’s growing and emerging job markets. From cyber security and clinical mental health counseling to data science, musical theatre, and athletic training, Winthrop offers 46 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees across four colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the Richard W. Riley College of Education, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Over the last four years, the University has added a number of new undergraduate and graduate academic programs and is poised to add its first professional doctoral programs in the near future.

     Through national accreditation, the University has set a high bar of excellence with its accredited programs. Winthrop is one of only 37 U.S. universities and the only South Carolina institution with its undergraduate and graduate arts programs—theatre, dance, music, fine arts, and design—nationally accredited. Additionally, the Business College is AACSB-accredited—a designation held by less than 5% of business programs worldwide.

     Winthrop has been listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 10 Regional Public Universities in the South in the magazine’s “America’s Best Colleges” for more than two decades. Through the SC INBRE initiative, Winthrop has provided hundreds of student-centered research experiences since 2005, increasing the matriculation of participating students into graduate and professional programs.

     Winthrop, with its emphasis on civic engagement, was praised for a fourth year in a row by Washington Monthly for its success in getting students to vote and was included on its 2021 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll. The University also was selected as one of 200+ U.S. institutions to earn the designation “Voter Friendly Campus” from the national nonpartisan organization’s Campus Vote Project (CVP) and NASPA.

     Winthrop is highly respected for its outstanding undergraduate research program, public art partnerships, and designation as a Certified Green Workplace.

     Undergraduates represent 48 states and 31 countries with diverse students comprising 45% of the student population. The student-faculty ratio is 12:1, the average class size is 19, and 87% of full-time faculty hold terminal degrees in their discipline.

     Winthrop is committed to serving Veterans and first-generation college students. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded the University with Yellow Ribbon status for helping veterans pay for their degrees, as well as has recognized it as a Purple Heart University. The University also was tapped by the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA, and the Suder Foundation, as one of its 2021-22 First-gen Forward Institutions for improving the experiences of first-generation college students.

     Winthrop is a campus of champions. The athletics program boasts 73 Big South Championship regular season titles and 65 Big South Conference tournament championship titles. The 16 teams, nine for women and seven for men, participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level. The men’s basketball team, conference champions the last two years, has made it to the top 32 teams in the NCAA and beat Notre Dame in their pursuit. The University also added a Varsity Esports team in 2019, and the Eagles claimed their first and a subsequent national title in 2021.

     Knowing the importance of life beyond the classroom, the University has more than 150 student clubs and organizations, along with 18 Greek fraternities and sororities. A mile from the main campus sits the Winthrop Athletics, Recreation and Research Area, home to Winthrop Lake, a 6,100-seat coliseum, and numerous athletic facilities for collegiate and recreational play.

Leadership Agenda and Presidential Priorities

  • Refine the University’s academic and co-curricular programs, offerings, and services to anticipate new needs and initiatives
  • Provide focused attention to recruitment and enrollment management through a willingness to pursue data-driven decisions to secure and strengthen admissions, financial aid, retention, transfer, and graduation 
  • Implement a sustainable financial model and budget, including exploring additional revenue-generating opportunities
  • Build and inspire a collaborative and stable leadership team that transparently operates all processes and is held accountable for executing duties and responsibilities
  • Implement the Campus Master Plan in a manner that responds to the needs of the University in the near and longer-term future
  • Anticipate higher education trends and post-pandemic realities and, with the Board of Trustees, redefine the Winthrop strategic plan to prioritize and coordinate resources to advance the University
  • Develop an integrated and multi-modal marketing and communications program that identifies and promotes Winthrop’s unique niche for future growth
  • Expand Winthrop’s fundraising program based on an innovative vision and expansion of the donor base in order to lead a comprehensive fundraising campaign
  • Collaborate, communicate, and counsel with the Winthrop University Board of Trustees to create a team that works seamlessly to advance the mission of the University

Desired Experience, Attributes, and Characteristics

Education and Personal Style 

  • An earned terminal degree and a successful record of at least 10 years as a leader within one or more institutions of comparable or greater complexity, preferably in higher education, or an equivalent combination of the two
  • Essential personal characteristics of integrity, excellent listening skills, inner strength, stamina, an approachable and engaging demeanor, and the desire to be a visible presence on campus and in the community

Management Style

  • A decisive, adaptive, and innovative leader who commits available resources (human, physical, and financial) to bring about data-driven results
  • A history of assembling and motivating a dedicated, focused, powerful, and dynamic team with a record of accomplishment related to approved goals and timely implementation
  • An ability to create annual goals for the institution and integrate those into the operational plans for departments, faculty, and staff

Financial Knowledge

  • An experienced, transparent financial steward who has overseen complex budgets and has executive experience with a governing board to develop and implement strategies to sustain and, over time, strengthen an institution’s financial position
  • Outstanding fiscal skills, including a record of sound budgetary stewardship; resourcefulness in developing ways to generate revenue through new avenues; and knowledge of changing university financial models

Enrollment Knowledge

  • A visionary who is willing to boldly propose and implement strategies for Winthrop to thrive in a rapidly evolving, post-pandemic, more socially responsible, and increasingly diverse world
  • A champion of academic rigor who will foster an environment that spurs innovative thinking around curricular and co-curricular development and educational outcomes

External Engagement & Fundraising

  • A history of developing effective relationships with a full range of external constituents
  • Willingness to advocate vigorously for Winthrop, to innovate when raising support and funds, and to devise new revenue streams by developing trust and cultivating long-term relationships with potential donors and community partners to ensure strong financial support for the University

Diversity Experience

  • A demonstrated record of accomplishment and impact in advancing issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, encouraging a culture of and acceptance for diverse thought and comfortably participating in and championing open dialogue on matters of importance to include a spectrum of political opinions

Governing Boards & Employee Relations

  • Interpersonal skills to partner and work effectively with the Winthrop Board of Trustees, presidential colleagues in South Carolina and the Big South Conference, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, and the state legislature and other governmental bodies
  • A desire for a positive, strong working relationship with the Board of Trustees as a path to success and effective, efficient operations
  • A successful history as a catalyst for change with demonstrated change management skills and experience, including the ability to galvanize and inspire employees

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Rock Hill is a business-savvy blend of historic charm, responsibly implemented expansion, and warm hospitality. Currently a community of 67,000 residents, the city has experienced rapid growth over the past few years and is expected to continue that trend as South Carolina is the 6th fastest growing state in the U.S. and York County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation with a population of over 300,000 citizens. The area offers a wide variety of shopping, dining, and recreation, with all the amenities of a major city. Charlotte, North Carolina, with a metro population of 2.7 million people, is a 20-mile drive away.

     Some of the exciting growth in Rock Hill is the development of Knowledge Park, a master planned area, home to technology leaders, innovative startups, and creative industries. Within Knowledge Park and adjacent to Winthrop is University Center, a mixed use development of 14 buildings that include: market rate apartments, student housing, Class A office space, an indoor sports complex, a hotel, numerous retail and food vendors, restaurants, an outdoor entertainment venue, and more.

     Rock Hill’s reputation as a sports destination continues to grow as the Carolina Panthers Headquarters & Training Facility, a $1 billion investment in a 240-acre site currently under construction, is added to an impressive array of venues including a Velodrome, BMX Supercross Track, soccer and tennis complexes, and Miracle Park with fields specifically designed for individuals with physical and cognitive challenges.

     Named an “All-America City” by the National Civic League in 2019, Rock Hill is a great place to live, work, and enjoy unforgettable adventures.


Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.

Applications - Application packet must include: a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, b) Current curriculum vitae or resume, and c) At least four references with full contact information including e-mails References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.

Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to Review of applications begins immediately. For best consideration, submit applications by January 10, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application.

Nominations - Submit nominations to with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.

Emily Parker Myers, CEO, and Kenny Daugherty, President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, are the consultants for this search. Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, is assisting the consultants. Request a conversation by contacting Emily Parker Myers at or Kenny Daugherty at or call 478-330-6222.

Winthrop University recognizes that employees are the essential resource of the institution. Winthrop is committed to the principles of equal employment. It is the policy of the University that all personnel related decisions be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, age (forty-plus / 40+), protected disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. This policy applies to all personnel actions including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, classification/compensation, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, recall from layoffs and educational, social, or recreational programs of this institution.


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