Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting April 14, 2009

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on April 14, 2009, in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Claude S. Hornsby, III presiding.

Present from Board

  • Mr. John A. Conrad
  • The Hon. Flora Crittenden
  • Ms. Jane Susan Frank
  • Mr. William P. Heath, Jr.
  • Ms. Mary Elizabeth Hoinkes
  • Mr. Thaddeus B. Holloman, Sr.
  • Mr. Claude S. Hornsby, III
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
  • Mr. James R. Joseph
  • Ms. Frances Luter
  • Mr. Veasey Wilson

Absent from Board

  • Mr. Everett G. Allen
  • Ms. Deborah Budlong
  • Mr. Michael Martin

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 J. O'Connell, Vice President of Student Services
  • Dr. Elizabeth Taraski, Vice President University Advancement
  • Mr. William Thro, University Counsel
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Dr. Rebecca Wheeler, President of the Faculty Senate
  • Ms. Scott Millar, President of the Alumni Society
  • Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant

Rector Hornsby welcomed everyone and called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 29, 2008 meeting and December 15, 2008 Executive Committee meeting. The motion was made by Ms. Hunnicutt seconded by Mr. Joseph and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible reported that in October CNU's general fund budget was reduced by $1.4 million for this fiscal year. The Governor's budget carried forward to next year (FY 10) the $1.4 million cut and proposed another cut of $2.9 million for a total reduction of $4.3 million to the base budget in FY10. However, $3.5 million will be restored through the federal stimulus dollars resulting in a loss of $800,000 this fiscal year.

He reported that CNU has undertaken a rigorous review of all programs and activities. The Administrative Review Council has recommended more than 60 actions that would result in a savings of approximately $3 million if implemented. These changes would be completed in two phases. Provost Padilla and the faculty have also undertaken a systematic examination of the curriculum and their recommendations are under review.

President Trible announced that Dean Douglas Gordon has agreed to be the commencement speaker. Dr. Gordon is the most senior faculty member and will be retiring this year. He encouraged the Board to attend the commencement and the activities surrounding the weekend.

The Board was directed to review the admissions information which had been distributed. President Trible reported that CNU expects to have a class of 1200 freshmen this year and the quality of the students applying is exceptional. Acceptances to the President's Leadership Program are well above last year -- 180 compared to 118 last year at this time.

He reviewed with the Board the handout ranking the percentage of African-American students in Virginia's public four year institutions. For 2007, CNU was at 6.28% and this year CNU is at 10.3% which is more than a number of other universities. Over 1,000 African-American students applied to CNU this year. Mr. Holloman reported to the Board that the annual minority student visit day was held several weeks earlier with good attendance. The students and their family members were impressed with CNU and our facilities. He said it was a good opportunity for the university to showcase its assets and welcome prospective students. Mr. Holloman thanked President Trible and his colleagues for a job well done.

President Trible reviewed the quarterly SWAM report which compared performance from 2007-2008 and the first three quarters of FY2009.

A campus wide Sustainability Committee has been formed comprised of faculty, staff and students who are looking at options to make the campus "greener." President Trible directed the Board to the website where the mission statement, goals, objectives and activities can be viewed.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Vice Rector Joseph reported that at the Executive Committee meeting in December the Board approved the Budget Reduction Plan for FY-2009. He stated that the finance committee had received a draft report from the state auditors and with only a few minor non-compliance items, there were no significant material issues and the overall report was very good and the auditors were complimentary of CNU. The committee reviewed the current financial statements and with a few negative variances in housing and the Ferguson Center, the overall budget is in order. The housing variances were due to slightly lower occupancy than projected and the Ferguson Center had a decline in ticket sales. Changes are being made to reduce the losses at the Ferguson Center in order to balance that budget next year.

Vice Rector Joseph asked Ms. Perry to review the proposed tuition and fees for 2009-2010. She explained in detail the changes to the fee structures. The overall increase for tuition and fees and room and board for in-state students is 3.89% bringing the amount to $17,090 and 5.04% for out-of-state students bringing the total to $25,932. Mr. Heath explained that the proposed increase comes as a motion from the Finance and Audit Committee. After discussion and questions, Rector Hornsby called for approval of Resolution 1: Tuition and Fees and Room and Board. Ms. Crittenden seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Resolution 2: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable was explained by Mr. Brauer. Mr. Brauer explained that every attempt is made to collect on these accounts and the amount due is at a very modest level. He noted accounts over $5,000 are turned over to the Attorney General's office for collection. All outstanding balances are referred to "Debt Offset" and if individuals are due a tax refund, these monies are first paid to CNU. The Resolution is presented to the Board at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Rector Hornsby called for discussion and questions and Mr. Conrad seconded approval and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer also explained Resolution 3: Red Flag Identity Theft stating that Congress is requiring creditors to develop and adopt procedures to prevent identity theft and to report any suspicious activities. Many of these procedures are already in place and this Resolution comes to the Board at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Rector Hornsby called for discussion and questions. Ms. Crittenden seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Resolution 15: Sale of Surplus Property allows the former President's House to be declared Surplus Property and designates Mr. Brauer, on behalf of the Board, to dispose of the property. The final paragraph of the Resolution was amended to add the words "and authorizes" William L. Brauer… Ms. Luter provided the motion to pass Resolution 15 as amended, seconded by Ms. Crittenden and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr Joseph also reported that the University purchased from the Real Estate Foundation approximately $10 million worth of property resulting in a savings of $100,000 to $150,000 a year to the University. As properties become available in the master footprint, the University will slowly acquire those properties.

Academic Affairs Committee

Ms. Hoinkes said the committee had three resolutions to recommend to the Board and Provost Padilla explained the first resolution -- Resolution 4: Plan of Compensation. This Resolution is required each year and sets the minimum and maximum salaries for faculty which must be in the 60 th percentile of peer institutions. There were no changes from last year since no raises were authorized. Rector Hornsby called for discussion, Ms. Crittenden seconded the motion from the Academic Affairs Committee and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Resolution 5: New Academic Structure was reviewed by Provost Padilla. He explained that the university now has a two-college structure with much imbalance in the number of faculty in each college. A three-college structure is proposed and there has been much discussion and review over the past year about this model. A three-college model was considered to have the most benefit to the university. This structure was approved by the faculty senate. Ms. Hoinkes said the Resolution comes to the Board as a recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee, Mr. Heath seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Next, the Academic Affairs Committee discussed Resolution 6: New Degree Program-Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and this Resolution also comes to the Board at the recommendation of the Committee. Ms. Hoinkes explained, however, although Board approval is required the final approval comes from the State Council of Higher Education. Provost Padilla explained that economics is a core liberal arts program and the necessity for adding it to the curriculum. Ms. Luter seconded the motion from the Committee and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Ms. Hoinkes reported that the Committee discussed the ways the University is dealing with these difficult economic times and the reductions to the university budget. Provost Padilla explained that a complete review of all majors and minors had been undertaken as well as a review of class sizes and the number of faculty. Provost Padilla reported on the review and possible elimination of the Social Work program. He explained the process is very thorough and very complex. Ultimately the Faculty Senate will make a recommendation to the Provost who will then make a decision which will be presented to the President for approval. The Board had a thorough discussion regarding the Social Work program. Faculty Senate President Rebecca Wheeler told the Board that the faculty has been fully engaged in the Social Work decision and expressed their appreciation for the process.

Ms. Hoinkes said the Committee also discussed the search for the two deans for the two new colleges. President Trible reported to the Board that the Dr. Cleeton would lead the College of Social Sciences which includes the Luter School; Dr. Dave Doughty will lead the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Steven Breese will lead the College of Arts and Humanities. The national searches did not produce any candidates that could rival the qualities of the faculty already on campus and these new appointments will be for a period of two years.

Ms. Hoinkes stated that Resolutions 7-13 were discussed in the Academic Affairs Committee and come to the Board as a recommendation for approval. Provost Padilla reviewed each resolution with the Board. Rector Hornsby called for questions and discussion and Ms. Crittenden seconded the motion for approval. By unanimous vote the board passed Resolutions 7-9: Change of Appointment Status of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 10: Promotions of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 11: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty; and Resolutions 12-13 Award of Emeriti Status.

President Trible reviewed with the Board Resolution 14: Changes to the By-Laws and Provost Padilla explained the changes as they relate to faculty rank. The Resolution was presented to the Board and action will be taken at the June Board of Visitors meeting.

Student Life Committee Report

Vice President O'Connell gave a brief update on the applications to CNU and the quality of the freshman class and also reported that the number of applications to financial aid had increased by 20% which is the same rate as the national average. The Dean of Students Kevin Hughes reported to the Committee that there had been an increase in participation in sororities and fraternities and an overall increase in participation in student organizations. In addition he reported that the African-American sorority is now active again and there is a petition for an African-American fraternity to be established. The alcohol task force has reconvened to review the current policies and a recommendation will be made to the President later this semester. Dean Hughes also told the Committee that the freshmen will be participating in the Setting Sail orientation programs in June. Mr. O'Connell reported that the Committee also discussed commencement activities and Ms. Perry reviewed the proposed tuition and fee increase.

Faculty Senate Report

Rector Hornsby asked faculty senate President Rebecca Wheeler to report to the Board. She stated it had been a very busy and productive year and significant work had been accomplished on the evaluation procedures, establishing new criteria for evaluating faculty on teaching service and research. Dr. Wheeler told the Board that this year has especially been a wonderful example of the extraordinary relationship with the Provost, President and administration. President Trible expressed his appreciation to Dr. Wheeler and her colleagues for a great year.

Alumni Society Report

Rector Hornsby asked Alumni Society President Scott Millar to report on recent Alumni activities. Mr. Millar said that the primary objective at this time is the establishment of alumni chapters. Chapters have been established in Richmond and Northern Virginia and the next chapter will be in Virginia Beach and there is discussion of a Peninsula chapter. The Society is currently using Facebook as an outreach to alumni. They are also working with a number of companies in the area to determine the number of CNU alumni who are employed - Northrup Grumman, Ferguson Enterprises and Riverside Health Systems - and they will reach out to those individuals as well. The General Assembly has authorized construction of an alumni house. The Alumni Society is identifying potential donors and will continue fundraising efforts for the house. In addition, the Alumni Society sponsored a young alumni party, career connections workshop and an outstanding faculty member will be recognized at the Honor's Convocation.

Development Committee Report

Mr. Joseph reported to the Board on the Development Committee meeting and updated the Board on fund raising activities. He reported on four major fundraising activities - the golf scholarship classic, initiatives for raising monies for the chapel, the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy and the Center for Leadership and American Studies. Initiatives are underway with the alumni of Northrup Grumman in an effort to bring them back to campus. The Development Committee asked the Board for 100% personal financial commitment to the University prior to the end of this fiscal year noting that the faculty and staff continue to give to the university with an 80% participation rate. He also requested that Board members help make introductions in the community to people who may be supportive of CNU and to keep job opportunities and internship opportunities available for CNU students. Ms. Hunnicutt spoke to the Board about the upcoming Scholarship Golf Classic and Auction and urged the Board members to participate.

At 1:50 p.m. Rector Hornsby called for a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2.3711(a)(1) Personnel, the motion was provided by Ms. Hunnicutt and seconded by Ms. Hoinkes and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

At 2:10 p.m. the Board returned to open session and Rector Hornsby asked for a roll call certifying that only public matters were discussed as were identified in the motion by which the executive or closed meeting was called. Board members Rector Hornsby, Mr. Joseph, Ms. Frank, Ms. Crittenden, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Holloman, Ms. Luter, Mr. Heath, Mr. Conrad, Ms. Hunnicutt and Ms. Hoinkes certified to the above.

Rector Hornsby called for any other business or discussion and there being none, the meeting was adjourned.

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