Board of Visitors Meeting February 18, 2011 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 18, 2011

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on February18, 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. Preston White
  • Mr. W.L. Thomas, Jr.
  • 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. Jeff Brown, Chief of Police
  • Mr. Ross Snare, President of the Student Assembly

Rector Conrad called the meeting to order and welcomed the Captain's Log reporters Samantha Thrift and Victoria Shirley to the meeting and requested a copy of the video of the meeting they were producing.

Rector Conrad called for approval of the minutes of the Board meeting held on September 24, 2010. Ms. Hunnicutt provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Brown and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board. Rector Conrad reported that the Executive Committee was constituted and met on October 22, 2010. The members of the Executive Committee include Mr. John Conrad, Rector; Ms. Jane Susan Frank, Vice-Rector; Ms. Ann Hunnicutt, Secretary and Chair of the Development Committee; Mr. Mike Martin, Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee; The Honorable Flora Crittenden, Chair of the Student Life Committee, and two at-large members Ms. Frances Luter and Mr. Veasey Wilson. He then called for a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting. Ms. Crittenden provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Brown and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible reported that the General Assembly is meeting in Richmond and advancing an important piece of legislation called Top Jobs in the 21st Century, the purpose of which is to create a framework for the success of higher education in the years ahead. It builds on the work of the higher education commission which is a group of 30 plus people from throughout Virginia and he is one of 3 presidents of the public universities in Virginia to be asked to serve. The primary purpose of the legislation is to create 100,000 more degrees between now and the year 2025 - both 4 year degrees and two year degrees. He reported that now there is a real emphasis on STEM disciplines, Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. President Trible announced that Forbes recently put out a national ranking showing CNU 4th in the nation for the success of our minority students who graduated in STEM disciplines.

He also announced that recently the American Council of Trustees and Alumni published its annual grading of universities across the country on the quality and excellence of their core curriculum. He noted that no school in Virginia received an A and a number of schools earned Bs including CNU. He then explained how the grading is determined.

President Trible said there were a number of positives associated with the higher education initiative. He told the Board that this legislation will codify that faculty salaries should be at the 60th percentile of their school's peer group. He noted that no schools is near the 60th percentile and hopes this will make it more likely that the General Assembly will commit more resources to faculty salaries.

Secondly, it would codify the funding split of 70/30 for higher education -- 70% of the money should come from the state and 30% from tuition. He explained that the legislation establishes a new funding model. The funding model has been redefined and is called the cost of education which will include base adequacy, the traditional measure, faculty salaries funded at the 60th percentile and funding for enrollment growth. He said that CNU receives $14 million less in state funding than today's base adequacy model provides and under the new model we will be even further behind. He noted that the Governor has said higher education is a priority. President Trible explained that the legislation provides that some of the public monies that CNU and other public schools get in the future will be in the nature of incentive payments for responding to state priorities. Incentive payments would be made for using facilities all year, rewarding and encouraging retention and graduation rates and encouraging degree completion in a timely manner or expedited manner. Also, he said there will be incentive payments for awarding a greater numbers of degrees in the STEM disciplines and other high need areas such as healthcare and education. President Trible noted that CNU has an extraordinary MAT program and excellent programs in the STEM disciplines. President Trible reported the Mr. White had suggested putting together a task force to review what we are currently doing and develop a plan on how to strengthen our STEM disciplines going forward. The President asked Dr. Carlson and the Faculty Senate to identify members of the faculty to work with deans and provost on this effort. President Trible asked Mr. White to join task force and invited other Board members to participate as well. Finally, he said there would be incentive payments for enhanced community college transfers.

A higher education advisory committee will work to give real definition to this legislation. He said that the Council of Presidents pushed very hard for substantial representation on this important decision-making body and it appears that 5 of university representatives will serve on a 10 member board -2 presidents from the doctorial institutions, 2 from comprehensives like CNU and 1 from the community college system.

President Trible also reported that CNU expects to receive funding in the amount of $17.7 million for the second phase of Forbes Hall -- the Integrated Science Center -- and full funding in the amount of $54.2 million to build Luter Hall. The General Assembly has approved both of these projects and we await the Governor's decision on whether Virginia can fund these and other important projects through the issuance of bonds.

He said that the House Appropriations and the Senate Finance committees released their respective amendments to the Governor's Budget Bill for next year and CNU did well. The House recommended an increase in our operating budget of $3,063,000 including nearly $1.8 million in State funds and authorization to increase our tuition revenues by $1.3 million.

President Trible reported that the Senate recommended that the operating budget be increased by $767,303 in State funds. Additionally, the Senate recommended an increase of $183,228 in state financial aid dollars to support students from both low-income and middle-income families.

On the capital side, both the House and Senate gave CNU the authority to proceed with the design of the Student Success Center, the successor to the Administration Building, gave authority to expand Hiden Hussey Commons to provide for adequate dining spaces for the opening of Warwick River Residence Hall, provided authority to construct a bell tower and authority to construct 1,200 surface parking spaces. In addition both the House and Senate recommended the construction of a band rehearsal hall for the Marching Captains and the construction of a connector between the parking deck and the Music and Theater Hall. The Senate recommended the issuance of $3 million in state-funded bonds and the House authorized the use of CNU reserve funds. He told the Board that a conference committee would meet to reconcile the differences between the amendments.

President Trible then gave a power point presentation of the capital project on campus.

President Trible reported that this year CNU was expanding and enhancing summer offerings. He said there were 3 objectives to this effort. There was a political imperative that universities use their facilities more intensively year round. Secondly, it is important to enhance student success and by expanding our offerings in the summer this will help our students be more successful. The third objective was to pay faculty more and create an incentive for more of our faculty to teach. He noted that the number of course offerings is up and said many students are taking advantage of these summer offerings.

Efforts are underway to increase the numbers of full time faculty. He noted that currently there are 24 faculty searches under way and 18 of those are tenure track searches. He reviewed with the Board the number of faculty since 1996 and the goal is to have 300 full time instructional faculty by 2017.

The addition of 7 new faculty will permit us to add 49 sections each year. That means that next year we can make our classes smaller as we must. Our admissions staff will tell you that the distinctive of CNU is great teaching and small classes and that is what distinguishes us from all of the other public schools. When we compare our classes with other public schools, we compare very favorably but over the past 2 years the average class size has crept up. We have to continue to drive down the size of our classes. Next year the average class size at CNU will be 21 students in classroom. There is not another public university in America that can say this. Only 5% of our classes will have 50 students or more and the largest class on this campus, as you know, is just barely over 100. We don't have those classes with hundreds and hundreds of students.

He also said that the addition of 7 new faculty members each year will allow CNU to move forward to a 3/3 teaching load for tenured and tenured tract faculty.

President Trible said that there will be an increase in the number of faculty sabbaticals and are moving toward granting 20 a year which is 10% of permanent faculty.

He offered congratulations to the faculty in the Luter School for their hard work and their success in achieving accreditation by AACSB. He said that only 10% of the business schools in America receive this very prestigious accreditation and only a handful of schools with undergraduate business programs like CNU have received this recognition.

He reported that each year seniors in our business programs are given a national test that is taken by hundreds of thousands of students in colleges and universities throughout America and the purpose of the test is to demonstrate how much these students have learned from the date of their entry to the time of their graduation. Each and every year our Luter School students perform at the 90th percentile.

On the admissions front, President Trible reported that on February 17, 2011 CNU had received 7821 applications, more than 400 more applications than last year. He stated that on average these students have earned a 1209 SAT critical reading and math and a 3.8 average high school GPA.

He told the Board that this year we asked students to interview and the interviews were conduction by CNU Fellows, recent graduates of the University. President Trible said that for the first time CNU has an early decision deadline. This year 300 students applied for early decision. Early decision means if you accept me, I am coming. Admission was offered to almost 200 of those 300 students. He said that currently 101 students have said yes to CNU and the President's Leadership Program which is a 50% increase over last year.He also noted that the number of students of color who have applied is up substantially and the number of African American students who have applied is up dramatically.

President Trible announced that the 50th Anniversary Celebration will be on September 18th and we will celebrate with many festivities throughout the academic year. He also told the Board that the Marching Band will be in London on January 1, 2012 for the New Year's Day Parade.

Rector Conrad then reported that the Executive Committee approved the voluntary incentive plan for instructional faculty as well as the additional criteria -- all of which had been shared with the entire board at the September meeting -- but required formal Board action. President Trible reported that 19 members of the faculty were invited to participate in this plan and 9 members chose to do so.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Mr. Martin reported that the committee received a briefing from the state auditor of public accounts and CNU is on track to have its annual audit by April 9th . The Committee also heard from its Internal Auditor Ms. Christine Ledford. He told the Board that Ms. Ledford would be taking another position with the University and CNU is in the final stages of hiring a replacement. Mr. Martin said that the committee reviewed in detail the statement of revenue and expenditures which was provided to all Board members.

Mr. Brauer reported that the University had entered into a contract with Follet???? To host CNU's new virtual bookstore. He reported that in the first six months there was approximately $500,000 in sales and on which CNU receives a 10% commission. By selling books on-line this allowed a great deal of space to be utilized for other purposes and noted that the spirit ware store will continue to operate.

Mr. Martin said the committee reviewed the SWaM report noting that CNU is doing an exceptional job in this effort. He referred to the report noting that CNU ranked well against other universities and said its growth had been phenomenal. The Committee also reviewed capital projects which President Trible had previously presented to the Board.

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 explained that collection efforts do not stop on these accounts and that if anyone is due a state income tax refund, CNU will be paid first. The Resolution comes to the Board as a recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Following discussion, Rector Conrad called for approval of Resolution 1 which was passed by unanimous vote of the board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Vice Rector Frank said that the committee wanted to recognize the Luter School of Business on its achievement of maintaining the AACSB accreditation. She reported that the AACSB report acknowledged CNU's wonderful faculty and their relationship and commitment to the student body and excellent mentorship between faculty and students. Approximately 12,000 schools apply for this and only 1100 achieve it and of 5% of the small school category.

Ms. Frank reported that the University is considering the termination of the BSBA in Economics and replacing it with a BA in Economics. This would allow students to have more flexibility in the course selection. Presently there are six faculty members and with this change there would be eight. Provost Padilla said this had been a good transition and the faculty are excited and they believe it will help students Taylor their aspirations and gain admissions to graduate schools. He said the next step would be to announce the reorganization of the department which will help reduce costs and provide greater communication with the students and faculty as well as allow economics to become a separate department. He said the faculty overwhelming support this change.

Vice Rector Frank said the Academic Affairs Committee recommends adoption of Resolution 2: Advanced Credit Resolution. President Trible explained that this Resolution is required by the Code of Virginia and allows CNU to award college credit for International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses taken by students applying to CNU. Following discussion, Rector Conrad called for a motion to approve Resolution 2 which was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Vice Rector Frank reported that the Committee discussed Resolution 5: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves for 2011-2012. Trible explained that these resolutions recommend six faculty members to be granted sabbaticals over the next academic year. Rector Conrad called for a second to the motion provided by Mr. Martin. Following discussion, Resolution 5 was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Life Committee Report

The Chair, Ms. Crittenden, asked Dean of Students Kevin Hughes to report to the Board. Dean Hughes reported that many students who were struggling academically took advantage of the student success assistance that was offered. These students were identified by our Early-Alert Systems and he reported on ongoing efforts to support these students. He reported that Greek Life is exploding with 145 new sorority members and the fraternity numbers are holding steady. Dr. Hughes reported that many civic engagement activities are taking place and three Alternative Spring Break service trips will occur this year. He spoke briefly about CNU's mental health emergency response system and the training exercise for emergency preparation.

President Trible added that the applications of students of color increased 7% today over last year from 2,218 last to 2,364 this year. The number of African Americans increased by almost 300 which is a 26% increase over last year. Also there is 16% increase of out-of-state applications. Mr. Brown was impressed with the emergency response process and how detailed CNU's plan is. He stated that we are the only school in Virginia to submit our plan as required with Homeland Security

Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate President, Dr. Carlson said that the Faculty Senate is involved in many important initiatives this semester. The faculty are participating in the development plans to shift from 3/4 to 3/3 teaching load. He reported that the School of Business faculty had already made this transition and over the next 5 years all faculty move to a 3/3 teaching load. He noted that this will make a huge difference in the recruitment of stellar faculty in the future. Dr. Carlson reported that there is tentative approval to involve upper-class students in faculty research and academic mentoring and the Faculty Senate is involved in establishing new criteria for the student scholar program. In addition, the faculty, in conjunction with the administration, is reviewing a possible change to the wording in the handbook pertaining to academic freedom.

Dr. Carlson expressed to the Board the faculty's concern about the tenure process. He said that the Board will hear about a negative tenure decision of a faculty member who had only positive information given to him over last five years. He stated that the faculty is seeking ways to add transparency to the tenure process. From his past experiences, Dr. Carlson stated that he knows there is nothing more complex and difficult than process of evaluating individuals. He stated that the faculty appreciates the willingness of the Provost and President to engage in discussions of how and if any modifications can be made to the tenure-decision process.

Entertain motion personnel, real estate, personal, gifts request fundraising

Mr. Brown provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board. The Rector excused all non- Board members with the exception of President Trible, Provost Padilla and Legal Counsel, Mr. Thro.

At __ p.m. 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(3) Litigation and A(8) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising. Mr. Brown provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by Unanimous consent of the Board.

At 2:10 p.m. 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, Mr. Meals and Ms. Frank certified to the above.

Rector called for a motion on the request of Dr. Peter Snow for an appeal of his tenure decision which was discussed in closed Session. Vice Rector Frank moved that the Board of Visitors affirm the recommendation of the Provost and the President to deny this faculty member tenure and that the request for a hearing be denied. The rector called for a second to the motion, which was provided by Ms. Crittenden and there was no further discussion. The Board members were polled and it was a unanimous vote.

Rector Conrad noted that Resolution 3: Promotions of Instructional Faculty comes to the Board as a recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee and called for approval. Resolution 3 passed by unanimous vote of the Board. Resolution 4: Tenured Faculty Appointments also comes to the Board as a recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. Rector Conrad called for approval of Resolution 4 and it was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brown had a concern about the timing of the election of officers where there could be a situation when Board members terms ends in June there may be no officers in place during the summer. He researched other universities and their election of officers occurs at their last meeting of the academic year which would eliminate that risk. Mr. Brown proposed that the Board consider electing officers in April or May. Rector Conrad asked that the Administration prepare a recommendation for the Board. President Trible explained that was the policy in earlier years, however, the Board had elected to change the date for election of officers. Believes there are strong arguments for changing it or keeping it the same. President Trible said that information would be made available at the May meeting and the recommendation would come before the Board in June for formal action.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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