Board of Visitors Meeting April 26, 2010 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting April 26, 2010

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on April 26, 2010 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector James R. Joseph presiding.

Present from Board

  • Mr. Everett G. Allen
  • Mr. Carlos Brown
  • 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.
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
  • Mr. James R. Joseph
  • Ms. Frances Luter
  • Mr. Preston White
  • Mr. Veasey Wilson

Absent from Board

  • Mr. Michael C. 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 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
  • Mr. C. J. Woollum, Director of Athletics
  • Ms. Patty Patten, Dean of Admissions
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Mr. Ross Snare, Student Government Representative
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations


  • Mr. Scott Millar, President of the Alumni Society
  • Ms. Cathy Grimes, Daily Press
  • WAVY TV-10

Rector Joseph welcomed those present and then called for approval of the February 22, 2010 minutes. Ms. Hunnicutt provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Frank and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible told the Board that Patty Patten, who has been Dean of Admissions for 13 years is retiring. He noted her remarkable success over the years recruiting outstanding students to CNU. President Trible asked Dean Patten to deliver her last admissions report to the Board.

Dean Patten reported that the number of applications to the President's Leadership Program are over 1,000 which is up by 13% over last year. The PLP students have an average GPA of 3.9 and SAT of 1247. Applications to the Honors Program are up 16% and their average SAT is 1312 and GPA is 3.95. She noted that many honors students are also PLP students. The number of African American applications rose again and are up by 12% from last year which represents 16% of the total number of applicants. Due to new federal guidelines, it is now difficult to make comparisons for other ethnic groups but their numbers overall are equal to, if not greater than, last year. She reported that over 3,000 of our applicants are from Northern Virginia and nearly 1,200 are from Richmond. She reported that as of this date, over 1,000 students have committed to attending CNU. Admitted Freshman day brought a record number of guests to campus - 1100 and over 2,000 guests visited CNU over the two-week period surrounding Easter.

Dean Patten closed by saying "I am very grateful for the opportunity CNU has given me. The magical vision of Paul Trible, astounding accomplishments, the camaraderie of colleagues and my wonderful boss and the fountain of youth I find every day in our students' faces have left an indelible imprint on my heart. I will never forget the life I have had here at CNU. Thank you."

President Trible then announced that Coach CJ Woollum, after 500 victories, was bringing to close his position as CNU's basketball coach but he would remain as the Athletic Director. President Trible acknowledged his leadership and many accomplishments both on and off the court. He then asked Coach Woollum to come forward for the athletic report.

Coach Woollum announced that CNU teams have won almost 74% of their games this year and the Captains have already captured the USA South Athletic Conference President's Cup for overall athletic excellence for the 13th straight season. He said that CNU will likely finish with the highest all-time winning percentage in the 43 years of the athletic program. A highlight for the spring was that the women's basketball team finished the season with a school record of 30-1. The team won the USA south championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Chelsie Schweers led the team and was named All-American for the third straight season. The men's team captured the USA South Championship and this victory marked his 500th career win. The team then advanced to the NCAA tournament for 17th time. Coach Woollum said he has had a wonderful time as the basketball coach and is glad to be able to continue to be the Athletic Director. He then reported that the women's lacrosse won the USA South Tournament and are advancing to their fifth straight NCAA appearance. CNU's softball team is ranked #15 in the nation and are in a position to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season. He also said that CNU will host the softball NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament. Baseball is doing well and has a few more games to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Lastly, he reported that both the women's and men's tennis teams did well this year and the golf team won four tournaments. Coach Woollum thanked the Board and President Trible.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Mr. Conrad directed everyone's attention to the handout and the Resolution on Tuition and Fees Room and Board and reported that the Committee supported the Resolution. He then asked President Trible to review the documents with the Board.

President Trible reviewed the guiding principles relied upon for setting tuition and fees for 2011 and 2012 and those are included with the Resolution. A total increase in room, board, tuition and fees of $1,300 or 7.5% was recommended. This increase would generate $3.3 million in general revenue and would help to restore a portion of the state general funds that have been lost, would fund the non-general fund share of the 3% employee bonus and would set aside $500,000 in financial assistance. It is proposed that an increase for out-of-state students be $2,100 or 8.3% which would place CNU in the middle of the 15 public institutions but still below the average out-of-state rate.

Following President Trible's outline, Rector Joseph said that the Resolution comes to the Board as a recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee and called for questions and discussion. Mr. Allen said that Committee gave the President flexibility to go to the higher end of an increase because there is no assurance that the federal stimulus monies will be received. In addition, CNU has no endowment to rely on and CNU is smaller than other schools and is truly on a path to excellence and he believes that CNU needs to stay on that path long term. Mr. Allen noted that several committee members were sensitive to the affordability issue and asked Mr. Holloman to comment. Mr. Holloman said there was some concern expressed at the committee meeting regarding the increase as it relates to affordability. He said the committee initially considered an increase in the range of $1,200 and most of the committee members were inclined to support that increase. However, there was further discussion of an additional increase which he did not support and voted against it due to the affordability factor. Rector Joseph explained that the administration suggested a $1,200 increase and the committee proposed an additional $100 increase in room and board so the total increase recommended is $1,300. Mr. Brown said that although he is not a member of the Finance and Audit Committee, he attended the meeting and he would not have supported the additional $100 increase but supported the overall proposal. Mr. Brown said he was very pleased that $500,000 was being set aside for financial assistance. He said that the necessity for the tuition increase is obvious, however, accessibility and affordability are paramount and commended administration for taking that into consideration and allocating monies to financial aid.

Following discussion, Rector Joseph called for approval of RESOLUTION 1: Tuition and Fees Room and Board and it passed by unanimous vote. President Trible thanked the Board for their support and their input and engagement on this difficult issue.

Mr. Conrad said the Committee reviewed RESOLUTION 2: Internal Audit Charter which he said simply brings current CNU's audit and standards policies. He explained that this Resolution comes to the Board at the recommendation of the committee. Rector Joseph called for approval of Resolution 2 and it was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Conrad asked Mr. Brauer to review RESOLUTION 3: Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures for Capital Project from Proceeds of Bonds - Student Success Center and RESOLUTION 4: Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Expenditures for Capital Project from the Proceeds of 9(D) Bonds - Residence Hall Roof Replacement. Mr. Brauer explained that both provide for the reimbursement of CNU funds prior to issuance of tax exempt debt which is required by IRS. Rector Joseph called for any questions. He said that the Resolutions come to the Board at the recommendation of the committee and he called for approval and both Resolutions passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Ms. Hoinkes said the Committee discussed the new student advising system for incoming freshmen which is designed, in part, to increase retention rates and student satisfaction. She noted that under this new system freshmen do not declare a major until the end of their second year. Provost Padilla explained that the faculty are divided into two types of advisors - core advisors and major advisors. The core advisors stay with the student for the first two years and once they declare a major, they are assigned an advisor in that area of study. He said this system is a model that is used in private liberal arts schools and provides the students with cohesion as they move from semester to semester.

The committee was also briefed on the University's efforts to shelter a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Provost Padilla explained that this initiative has been under discussion for several years and that Phi Beta Kappa is the most prominent honors society for arts and sciences programs in the United States. He distributed information and reviewed with the board the process of obtaining PBK status and said he feels that CNU is in a strong position to have its application approved.

Ms. Hoinkes said the committee also had a discussion on retention and graduation rates. Provost Padilla distributed a chart of retention and graduation rates with a breakdown by ethnicity. Provost Padilla noted that the retention for black and minority students is slightly higher now than all other students and that the graduation rates for black students and minority students is also higher than students of all races combined. President Trible said although we are making good strides toward increasing the retention numbers, a better job must be done and this was one major reason for reorganizing the advising process. There was a discussion regarding the reasons why students leave CNU. He also said that graduation rates are equally as important and that in 1996 CNU's graduation rate was 27%. It is predicted to be approximately 60% this year but should be in the range of 70%-80%. The goal is to be at a 90% graduation rate in the next decade.

Ms. Hoinkes said the committee reviewed RESOLUTION 5: Plan of Compensation which is unchanged from last year but requires Board approval. Ms. Hoinkes moved for approval of the Resolution, seconded by Ms. Luter and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Next the Committee recommended adoption of RESOLUTIONS 6-9: Award of Emeritus Status. Rector Joseph called for questions are comments and then called for approval of same and the Resolutions were passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Joseph called on the Faculty Senate President, Dr. Peter Carlson who said that this had been an exceptional and productive year. He said the Faculty Senate had approved a new policy for students to walk at commencement if they are within 5 hours of completing their course work. President Trible explained that these students would not be in academic regalia and would walk across the stage after the diplomas are awarded. Dr. Carlson said that the University is completing the first year of a 4/3 teaching load for faculty and he thanked the administration and Board for that and for the effort to move toward a 3/3 teaching load. Dr. Carlson noted that the Senate had worked diligently this year on changes to university governance, the evaluation process for faculty and the advising program. He then thanked the administration and Board for looking out for students and faculty on the campus and President Trible thanked Dr. Carlson for his leadership.

Student Life Committee Report

Rector Joseph called on Ms. Frank who thanked Dean Patten for her good admissions presentation at the committee meeting. Ms. Frank told the Board that 15 students have accepted the Canon Scholarship which is $5,000 per year. These 15 students have an average GPA of 4.2 and SAT of 1365. She noted that due to the state of the economy, there are 30 fewer out-of-students indicating they will attend CNU this year, however, this number will change because students have a few more weeks to indicate if they are attending CNU. Mr. Frank said the committee heard a report from the Director of Financial Aid Mary Wiggington. Ms. Wiggington explained that under new federal regulations, student loans are now given by the Department of Education and not by banks and this changes process by which students obtain loans. The process starts with an on-line application and ends with our financial aid office. She said that interestingly, 41% of CNU students have student loans. Ms. Frank then asked Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students to give a report on student life activities.

Dean Hughes reported that 25,000 students participated in campus activities this year which is up from 9,000 last year and that the Greek population is at 14%, up 10% in 7 years. He said that the students are pleased with Greek Village and are excited about that opportunity. In a recent study, residential students reported 93% satisfaction rate with their experiences at CNU. The President's Leadership Students, for the third year, participated in an alternative spring break experience. He said that currently 800 students have already registered for new student orientation. Dean Hughes said that the students spent the last year without a student government and this year a new constitution was written and ratified by the students. He recognized Ross Snare as the new student government president.

Mr. Snare introduced himself and addressed the Board. He reported that his goal is to increase the student participation in the election procedures. He is working with the Residence Hall Association to establish one election day for all the clubs and organizations which he believes will create excitement and improve the number of students who vote. He also plans to meet with every student organization to hear their concerns and ideas.

Ms. Frank asked Mr. O'Connell to review RESOLUTION 10: Administrative and Professional Faculty Leave of Absence for Educational and Research Purposes for Lori Throupe, Coordinator of the President's Leadership Program. There was a discussion of precedence for this type of leave and the establishment of a University policy similar to that for faculty sabbaticals. Rector Joseph called for approval of the motion to approve Resolution 10 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board. Discussion continued regarding a policy for granting educational leaves and it was noted that there is precedence for granting educational leaves and that the University does indeed have a policy. It was suggested by Rector Joseph that this type of matter come to the Board for informational purposes only and not as a Resolution for action.

Alumni Society Report

Mr. Scott Millar, President of the Alumni Society reported that during the month of April the Society was officially chartering three regional alumni chapters - Southside, Peninsula and Northern Virginia. He told the Board that President and Mrs. Trible hosted the Peninsula Chapter reception at the President's House with approximately 300 people in attendance. This is the largest group in history to attend an alumni event. The Alumni Society is pleased and honored once again to recognize student leaders on campus and will be selecting a faculty member to be recognized during commencement weekend for the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award. During graduation weekend, welcome packages will be provided for the new alumni in exchange for forwarding addresses and a new tradition is being established of presenting alumni pins at the Candlelight Ceremony signifying transition from student to alumni status. A number of activities in the fall are being planned including activities surrounding homecoming and CNU's 50th anniversary.

Development Committee Report

Rector Joseph called on Mr. Heath for the Development Committee report. Mr. Heath reported that as of April 21 the University had received new gifts and pledges of $2.9 million and that the total number of donors was down slightly from last year. He said that the alumni have given $152,000 in new gifts and pledges and $165,000 in cash. The expectation this year is that approximately 10% of the alumni will donate and the goal is to reach 20%. Mr. Heath informed the Board that on May 20th there will be a silent auction and sneak preview reception in Ferguson Center announcing the new season. Ms. Hoinkes thanked everyone who joined Friends of Library and she reviewed the season highlights with the Board and stated that a good program is coming up next year. Mr. Heath also reported that the Center for American Studies would be holding a workshop on National Security in October. Dr. Taraski explained that the number of donors are down compared to last year because last year there were 2 large events - on for the Chapel and one for LifeLong Learners - that were not held this year. She is pleased about the organization of new alumni chapters which will give the University an opportunity to reach out and increase alumni contributions. Mr. Heath said that with the exception of several Board of Visitors members, everyone has contributed to CNU. He reported that both the School of Business Advisory Board and the LifeLong Learning Society Board have 100% contribution by their members so the Board of Visitors is challenged to get 100% participation as well.

President Trible told the Board that the Lt. Governor of Virginia Bill Bolling will be speaking at commencement and the University would like to honor him for his life of public service with an honorary degree. He also recommended that CNU honor Mayor Joe Frank for his many years of leadership and his service to our community and Commonwealth. Mr. Heath provided a motion to honor Lt. Governor Bolling and Mayor Frank with an honorary degrees at commencement, Ms. Crittenden seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Joseph called for a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act: 2.2-3711(a) (1) personnel and (a) (7) litigation. Mr. Allen provided the motion and Mr. Heath seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

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

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