Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors Meeting June 17, 2011

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on June 17, 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. Bryan 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
Ms. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
Mr. William Thro, University Counsel
Dr. Scott Pollard, President of the Faculty Senate
Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
Ms. Amie Graham, Director of Alumni & University Events

Others
Ms. Samieh Shalash, Daily Press Reporter

Rector Conrad called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present.

Rector Conrad called for approval of the minutes of the Board meeting held on May 9, 2011.  Ms. Frank provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.   

Rector Conrad then called for ratification of RESOLUTION 17: By-Laws Change which was proposed and discussed at the last meeting.  Ms. Frank provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Crittenden.  There were no questions or further discussion and Resolution 17 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report
President Trible reported that this has been a great year in every respect. Students are excelling in the classroom and are being victorious on the playing fields.  He reported that a freshman class consisting of 1280 students is expected and those students will begin arriving on campus next week for our Setting Sail Programs.  He noted that the incoming class has an average high school GPA of 3.7 -- the highest in CNU’s history. He announced that a new Dean of Admissions, Mr. Rob Lange, had been hired following a national search and he is off to a great start and we are pleased to have him join CNU.

CNU’s athletic teams had another extraordinary year winning 78 percent of their games – a new school record – and topped the overall mark for wins in a season.  President Trible  announced that the CNU softball team played in the National Championship game and won 7 straight games and ended as #3 in the country. 

Commencement was a huge success with almost 1,000 graduates and ABC News Correspondent Sam Donaldson delivered an exceptional address telling the graduates they had “won the lottery and cash in your lottery tickets.”

President Trible then asked Director of Alumni Relations and University Events, Ms. Amie Graham, to provide the Board with an alumni update and to give a presentation on the upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration. Ms. Graham reported that a number of new initiatives had been started to increase alumni participation and contributions to the University including a new branding strategy, new logos, a new slogan “Captain for Life,” and they changed their name from the Christopher Newport University Alumni Society to the Christopher Newport Alumni Society to be inclusive of those alumni in earlier years.  She reported that a comprehensive communications plan had been established using social media and there had been a large and successful effort to obtain accurate mailing addresses for alumni.  She reported that there have been two large mailings - The Alumni Magazine and On the Move, and, in addition,  President Trible sent six e-mail blasts.  Ms. Graham reported that that the alumni chapters have been active and are growing in membership.  Importantly, this year the goal of alumni giving  reached 10%.  Ms. Graham then followed up with a Power Point presentation of the 50th Anniversary Activities and Gala.

President Trible reviewed the dates of upcoming events on campus and encouraged the Board members to attend.He noted that as the new fiscal year approaches four Board members would be appointed and that Rector Conrad would welcome any input on changes in committee assignments as well as suggestions on the structure and format of the Board meetings.  In addition, two Board members would be asked to serve on the CNU Education Foundation and the CNU Real Estate Foundation and asked if there was any interest of the Board members to serve on these Foundations to inform the Rector.     

Rector Conrad said that he would like input from the Board members on committee assignments prior to the September meeting.In addition, he requested that the Board communicate with him if they had suggestions or a desire to serve on either the CNU Education Foundation or Real Estate Foundation.

President Trible again thanked Ms. Crittenden, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Hunnicutt for their faithful service on the Board and for their commitment to the success of CNU.  Rector Conrad noted that this is the last meeting for Ms. Crittenden, Mr. Wilson and possibly Ms. Hunnicutt and on behalf of the entire Board of Visitors, expressed the Board’s sincere appreciation for their service to CNU and for a job well done.

Finance and Audit Committee Report
Mr. Martin, Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, reported that the Committee reviewed the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures and the SWaM report provided and everything looked in order and on track.  He noted that there had not been much change since the Board meeting of May 9th. 

Mr. Martin asked Mr. Brauer to report on the status of current capital projects.  Mr. Brauer reported that the Certificate of Occupancy for the new science building would be delivered in the very near future and that the Board was invited to tour Forbes Hall following the Board meeting.  He said that the Freeman Center is near completion and the Certificate of Occupancy will be in hand within a few weeks.  Mr. Brauer then reviewed with the Board the 13 major projects currently under construction or in the planning stages which total approximately $200 million.  President Trible noted that more construction will be initiated this year than any other year in the history of CNU.  He also said that the core of the campus was essentially complete and the ongoing construction is concealed from the Great Lawn and should not interfere with student life on campus.

Mr. Martin stated that in addition to the presentation of the budget there are two other resolutions to come before the Board for approval at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee.  Mr. Brauer reviewed RESOLUTION 1: Policy on Student Military Activation stating that by adopting this policy CNU will be in compliance with the guidelines of the State Council of  Higher Education.  Rector Conrad called for discussion and questions and then called for approval of Resolution 1 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer reviewed and explained of RESOLUTION 3:  Christopher Newport University’s Level II Application for increased delegated authority in the areas of  information technology and capital projects.  Rector Conrad called for discussion and questions and then called for approval of Resolution 3 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board. 

Mr. Martin then asked Chief of Staff Ms. Perry to present to the Board the Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 noting that the Budget Resolution comes to the Board for approval at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee.  Ms. Perry presented a total Operating Budget of $118,234,554  which includes $56,604,332 for Educational and General Programs; $5,405,020 in Student Financial Assistance; $54,001,320 for auxiliary enterprises; $1,498,882 for financial assistance for educational and general services and $725,000 in unrestricted contributions.  Following a thorough explanation of the proposed budget, Rector Conrad called for discussion and questions and then called for approval of RESOLUTION 2:  Christopher Newport University Budget for 2011-2012.  The Resolution passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report
Ms. Frank said a personal thank you to Ms. Crittenden and Mr. Wilson for all of their contributions to the Board and said she would miss their advice and input in the days ahead.  Ms. Frank said that the committee stayed in closed session for the majority of their meeting and asked that any questions be deferred until closed session.  Ms. Frank commended Provost Padilla on following up on discussions from the previous Board meeting.  At this meeting Provost Padilla addressed hiring policies, salary comparisons and faculty recruitment efforts.  Ms. Frank said that now that buildings and facilities are in place the emphasis now needs to be on intellectual capital. Ms. Frank shared further details of the matters discussed at the committee meeting.  She noted that there was a discussion about minority faculty hiring practices and she was pleased to report that CNU does a very good job recruiting minority faculty and it was established that CNU’s hiring practices are excellent.  Mr. Brown noted that the pipeline of eligible minority faculty continues to be an issue and there needs to be an effort to recruit those available qualified candidates.

In finding ways to increase revenue, Mr. Thomas suggested that CNU take a look at our peer institutions to determine how their instructors and professors are engaging in fundraising activities for research and perhaps use fundraising accomplishments as a criteria in faculty evaluations.  Provost Padilla said that higher education institutions are currently asking faculty to raise monies through research grants and it is becoming the practice to use that as a measure for salary determinations.  There was further discussion among the Board regarding this concept.

Student Life Committee Report
Ms. Crittenden said that Vice President for Student Services, Mr. O’Connell, provided a report on admissions to the Committee.  Mr. O’Connell reported that this is the largest entering freshman class in CNU’s history  with 1280 freshmen.  The average GPA of the entering class  is 3.7 and average SAT score is 1200.  Mr. O’Connell reported that the President’s Leadership Program has grown by 29% and these students have an average GPA of 3.9 and SAT score of 1248.  The  28 Canon Scholars have an average SAT score of 1349 and average GPA of 4.1.  He also reported that the number of enrolling African American students remains the same as last year.  Ms. Crittenden called on Dr. Hughes to give the highlights of the Student Life report.  Dean Hughes reported that Setting Sail, the orientation for freshmen students, starts Monday and it is just two months before move-in.  Efforts to expand student engagement on campus have resulted in increased membership in the fraternities and sororities on campus and there are many campus activities planned throughout the academic year.  Ms. Crittenden said that Mr. Rob Lange,  the new Dean of Admissions, joined their meeting and everyone is pleased and excited to have him on board.

Development Committee Report
President Trible introduced and welcomed the new Vice President for University Advancement Ms. Adelia Thompson who received a warm welcome from the Board.

President Trible then reported that over $5 million in cash had been raised and the number of donors to the university has dramatically increased.  Importantly, nearly 500 more alumni have donated to CNU this year than last year.  He told the Board that within the past week CNU had received commitments of over $6 million.

President Trible then asked if there were any questions regarding the Appointment of  Full-Time Salaried Faculty or Administrative and Professional Faculty.  President Trible complimented the Provost and Deans on the remarkable array of new professors who have been brought to campus.

Ms. Frank inquired if outside memberships were offered to the general public to the Freeman Center.  President Trible stated that the facility is primarily for the use of CNU students but that it is made available to donors to the university.

Ms. Frank also inquired about charging for public visitor parking on campus especially at Ferguson Center events. President Trible noted that patrons of the Ferguson Center are charged a parking fee but agreed that we should look into the feasibility of charging for visitor parking.  He was concerned, however, about charging guests who were visiting campus for admissions tours.  President Trible requested that Mr. Brauer investigate how this is done at other universities in the state.

Ms. Crittenden told the Board that “it has been an honor to serve on the Board of CNU and it has been an interesting, fast paced adventure that has really gained us wonderful results because CNU is one of the most outstanding liberal arts universities in the county and I want to say to the Board, and those of you that I have served with, that I have become accustomed to your face, the recipient of your grace and I will certainly miss seeing you and thank you so much for all that you have done to make it comfortable for me on this Board.”

Rector Conrad said that working with Ms. Crittenden, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Hunnicutt had been a pleasure and thanked them once again for their service.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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