Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors Meeting May 9, 2011

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on May 9, 2011 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector John Conrad presiding.

Present from the Board

Mr. Carlos Brown
Mr. John A. Conrad
The Hon. Flora Crittenden
Ms. Jane Susan Frank
Ms. Vicki Siokis Freeman
Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
Ms. Frances Luter
Mr. Michael C. Martin
Mr. Brian K. Meals
Mrs. Margo D. Taylor
Mr. W. L. Thomas, Jr.
Mr. Preston White
Mr. Veasey Wilson


Present from the University

President Paul Trible
Ms. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
Mr. William L. Brauer, Executive Vice President
Dr. Mark Padilla, Provost
Mr. Maurice O’Connell, Vice President for Student Services
Mr. William Heath, Acting Vice President for Advancement
Mr. William Thro, University Counsel
Dr. Peter Carlson, President of the Faculty Senate
Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
Mr. Ross Snare, Former Student Assembly President
Ms. Julianna Wait, Administrative Assistant Student Affairs

Rector Conrad called the meeting to order and welcomed the reporters from the Daily Press and Captain’s Log to the meeting.  He also welcomed Ms. Julianna Wait, Administrative Assistant in Student Affairs, who was attending the meeting to observe as part of her pursuing a master’s degree in higher education.

Rector Conrad called for approval of the minutes of the Board meeting held on February 18, 2011.  Ms. Hunnicutt provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.    

President’s Report

President Trible reminded the Board of the upcoming graduation activities and expressed his hope that as many of the Board members as possible would be able to participate.    He announced that approximately 900 students would walk and that ABC News Correspondent Sam Donaldson would be the commencement speaker.

He reported that over 8,000 applications for admissions had been received and over 4,300 students were accepted and currently 1,252 students have said they will be attending CNU in the fall.  These students have an average GPA of 3.7 plus and SAT above 1200.  He thanked Vice President Maury O’Connell for his hard work and for heading up the admissions office this year and said that a search is underway for a new Dean of Admissions.  He told the Board that for the first time this year students were encouraged to be interviewed.  The interviews were conducted by a group of recent graduates called the CNU Fellows. The CNU Fellows interviewed approximately 1,700 students and of those, most of them applied. Seventy-seven percent of those students were accepted and over half have said they will attend CNU.  Also this year there was an early decision deadline of December 15th and over 300 students applied for early decision.   Two hundred were accepted which makes up one-sixth of the freshman class. President Trible was pleased to report that essentially one-third of the freshman class will be in the President’s Leadership program which will have approximately 400 students.  On average the students in PLP have an average GPA of 4.0 and an SAT of 1250.  

President Trible reported that Mark Warner recently spoke to the students in the President’s Leadership Program as part of that speaker series.  He also told the Board of the recent Friends of Music and Friends of the Library Event which was held in the rotunda of the Trible Library and provided a wonderful array of performances and a report by Mark Reimer on the substantial accomplishments of the music program.  President Trible told the Board that he had just completed his fourth visit around the State this spring meeting with alumni and parents reporting on events at CNU. Approximately 400 people attended these events with the largest turn out being in Northern Virginia.  He told the Board he had also been sending out monthly Reports of the President by e-mail to over 25,000 friends of CNU – alumni, parents, prospective students, etc. in an effort to stay in touch and engage important constituents of the University.

President Trible said this was the best year ever for our athletic teams.  CNU won over 78% of their games which is a new school record.  To date, over 260 victories have been celebrated and nine teams are playing in post-season national tournaments.   He announced that the baseball team is ranked #1 in the nation and the women’s basketball team played in the Final Four and finished 3rd in the nation.  Barbara Davis was given the award for top academic record of any of the participants in the Final Four and Chelsie Schweers was the national player of the year scoring more points in basketball than any other woman in the history of Virginia.  She is the second leading scorer in the nation and the second leading three-point scorer in history among all women.  

He announced that Adelia Thompson was recently hired as the new Vice President for Advancement.  Ms. Thompson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Birmingham Southern and has had senior fundraising experiences at a number of schools.  He thanked Mr. Bill Heath for being the Acting Vice President and providing his leadership over the last several months.

He told the Board that the line up for the Ferguson Center was announced with much fanfare recently and asked Vice Rector Frank to elaborate on the evening.  Vice Rector Frank thanked those who contributed and participated and stated that although initially the concept for the evening gave everyone a reason to pause, the execution was masterful.  It was not “crafty cutesy, it was Hollywood flashy” with over 200 participants.  She described the fun and excitement of the evening and said that this will become an annual event.

President Trible announced that on September 18th CNU will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary which will be celebrated throughout the entire academic year.  On the weekend of September 18th there will be many festivities for CNU students, faculty, alumni, emeritus faculty, staff and friends of CNU with an exciting Gala on the evening of the 18th.  

Construction on campus is moving forward and he reported that Forbes Hall which will house the sciences – biology, chemistry and environmental science and psychology -- will be ready for students in August.  The Freeman Center expansion will also be completed and ready in the fall.    In July, the second phase of Forbes Hall which will replace the old science building with a new wing will begin. Also in July Wingfield will be demolished to begin construction of Luter Hall which will house the Luter School of Business, economics, leadership and American studies, mathematics, physics, computer science and engineering.  Warwick River Residence Hall is currently underway, which is located between the Administration Building and Prince Drew and that will house approximately 460 sophomores.  Construction of the Chapel will begin in May as well as the construction of 1,200 new parking spaces.   In addition, Ratcliffe Hall will be expanded to more appropriately support the intercollegiate teams on campus.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Mr. Martin reported that the Committee received a report from the State Auditor, received a presentation on the tuition and fee proposal and had a brief presentation on the statement of revenue and expenditures.  The Committee reviewed the SWaM report and felt confident on that status.   Mr. Martin said CNU received a good report from the State Auditor who praised CNU’s staff for their continued good efforts and said that the search continues for an internal auditor for the University.  He requested that one or more members of the Finance Committee participate in the final interviews of candidates for that position.  

Mr. Martin asked Ms. Perry, Chief of Staff, to present the tuition and fees proposal to the Board and to include the recommendations that were made by the Finance and Audit Committee.  Ms. Perry reviewed in detail the history and current status of the funding source for education noting that the State support has decreased dramatically over the years.  

She reported that the Finance Committee had asked that two recommendations be considered.  One was to keep the percentage increase for out-of-state students the same as in-state students and to also look at an increase in the comprehensive fee.    The Committee recommended an increase in tuition for in-state students of $634, an increase in the comprehensive fee for both in-state and out-of state students of $200 and an increase in room and board fees of $188.  This proposal represents a total increase of $1,022 for in-state students which is 5.5% .  The Committee recommended an increase in out-of-state tuition of $1,114, a $200 increase in the comprehensive fee and $188 for room and board bringing the total increase for out of state students to $1,502 which is also 5.5%.

Ms. Perry noted that the administration is considering establishing a lab fee of $50 for courses in science and in arts and that determination will be made later in the spring.  This consideration is largely due to Forbes Hall’s sophisticated laboratories and instrumentation. She said that a parking decal fee increase will be deferred.  She explained that the new parking lot is debt financed for approximately $3 million and that will require an increase in the parking fee.  However the debt will not be issued until later this fall.  This year there is an interest only payment so the increase in the parking fee will be deferred to the following year.  

Mr. Martin presented Resolution 1:  Tuition and Fees to the Board based on the 5.5% increase as a motion from the Finance Committee.  Following discussion of the Resolution, Rector Conrad called for approval of the motion from the Finance Committee and Resolution 1 passed by unanimous consent of the Board.

Mr. Martin directed the Board to Resolution 2 Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures for Capital Project From the Proceeds of 9(D) Bonds – Parking Deck II and Surface Parking and Resolution 3 Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures for Capital Project from the Proceeds of 9(D) Bonds – Expand Residential Dining Facility and said that the Finance Committee recommends the approval of these two Resolutions.  Rector Conrad explained that the Resolutions allow the University to be reimbursed from tax exempt bonds for these two projects.  He called for discussion and approval of Resolutions 2 and 3 and they passed by unanimous consent of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Vice Rector Frank called on Provost Padilla to report on discussion of Resolution 5: New Degree Program – The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work.    Provost Padilla said this resolution allows the credentialing of social work majors to be enhanced.  He said that there is a demand for this program and there is a demand in the job market for social work majors.  Dr. Carlson, Faculty Senate President, added that the Faculty Senate had reviewed the process and are supportive of this Resolution.  Vice Rector Frank said the Resolution comes to the Board at the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee.  Rector Conrad called for discussion and then called for a vote on Resolution 5 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.  

Vice-Rector Frank then asked Provost Padilla to review Resolution 4: Plan of Compensation.  Provost Padilla stated that the only number that had changed from last year was the compensation for Assistant Professors.  The authorized maximum for Assistant Professors had remained the same for a number of years and this change brings the salary in line with the other academic ranks.  He explained that this Resolution also allows the Provost to make equity adjustments in salary avoiding having new faculty members making more than those who have been employed for a number of years.  Vice Rector Frank reported that the committee had a lot of discussion on this matter and requested a review of what other compensation looks like in the state and how other universities evaluate their compensation structure. She said that Resolution 4 comes to the Board at the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee.  Rector Conrad called for questions and discussion and then called for a vote on Resolution 4 which passed unanimously by the Board.

Student Life Committee Report

Ms. Crittenden said that Mr. O’Connell provided the Committee with an admissions report and then requested Dr. Hughes, Dean of Students, to give the student life report.  Dr. Hughes stated that much effort this year has been devoted to the student success initiative and the early alert system identified 550 students who were reached out to provide additional support from student affairs and academic affairs.  CNU is starting a sophomore launch program to help students with transitional issues.  Dr. Hughes also reported that there are now over 200 clubs and organizations on campus.  The Student Assembly had elections in April and had a good and competitive candidate pool and a significant increase in voter turnout.  President Trible acknowledged Ross Snare and his leadership with the Student Assembly during the past year and thanked him for his efforts.  

Ms. Crittenden reported that a number of our students had received various awards and were being awarded opportunities to study in areas that would enhance their education and Dr. Hughes elaborated on several of these.  Ms. Crittenden was impressed that many of these students do their own research and find their own opportunities.

Mr. Jett Johnson, the newly elected President of the Student Assembly, reported to the Committee that 20% of the students voted in the Student Assembly election.  Ms. Crittenden was concerned about that percentage because it is important for students to be educated about participating in a political process and challenged him to derive strategies to improve the voter turnout.

Faculty Senate Report

Dr. Carlson said that many initiatives were undertaken and completed this academic year and core advising was extremely successful in helping our first year students to transition into college life. He told the Board that a new program will be in effect next year for faculty.  The Faculty Senate will identify and give awards in three areas – teaching, professional development and service. He said that the Faculty Senate had recommended to the Provost to improve the compensation for department chairs and if approved, this will go into effect this summer.  He also noted that work continues with the President and Provost to reduce the teaching loads.  Dr. Carlson said that he now completes his 4 years on the Faculty Senate and expressed the appreciation of the Faculty Senate for the support of the President, Provost, Chief of Staff and Board of Visitors.  President Trible thanked Dr. Carlson for his excellent leadership and said the Dr. Carlson was a strong advocate for the faculty but he always did that with a gentle spirit and persuasive argument.  Rector Conrad added, speaking on behalf of the BOV, that “Dr. Carlson has provided a rare combination of intellectual and emotional personal gifts that have provided wonderful leadership in what typically is intense between policy leaders and those who teach.  You are a very gifted man and we appreciate your sharing your gifts with the Board of Visitors and the University.”

Rector Conrad called for a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2.3711A(1) Personnel; A(2) Real Estate, A(8) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising and A(10) Honorary degrees.  Vice-Rector Frank provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin and passed by unanimous consent of the Board.

The Board returned to open session and Vice-Rector Frank asked for a roll call certifying that only public matters were discussed that were identified in the motion by which the executive or closed meeting was called.  Board members Mr. Martin, Ms. Hunnicutt, Ms. Crittenden, Mr. Wilson, Rector Conrad, Ms. Luter, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Taylor, Ms. Freeman, Mr. White, Mr. Brown and Mr. Meals certified to the above.

Rector Conrad called for a motion to approve Resolutions 6-14: Award of Emeritus Status.  Vice-Rector Frank provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Crittenden and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.  He then called for a motion to approve Resolutions 15-16: Leave of Absence for Instructional Faculty which was provided by Vice-Rector Frank and seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.  He reported that Resolution 17:  Change to the By-Laws was discussed and will be voted upon at the June Board of Visitors Meeting.  Rector Conrad then called for a motion to bestow an Honorary Degree upon the Commencement Speaker Sam Donaldson.  Vice-Rector Frank provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Brown and passed by unanimous consent of the Board.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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