Winthrop University Fires President Effective Immediately

Board of Trustees Hold 2-Hour Closed Session


by WCCB Charlotte

 ROCK HILL, S.C. - Trustees at Winthrop University came out of a two-hour closed meeting Thursday and voted unanimously to fire Dr. Jamie Comstock Williamson, Winthrop's embattled president, effective immediately.

The board said it had the right to terminate Williamson's contract without giving her 30-days notice. Two weeks ago, the board suspended her and gave her notice of "termination of cause."  The board finalized their actions today, and voted to end Williamson's contract without notice.

Kathy Bigham, board chair, said in a statement after the meeting, "...the Board determined the evidence in its udgment was clear and convincing that Cuase exists to warrant immiediate termination."

Williamson came under fire after it came to light that the university had hired her husband, Dr. Larry Williamson, for a part-time job. The board said it considered that a violation of the S.C. Code of Ethics. The board also questioned Williamson's decisions to raise salaries of some staff members and increase summer tuition rates with little warning.

Citing restoring public trust in the university, Bigham added, "We believe the actions we have just taken once again have aligned Winthrop with those long-held values and therefore, are in the best interest of Winthrop's future.

Williamson was hired in July 2013.

Provost Debra Boyd has been appointed acting president of Winthrop.



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