Board of Visitors Meeting February 22, 2010 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 22, 2010

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on February 22, 2010 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector James R. Joseph presiding.

Present from Board

  • Mr. Thaddeus Holloman
  • Mr. John A. Conrad
  • The Hon. Flora Crittenden
  • Ms. Jane Susan Frank
  • Mr. William P. Heath, Jr.
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
  • Mr. James R. Joseph
  • Ms. Frances Luter
  • Mr. Michael C. Martin

Absent from Board

  • Mr. Everett G. Allen
  • Ms. Mary Elizabeth Hoinkes
  • Mr. Preston White
  • Mr. Veasey Wilson
  • Mr. Carlos Brown - Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 2.2-3708.1 (A)(2), advised the Rector that a temporary medical condition precluded him from attending in person and Mr. Brown participated via telephone from his place of residence. All conditions contained in Virginia Code Section 2.2-3708.1(B) were met.

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
  • Dr. Elizabeth Taraski, Vice President for University 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


  • Mr. Scott Millar, President of the Alumni Society
  • Ms. Cathy Grimes, Daily Press

Rector Joseph welcomed those present. He noted that the most important item for discussion was the overview of the budget process. The Board had expressed that they wanted more information in order to make a decision on tuition and fees in light of the budget crises and information on the out-of-state student strategy and CNU's mission. The information suggests that the President and staff have made all the cuts possible in programs and people and if CNU wants to obtain its hopes and aspirations in the pursuit of excellence, adjustments must be made on the revenue side when setting tuition and fees in April and the budget in June.

Rector Joseph then called for approval of the December 1, 2009 minutes. Mr. Heath provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible began by stating that construction continues on schedule and the new academic building, McMurran Hall, has been embraced by the faculty and students. This building has allowed CNU to bring together over 100 faculty members for first time in same building. The science building is rapidly taking shape which will house biology, chemistry, environmental science and psychology. There was approximately $20 million remaining to be funded to complete the building and the General Assembly made CNU's science building a number one priority. The Freeman Center expansion is underway and gaining momentum. The expansion includes another gym, a 400 seat auditorium and meeting rooms.

President Trible asked Ms. Perry to review the House and Senate Budget Bills and she provided a summary and a copy of the Summary of House and Senate Budget Bills is attached.

President Trible noted that CNU was not going to lose any funding for capital projects. The final increment of funding for the science building was approved; approval has been given for the planning documents for the Luter building which will house the School of Business, Leadership and American Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. Authority for planning the student success center, which will be located where the administration building is now located, has been approved. He explained that the roofs on two residence halls are being replaced because defective roofing materials were used and the company went out of business and the shingles are turning colors and disintegrating and they need to be replaced.

President Trible said applications for admissions continue to increase. Applications are up by 3% overall and the quality of students is soaring. Applications are up to the honors program and leadership program by 25%. Applications of students of color are up by 13% with the greatest number of those being African Americans. In light of the desire to increase out-of-state enrollment, efforts continue to more energetically tell the CNU story beyond Virginia. He noted this will be a very slow process. Currently recruiting is being expanded in Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina as well as Pennsylvania. Also, current CNU out-of-state students are making calls to prospective out-of-state applicants. He noted that the quality of the freshman class has an average high school GPA of 3.8 and SAT of 1214.

President Trible shared with the Board that the women's basketball team has won 25 straight games and are ranked 9th in the nation. He invited the Board to the first game of the post season tournament on Tuesday. He also told the Board that Coach CJ Woollum is on the verge of his 500th win with the next men's basketball game and encouraged the Board to come out and cheer him on to victory.

President Trible told the Board that, based on the discussions at the last meeting, a budget briefing had been prepared which repeats much of what is already known, but reviews where we are, where we are going and how we plan to meet our goals and objectives. Moreover, in this briefing book there is information about an out-of-state student strategy, housing, capital projects and enrollment.

Ms. Perry then reviewed with the Board the budget briefing materials which are made a part of the minutes. There were questions and discussions among the Board members throughout the presentation.

At the conclusion of Ms. Perry's review, Rector Joseph elaborated on the privatization of the bookstore stating that the bookstore world has changed from a text book market to electronic versions of books. Private companies are being interviewed and there is a possibility that the bookstore will be moved to a location on Warwick Boulevard and have a more retail aspect. He explained that the Real Estate Foundation is a vehicle to purchase properties to jump start construction of residence halls in order to increase occupancy of students living on campus. He said that the real estate foundation will continue to acquire commercial properties on Warwick Boulevard.

Mr. Heath thanked Ms. Perry for the presentation. Rector Joseph said that this presentation was a good framework for the discussions in April on tuition and fees and that it was clear that there is no more room for cutting staff or services and still obtain CNU's goals and vision. Mr. Conrad thanked President Trible and Ms. Perry for their presentation and the excellent work product.

President Trible said that CNU is still moving forward with long term plans for capital construction on campus. Future construction plans will be presented to the Board in two parts - how the campus should look in 10 years and how the campus may be developed in 25-30 years. He said that a series of meetings with the architectural teams have taken place and Rector Joseph has been a part of those discussions.

Dr. Carlson, President of the Faculty Senate, reported that the faculty are thrilled with the new McMurran Hall. The faculty are currently involved in retention efforts and reorganizing the advising process and working with students who are at risk. He thanked the administration for continuing to work closely with the Faculty Senate.

Mr. Millar, president of the Alumni Society, reported that that the Society's overall goal was to find new ways to engage the alumni. The alumni chapters are continuing to develop. The Richmond chapter is the most advanced and he thanked John and Kathy Conrad for hosting a very successful alumni event at their home in December. The Northern Virginia Chapter is moving along rapidly and the Peninsula and Southside Chapters will be chartered this year. He updated the Board on the many activities planned and a said that a new tradition has been instituted where the new graduates will be presented with a CNU alumni pin. President Trible thanked Mr. Millar for his energy and good initiatives on behalf of the Alumni Society.

Provost Padilla reported that a new advising system was being created in an effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of academic advising for freshmen and sophomores. Faculty Core Advisors will work with students for the first two years - 20 freshmen the first year and 20 sophomores the second. The core advisors will meet with the students on many occasions to help build a meaningful relationship that will broaden and nurture the students' overall academic experience. He also reported that faculty recruiting is going well and highly qualified applicants are seeking out CNU. There are several faculty retiring and he will be hiring predominately restricted positions because of the uncertainty of the budget situation. The Provost thanked the Faculty Senate for their understanding of the budget situation and their willingness to be involved in finding solutions to the cuts. The faculty are creating a new honors program and will have an excellent program in the fall. Social work is being streamlined to make it more cost effective and the new curriculum has been approved. He reported that we are moving forward on the Phi Beta Kappa initiative and will be visiting other Phi Beta Kappa schools to obtain an understanding of the process and how to achieve that status. Provost Padilla shared the good results of the survey that CNU administered -- Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACH) -- to its pre-tenure faculty which showed, among other thing, that 100% of pre-tenured faculty responding indicated they would recommend their department as places to work and were happy in other areas as well.

Vice President O'Connell reported that applications continue to rise and the quality of the freshman class continues to soar. He noted that there had been no outcry to the mid-year tuition increase and everyone had been thankful for the additional dollars for financial aid.

Vice President Elizabeth Taraski reported that the faculty staff campaign had gone well and thanked Dr. Carlson for the faculty's support. She reminded the Board of the goal for 100% contribution from our Board members and mentioned that the School of Business Advisory Board and the Life Long Learning Society were starting a campaign for 100% participation by their board members.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Rector Joseph said the financial statements were in order and we are where we should be at this time in the fiscal year. He noted that the Ferguson Center had reduced the number of performances this year and made other cost cutting savings and it is expected to close out the year with a balanced budget. He said that there had been a meeting with the Executive Director Bill Biddle who will prepare an executive summary of the benefits of the Ferguson Center and it contributions to the mission of the university and the benefits to the students. Next year the Center will have fewer performances and be more selective in its bookings.

Rector Joseph said that there has been some tripling in housing and there has been a necessity to buy more furniture. Barclay Apartments had been renovated and Greek Village has been brought on line.

Rector Joseph shared with the Board compliance with the Policy on University Related Foundations which is an annual reporting requirement. Next, in regard to SWaM, CNU has performed well overall. There is still some improvement to be made in minority and women owned businesses but a great effort has been made in this regard. CNU has been working with its contractors to ensure their use of SWaM vendors. Rector Joseph briefly reviewed the capital projects underway and mentioned that there was no news to report on the audit.

Mr. Brauer reviewed with the Board RESOLUTION 1: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable Considered Uncollectible stating that this is an annual action of the Board. He noted that every effort is made to collect these debts prior to this action. Rector Joseph called for a motion to approve Resolution 1, which was provided by Mr. Martin and seconded by Mr. Conrad and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer reported on the recent acquisition of University Suites and the remaining properties within the University footprint which CNU will pursue to acquire.

Provost Padilla presented RESOLUTION 2: Promotions of Instructional Faculty and RESOLUTION 3: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty. Rector Joseph called for approval of the Resolutions. Mr. Heath provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Provost Padilla presented RESOLUTION 4: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves for 2010-2011 and RESOLUTION 5: Leave of Absence for Instructional Faculty. Following a discussion on sabbatical leaves, Rector Joseph called for a motion to approve Resolutions 4 and 5. Mr. Holloman provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

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

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