Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 28, 2014

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on February 28, 2014 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Preston White, presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Mr. Gary C. Byler
  • Mr. Bill Downey
  • Ms. Vicki Siokis Freeman
  • Mr. Andy Hughes
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
  • Mr. Bruce Jennings
  • Mr. Bryan K. Meals
  • Mr. Scott Millar
  • Mr. Mark Rodgers
  • Ms. Margo D. Taylor
  • Mr. W. L. Thomas, Jr.
  • Mr. Ronald Tillett
  • Mr. Preston White, Rector

Absent from the Board

  • Ms. Delceno Miles

Present from the University

  • President Paul Trible
  • Ms. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Mr. William L. Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Dr. David Doughty, Interim Provost
  • Ms. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Ms. Maureen Matsen, University Counsel
  • Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Dr. Kip Redick, Faculty Senate President
  • Mr. Rich Charles, Alumni Society President
  • Mr. Robert Brown, CNU Real Estate Foundation
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
  • Ms. Sally Grace Holtgrieve, Captains Log
  • Ms. Marie Albiges, Captains Log


  • Mr. John Lawson, Chair, Comprehensive Campaign
  • Mr. Mike Martin, Former Rector
  • Ms. Sarah Pawloski, Daily Press Reporter

Rector White welcomed everyone present at the meeting which included members of the Comprehensive Campaign Executive Council who were present for the Campaign Launch that afternoon. He gave a special welcome to new Board members Mr. Mark Rodgers, Mr. Andy Hughes and Mr. Bruce Jennings.

President's Report

President Trible reported that applications and enrollment deposits were up over last year at this same time and that increasingly students are applying for early action and early decision. The goal is to have a freshman class of 1200 but as our reach and reputation expands, more and more high ability students are applying so we have to refine our enrollment strategy each year.

President Trible reported on several construction projects. The Bell Tower is well underway and will be completed in time for graduation. This year at commencement the Senior Class President will ring the bell and then all the graduates will be invited to do the same creating anew and long lasting tradition. He told the Board that the construction of the Student Success Center is moving ahead and that building should be completed in time for graduation in May 2015.

President Trible updated the Board on several other construction projects. He said that theGeneral Assembly has given us the authority to proceed with the construction of a new wing for James River Residence Hall which will add 160 beds, the first phase of Greek Village which will add 100 beds and the expansion of the Regattas dining facility to create another 200 seats for our students.

President Trible was proud to say that our athletic programs continue to do well. The women and men's basketball teams won the semi-finals and will play for the championships. He said that one of the most memorable events at CNU is in the fall when student-athletes who have excelled academically are recognized at half-time of a basketball game.

President Trible announced that Dr. Quentin Kidd was one of twelve chosen to receive the Outstanding Faculty Award in Virginia.

Approval of Minutes

At the conclusion of the President's report, Rector White called for approval of the minutes of the October 3, 2013 meeting. Ms. Taylor provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Hughes and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

By-Laws Changes

Rector White reminded the Board that at the last meeting they reviewed changes to the by-laws and that those changes needed to be voted on today. Mr. Tillett explained that he worked with Dr. DiCroce and General Counsel Maureen Matsen to bring our by-laws into compliance with legislation that was created in the last General Assembly session. Rector White called for further discussion and a motion to approve the changes. Mr. Tillett provided the motion to approve the changes to the by-laws as presented, Mr. Millar seconded the motion and RESOLUTION 1: Ratification of By-Laws Changes passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector White told the Board that he appointed an ad-hoc committee which included former Rector Mike Martin, Mr. Bill Thomas, Ms. Ann Hunnicutt, Mr. Bill Brauer, Ms. Cindi Perry and Ms. Maureen Matsento further review the by-laws. Mr. Martin noted that this committee was appointed to look at the by-laws as a whole now that the by-laws are in compliance with State law. The committee wanted to ensure that the by-laws were written to conform with the way the Board operates and to clarify language in several areas.

Mr. Martin reviewed all the recommended changes and said the Board would be asked to vote on these at the next meeting.

Mr. Martin reported that Rector White had also asked him to continue to serve on the ad-hoc committee to review our process for the election of officers and the timing of that election. Mr.Brauer will provide a summary of how other universities in Virginia conduct their elections. Rector White said he would be substituting Ms. Margo Taylor for Ms. Ann Hunnicutt on this ad-hoc committee since Ms. Hunnicutt is an officer and any changes would directly affect her.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Ms. Hunnicutt reported that the Finance and Audit Committee met and reviewed the revenue and expenditures and other reports that were provided to the Board. She then asked Mr.Brauer to review the Resolutions discussed in the Committee meeting. Mr.Brauer said that Resolutions 2-4 are all reimbursement resolutions which allow the University to reimburse itself for monies spent to start capital projects from tax exempt debt when it is issued. The three projects include expansion of the dining facility, construction of residential housing and the renovation of the fine arts and rehearsal space. Mr.Brauer said the Resolutions come to the Board as a recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Rector White called for discussion and vote on RESOLUTIONS 2-4 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer explained that each year the Board is asked to approve a Resolution to write off un-collectible accounts after numerous attempts have been made to collect the monies owed. The Attorney General continues collection efforts on debt of $3,000 or more and anything less than that is turned over to a collection agency. Also, all debt is referred to the Commonwealth and if one of these individuals is due a state income tax refund, the money comes to CNU first. RESOLUTION 5: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable comes at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Following discussion, Rector White called for approval of the Resolution which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Ms. Margo Taylor said the Committee had a very good meeting and had good news to report. In regard to student success, she said that the fall to spring student retention rate for the Fall 2013 Cohort was 95.4% and the goal is to reach 85% for the fall-to-fall retention - noting that the national average is 75%. Ms. Taylor reported on the changes being made to the liberal learning core which affects about one-third of the 120 hours required for graduation. She also reported that two foundational courses were added and one area of inquiry was also added while two areas of inquiry were removed. The process is underway to add two new majors - one interdisciplinary major in Environmental Studies and Electrical Engineering. Additional information has been provided to SCHEV to support our request for an Electrical Engineering major. Also, two new minors are being offered - Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies and Judeo-Christian Studies. For the fall of 2016 we are pursuing minors in Life Science and Management and Digital Humanities. She reported that CNU is looking at options to create international study centers in Glasgow and London.

The Committee discussed faculty related matters and the status of faculty hiring noting that there are currently 264 faculty members and next fall the goal is to reach 273. The Committee reviewed and approved resolutions for sabbatical leaves, promotion and tenure which will be discussed in closed session.

Ms. Taylor said the Academic Affairs Committee also reviewed and recommends to the Board RESOLUTION 6: Plan of Compensation which sets the minimum and maximum salaries for instructional faculty. Rector White called for discussion and a vote. Resolution 6 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Lastly, Ms. Taylor noted that there are nine faculty-led study abroad programs coming up this summer and two graduate programs in teaching this spring.

Student Life Committee Meeting

Mr. Thomas said the committee had two very good student presentations which highlighted the amount of engagement on the campus. Of interest, over 20,000 hours of community service was performed by PLP students, applications are up from 7,041 last year to 7,448 this year and the number of enrollment deposits have increased from 425 to 459. Our students have been very successful after their time at CNUwith 80% being employed full time or attending grad school. The committee heard good reports on the increase in Greek life on campus and the addition of a number of student organizations; there is a 90% approval rate of our residence halls. There was further discussion about student engagement and how to become even more involved in the community.

The Committee reviewed and recommends to the Board RESOLUTION 7: Priority Registration for Active Duty Military, Reservists and National Guard Members which provides a one-day advantage to enroll in courses. This action is required by the General Assembly. There was no discussion and the Resolution passed unanimously by vote of the Board.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Kip Redick reported that since the last Board meeting, the faculty had been working hard on the new curriculum proposals, they are making recommendations to upgrade instructional technology and have been in discussions with the Provost about establishment of a center for teaching effectiveness.

The Faculty Senate is very supportive of the President's efforts to reduce the size of classes and the elimination of classes with more than 100 students. The Faculty Senate approved the establishment of an Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award and passed a resolution to create a task force for establishing a child care facility for faculty, staff and students. Also, the faculty has been working with the Provost to make sure we are in compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act and they are examining the process and criteria surrounding faculty evaluations. Dr. Redick expressed the faculty's gratitude for the administration's response to the request to update travel policies and meal reimbursement policies while recruiting candidates.

Alumni Society Report

Mr. Rich Charles reported that the Alumni Society is getting stronger every day. They have undertaken a total revamp of the by-laws to help posture the Society to move forward positively and are re-evaluating current scholarships. They are continuing to honor stellar professorships and working with faculty to help support our students. The Alumni Society is aggressively pursuing, with the leadership of Matt Martin, new memberships and new chapter development. The Society has received requests from 50 alumni for membership which is a very good sign for the future of the Alumni Society.

At the request of the Rector, at 1:20 p.m. Secretary Scott Millar 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. Ms. Taylor provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Byler and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session at 2:10 p.m. and Rector White 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 Ms. Hunnicutt, Mr.

Thomas, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Tillett, Mr. Meals, Mr. Downey, Mr. Millar, Mr. Byler, Mr. Jennings, Ms. Freeman, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Rodgers and Rector White certified to the above.

Rector White called for a motion to approve RESOLUTION 8: Promotions of Instructional Faculty, RESOLUTION 9: Appointment of Distinguished Professor, RESOLUTION 10: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and RESOLUTION 11: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves.** Mr. Byler provided the motion, which was seconded by Mr. Meals and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector White called for a motion to award an Honorary Degree to the commencement speaker, Congressman Frank Wolf. Ms. Taylor provided the motion, seconded by Mr.Tillett and the Board unanimously approved.

The Advancement Committee approved and brought before the full Board the Resolution announcing the public phase of the campaign. Rector White asked that each member of the Board read aloud a section of this resolution following which the Board unanimously approved RESOLUTION 12: Announcement of the Campaign Public Phase. Immediately following the Board meeting the Campaign Launch Celebration took place in the Ferguson Center.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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