Here’s What the Newberry College Board of Trustees Decided in February
February 16, 2021
NEWBERRY — In its February meeting, the Newberry College Board of Trustees approved numerous significant measures, including a renewal of the Tuition Promise for incoming students, the election of new board members, and one step closer to the launch of a graduate program. The virtual meeting was held Friday, Feb. 12.
“Friday was a great day for Newberry College. Thanks to the hard work of the Board of Trustees, we continue our trajectory of institutional improvement while advancing strategies to provide an accessible, high-quality education for our students,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We are not only setting goals of growth, accessibility and affordability, but we are exceeding them despite all odds.”
For the third consecutive year, the board has frozen tuition costs for incoming first-year students for their four years at Newberry College. While tuition, fees, room and board will increase 1.2% for the 2021-22 academic year, the Tuition Promise guarantees that each new student’s tuition rate is locked in at the time of enrollment and will not increase for their subsequent years. The initiative does not apply to room and board costs during the same period. The promise was made in 2019 and expanded to include transfer students, all part of the college’s commitment to affordability.
“We know as a matter of fact that this program is a great benefit to our students, especially over the last year,” said Rob Best, a 1971 graduate and chair of the Board of Trustees. “This initiative is designed to give peace of mind that incoming students’ tuition costs will not increase. It’s a little bit of certainty for uncertain times.”
Second, the board ratified membership for three new members who will officially take their seats in May. Financial specialist and entrepreneur Mary Grate-Pyos, class of 1981, has served as president of the Alumni Board of Managers. The Rev. Kevin Strickland, class of 2004, took office in October 2019 as the fourth bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. John Winarchick retired as CEO of Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. in 2020, after 31 years of service.
“Each of these new members, Mrs. Grate-Pyos, Bishop Strickland and Mr. Winarchick, has already contributed immeasurably to Newberry College though time, talent or financial support,” said Best. “Each of them brings a great deal to the table, and we are confident that they will continue to help further the mission of the institution. We are so happy to welcome them aboard.”
Newberry College is also one step closer to a graduate program. The board will proceed with a plan to pursue a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership. Now that it has cleared institutional hurdles, the program will go to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for final approval. If ratified, the degree will be Newberry’s first graduate-level program since 1928.
The board approved the college’s 2021-22 operating budget, balanced at just over $30.5 million, a 1.6% expansion over the previous fiscal year. The college also received a clean opinion from national nonprofit consulting firm CapinCrouse. Scherrens called the budget and the report “indicative of the impeccable financial strength of the College.”