Board of Visitors Meeting April 26, 2013 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting April 26, 2013

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on April 26, 2013 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Mike Martin presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Mr. Carlos Brown
  • Mr. Gary C. Byler
  • Dr. Debbie DiCroce
  • Mr. Bill Downey
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt, Secretary
  • Mr. Michael C. Martin, Rector
  • Mr. Bryan K. Meals
  • Ms. Delceno Miles
  • Mr. Scott Millar
  • Ms. Margo D. Taylor
  • Mr. W. L. Thomas, Jr.
  • Mr. Ron Tillett
  • Mr. Preston White, Vice Rector

Absent from the Board

  • Ms. Vicki Siokis Freeman

Present from the University

  • President Paul Trible
  • Ms. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Mr. William L. Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Dr. Mark Padilla, Provost
  • Ms. Maureen Matsen, University Counsel
  • Dr. Bill Connell, Faculty Senate
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations


  • Ms. Sarah Pawlowski, Daily Press

Rector Martin called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.

Rector Martin called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2012 Board meeting. Ms. Miles provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Taylor and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible reported that this was another wonderful and successful year and would soon come to a close with graduation in May. He announced that Mr. Larry Pope, President and CEO of Smithfield Foods, would be the commencement speaker.

He stated that it also was a successful year for our athletic teams. He reported that CNU has won 77% of their games this year. Also, CNU emerged victorious winning the USA South Athletic Conference President's Cup for overall athletic excellence for the 16th straight season. He noted that this is the last time playing in the USA South Conference except for football and that CNU will become a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. Once again CNU had a major presence in the NCAA tournament with ten teams qualifying for post-season play this year.

President Trible was pleased to report that more and more of our alumni are returning to campus, contributing to their alma mater and sending their brothers and sisters to CNU. Homecoming attendance has risen over 1000% percent and this past fall we welcomed over 1,500 alumni back to campus for the weekend. The alumni giving rate has increased from 7% to 13%. Five alumni chapters and one alumni affinity group for football have been chartered. An alumni event was held in Atlanta and over 40 people turned out. Nearly 200 alumni have been identified who live in Atlanta.

He also said that it was another great year in admission and Dean Robert Lange and his staff have done an extraordinary job. As of this morning 1,056 students have confirmed their attendance by paying their enrollment deposit and the freshman class will be between 1200 and 1250 academically strong students.

Finally, President Trible introduced Ms. Maureen Matsen, CNU's new legal counsel and welcomed her to the University.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Rector Martin said the major item of business at this meeting is the review and approval of tuition and fees and he applauded Ms. Perry and all her colleagues for their hard work. Rector Martin turned the Finance and Audit Committee report over to Chairman Preston White who then asked Ms. Perry to present the tuition and fees recommendation to the Board.

Ms. Perry reviewed in detail the proposed tuition and fees and room and board for 2013-2014. Rector Martin commented on the proposed tuition and fees recommendation and the Board continued discussion and questions. Rector Martin said Resolution 2: Tuition and Fees and Room and Board was approved by the Finance and Audit Committee and comes to the Board as a motion and called for a second to the motion. Ms. Miles provided a second and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer reviewed the financial statements with the Board which had been discussed thoroughly in the Finance and Audit Committee meeting. He noted that the financial statements were in good order. Mr. White called for discussion and questions about the financial statement report. He told the Board that the Internal Auditor Ms. Faith Belote updated the committee on the progress of her audit and that she will give a full report at the June meeting.

Rector Martin said there was a good discussion at the meeting about IT security and asked Mr. Brauer to comment. Mr. Brauer said we are audited by the Auditor of Public Accounts and they have an entire division devoted to IT controls and we are audited each year. Ms. Belote has implemented our own internal and external security audit. Mr. Brauer said that we are taking our IT systems to the cloud which will be in a highly secure environment.

There was a discussion about the recent fires set on campus and the extraordinary response by the Newport News Police, State Police, fire departments and other emergency responders. The communication between the university, faculty, students and staff was commended.

Mr. Brauer reviewed the SWaM report with the Board and noted that we do well in most areas but are lagging in the minority and small business category. He expects these numbers will increase with the construction of the Student Success Center. The numbers for women owned businesses are growing. He said that overall CNU is doing very well and that we are close to reaching our goals. He noted that more emphasis and effort would be placed on increasing the small business and minority percentages.

Mr. Brauer provided an update on capital projects. He said that Luter Hall is now completed and after graduation faculty will move into that building. Shortly thereafter, the Administration building will be vacated to get ready for demolition. He said that Rappahannock River Hall is on track and will be ready to house students in mid-August. Also, the Chapel was completed this summer. Construction of a new entrance will begin this summer which will bring the sidewalks down to grade with concrete pavers. In addition, construction of a bell tower will begin this summer and will be placed between Forbes and McMurran. Mr. Brauer told the Board that we now have authority to begin planning for phase two of the library and will be in a position to begin that project next summer. He said that pre-planning will begin on a new Fine Arts Center which will have teaching and learning spaces, museum and gallery space. The Fine Arts Center will be connected to the back of the Ferguson Center.

Mr. White said that the Finance Committee reviewed and Approved Resolution 1: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable. Mr. Brauer explained the Resolution to the Board and stated that this action is taken each year and efforts continue to collect on these debts. Rector Martin called for discussion and questions. The motion to approve Resolution 2 comes to the Board from the Finance Committee, Ms. Miles provided a second and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Rector Martin called on Ms. Taylor for the Academic Affairs Committee Report. Ms. Taylor said that the Committee members were introduced to Ms. Maureen Matson, University Counsel and Dr. Lori Underwood, Interim Dean of Arts and Humanities. She said that the Committee had a good discussion about on-line/distance learning and that she left the meeting convinced that CNU does not need to look further at distance learning. Ms. Taylor noted that our faculty are critical to the ties to CNU and the quality of life at the university. She said the Administration has worked hard to create a campus with a special niche with quality faculty and outstanding students. She noted that there is already a great deal of on-line learning available to students on campus.

The Committee discussed the strength of the faculty and recognition of faculty as distinguished professors. President Trible said there are plans to create an exedra which will be a place to sit and have outdoor classes and will have a place to etch the names of faculty members and staff who have given distinguished service to the University. Ms. Taylor said that the Class of 2013 raised over $40,000 which will partly be used for scholarships and a part will be given to two faculty members each year who meet the requirements they set. In addition, the Committee discussed compensation for faculty and the importance of letting them know they are valued and the importance of retaining these faculty members at CNU and not lose them to other universities.

Ms. Taylor said that Resolution 3: Plan of Compensation comes to the Board as a motion from the Committee. Provost Padilla explained that this Resolution comes to the Board each year and the changes from the previous year had been highlighted. Rector Martin called for a second to the motion which was provided by Mr. Byler and the Resolution passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Life Committee Report

Mr. Millar reported that the Committee heard presentations from a number of great students. He updated the Board on the admission efforts and said that CNU is becoming more highly selective in its admissions process and this year we will have a freshman class of 1250 students. There has been an increase in the admission of out-of-state students, minority students and African American students.

Rector Martin said that we want to increase the number of out-of-state students and initiatives in that area. Mr. Millar explained that one initiative underway is the identification of current out-of-state students who are being trained about the admission process. This knowledge equips these students with the necessary resources to go back to their high schools to promote CNU. There was further discussion about the efforts to increase the numbers of out-of-state students.

Mr. Millar said that this academic year 3,800 students will receive financial aid and efforts are underway to get out award notices as soon as possible so families can make financial decisions early.

Dean Hughes reported on a number of initiatives including student success, campus engagement and student leadership. He noted that Greek Life has 17 organizations with membership of 1,106 students. Dean Hughes reported that the Campus Activity Board offered 60 events this year and these events were attended by 16,000 students which is a 25% increase over last year. Also, there are 266 clubs and organizations on campus. Mr. Millar noted that the PLP students are actively involved in the student life at CNU serving as Student Orientation Directors, Resident Assistants, Crew Leaders, etc.

The Student Assembly is the organization which is the voice of students and they work with students to provide leadership and engagement opportunities and present ideas and recommendations to the Administration. The Committee also heard from the Student Honor Council and he noted that adjudication of honor code violations is now administered by students. He reported that several students have started the Captains Enrichment Fund which is an investment group who works with the CNUEF and raises funds for scholarships.

There was discussion regarding international students and CNU's efforts on that front. President Trible said that Dean Doughty went to China and had good discussions with a university there to bring students to CNU this summer for a two-week program. It is anticipated that next year we will implement a program to bring a large number of Chinese students to campus. He also said that we are in the process of retaining one of our graduates who is from Switzerland to have her become a part of our international outreach.

Faculty Senate Report

Dr. Bill Connell, Secretary of the Faculty Senate said that there have been a number of initiatives underway this year. He said President Stephanie Bardwell has been successful in engaging students with the Faculty Senate. They have met with the Student Assembly, Captains Log and others to talk about their extraordinary activities on campus. In addition, the Senate has worked with Dean Hughes to express faculty concerns about changes in the honor code system. Also, the Senate has met with the Provost and the Curriculum Committee on changes to the core curriculum. The Faculty Senate is excited about the exedra which has been something they have looked forward to for a long time. He said the Senate appreciates their interaction with the administration and it had been a good year.

At 2:20 p.m. Rector Martin called for a motion to enter closed session under the Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2-3711(a)(1) Personnel, (3) Real Estate, (6) Investments and (8) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising and (a)(10)Honorary Degrees. Mr. Byler provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Millar and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session at 3:25 p.m. and Rector Martin 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. Brown, Rector Martin, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Millar, Mr. Thomas, Mr. White, Mr. Byler, Dr. DiCroce, Mr. Downey, Ms. Miles and Mr. Tillett certified to the above.

Rector Martin reported that Resolutions 4-9 were discussed in closed session and came as a motion from the Academic Affairs Committee. Mr. White provided a second to the motion and the Resolutions passed with unanimous consent of the Board.

Rector Martin called for a motion to award Honorary Degrees at Commencement to Mr. Larry Pope and Mr. Robert Freeman, Sr. Ms. Miles provided the motion which was seconded by Mr. Millar and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

There was discussion on salary recommendations and plans for implementing those recommendations in the future.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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