Board of Visitors Meeting September 12, 2014 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting September 12, 2014

The Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University met on September 12, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the David Student Union.

Present from the Board

  • Mr. Gary Byler
  • Mr. William Downey
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Ms. Vicki Siokis Freeman
  • Mr. Andy Hughes
  • Ms. Ann N. Hunnicutt
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. Bruce Jennings
  • Mr. Scott Millar
  • The Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Mr. Mark Rodgers
  • The Hon. Ronald Tillett
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Mr. Preston White

Present from the University

  • President Paul Trible
  • Ms. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Mr. William L. Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Dr. David Doughty, Provost
  • Ms. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Ms. Maureen Matsen, University Counsel
  • Ms. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice Provost for Enrollment Services
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Dr. Jana Adamitis, Faculty Senate President
  • Ms. Faith Belote, Internal Auditor
  • Mr. Mark Bernecker, Alumni Society President
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
  • Mr. Josh Reyes, Captains Log
  • Mr. Conner Trebour, Student Assembly President


  • Mr. Austin Bogues, Daily Press Reporter

The meeting began with the election of officers which was conducted by Mr. Downey. Mr. Downey reminded the Board that at the last meeting Mr. Thomas reported that the members of the nominating committee - Mr. Bill Downey, Ms. Margo Taylor and Mr. Bill Thomas - recommend the following slate of officers to serve for 2014-16 term pursuant to By-Laws Section (e) Article V (1) - Rector Mr. Preston White, Vice-Rector Mr. Scott Millar and Secretary, Ms. Vicki Freeman. There being no further nominations, Mr. Downey asked for a motion to elect the slate of officers as presented. Mr. Ermatinger provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector White thanked the Board for their vote of confidence in him and said how pleased he was to serve as Rector. He then welcomed everyone present at the meeting and introduced the new Board members - Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Brad Hunter, Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Dr. Ella Ward and thanked Ms. Vicki Freeman for serving a second term. He also recognized Dr. Jana Adamitis, new Faculty Senate President, Mr. Conner Trebour, Student Assembly Representative and Mr. Mark Bernecker, Alumni Society President.

Rector White noted that Committee Assignments had been made and the Executive Committee would consist of the newly elected officers and committee chairmen. He appointed Mr. Andy Hughes and Mr. Ron Tillett as At-Large Members of the Executive Committee. He noted that he and Mr. Scott Millar serve on the CNU Education Foundation and that Mr. Bill Downey and Ms. Ann Hunnicutt serve on the CNU Real Estate Foundation.

Rector White called for approval of the minutes of the June 20, 2014 meeting. The motion was provided by Ms. Hunnicutt and seconded by Ms. Freeman and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Report of the President

President Trible reported that once again CNU is welcoming an outstanding freshman class of 1,228 students and the class is academically very strong with an average GPA of 3.75. He recognized Dean Rob Lange for his outstanding work and that of his colleagues in the admission process and asked Dean Lange to share his admission report. Dean Lange told the Board that the number of out-of-state students has increased to 8% and efforts continue to increase that percentage. For the first time in history, for the fourth year in a row CNU has met or exceeded the freshman enrollment goal and the yield rate is now at 30%. The retention rate from freshman to sophomore stands at 87% which is extraordinarily high and the overall retention rate at CNU has increased 12 percentage points in ten years and graduations rates are at 80%.

President Trible asked Mr. Brauer to update the Board on capital projects. He stated that currently only one building, the Student Success Center, is under construction. Last year completed projects included Luter Hall, the main entrance to the University and the bell tower. Mr. Brauer said that construction of the Student Success Center is on budget and on schedule and that building will be the backdrop for graduation in May and occupancy will take place in July. Currently there are two projects being designed - phase 2 of the library and the Fine Arts Center. The Fine Arts Center will be the future home of Peninsula Fine Arts Center and will contain space for galleries and will add more studio, lab and classrooms space for CNU's fine arts department. In addition there will be a rehearsal hall for CNU's growing marching band. He noted that these two projects are contingent upon obtaining state funding. He told the Board that several new projects will begin after the first of the year -- a new residence hall adjacent to James River Hall which will add 179 beds and phase 1 of Greek Village which will add another 100 beds; Regattas Dining Hall will be expanded to add 300 additional seats and the building of an Alumni House. Ground breaking for the Alumni House is scheduled for October and construction will begin in February or March and will be completed in the fall 2016.

The President mentioned that athletics is off to a great start with a number of our teams being ranked nationally. Next he talked about the importance of CNU's first ever comprehensive campaign especially with state funding in decline. The priority of the campaign is the establishment of scholarships. President Trible asked Mr. Brad Hunter to announce his new initiative. Mr. Hunter told the Board that he and a few minority alumni thought of ways to help CNU and with the help of the Advancement Office they established the Alumni Achievement Endowment which is an endowed scholarship geared toward minority students. Mr. Hunter said that $12,000 has been raised toward the $25,000 required to endow a scholarship. At the new member board orientation at CNU, Mr. Hunter was issued a challenge to raise the remaining dollars in cash between now and homecoming and Rector White said if they could raise the money, then he would match the scholarship making the endowment $50,000. President Trible thanked Mr. Hunter for his leadership and Mr. White for his generosity.

President Trible reported that CNU's reach and reputation is spreading across the country which is reflected in the rankings of U.S. News and World Report. Among 300 regional universities in the south, CNU stands 17th and is ranked 7th among the public schools. CNU is ranked 2nd in the 2014 Up and Comers list of most promising schools making innovative changes in academics, faculty, student life, campus and facilities.

Rector White then asked Ms. Perry to review RESOLUTION 1: 2014 Six-Year Plan for 2014-2016. Ms. Perry explained that the plan was approved last fall and every year the plan is to be revised to make adjustments as necessary and requires Board approval. She said that the priorities of the University did not change but a few numbers changed because of adjustment in State funding. Rector White called for questions and a motion to approve Resolution 1. Ms. Hunnicutt provided the motion which was seconded by Dr. Ward and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Rector White asked Ms. Hunnicutt to report on the Finance and Audit Committee meeting. Ms. Hunnicutt said that the committee reviewed the revenues and expenditures which were provided in the Board notebooks and found them to be in order and asked for questions. She then called on Mr. Brauer to review the debt service report with the Board. Mr. Brauer explained that this report is presented each year to the Board. He noted that by Board mandate, the debt ratio for non-revenue producing projects should be at 10% or less which is in keeping with best practices in industry standards. The current debt ratio for CNU is 8.34%.

Mr. Brauer said that there are two additional projects that require debt issuance. The first project is the expansion of athletic facilities for tennis and softball. CNU will double the size of the outdoor tennis courts and add lighting. Also, renovations to the softball field will be made by adding permanent dugouts, expanding seating, increasing the size of the press box and adding lighting (RESOLUTION 3: Athletic Expansion II). Mr. Brauer reviewed RESOLUTION 4: Alumni House which authorizes the issuance of debt for this project. The Finance Committee has recommended the approval of both of these resolutions. Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 3. Mr. Downey provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ward and passed by unanimous vote of the Board. Mr. Jennings provided the motion to approve Resolution 4, seconded by Mr. Millar and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer explained that the Board has the responsibility to approve easements which is an ongoing process. RESOLUTION 2: Delegation of Authority - Easements allows the President and Executive Vice President to negotiate these easements. Mr. Brauer said this comes as a recommendation from the Committee. Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 2. Mr. Morgan provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ward and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer reviewed the Resolution dealing with renewal of Level II authority. He explained that CNU has been delegated certain authority for the day to day operations of IT and capital projects. The Memorandums of Understanding are up for renewal and this action will allow CNU to continue to operate with Level II authority for the next 3 years. Rector White called for a motion to approve RESOLUTION 7: Level II Renewal. Mr. Millar provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Downey and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Ms. Hunnicutt said that the Committee reviewed the SWaM report and all goals were met. Mr. Brauer reviewed RESOLUTION 5: Reimbursement Resolution - Alumni House. He explained that Board approval of this resolution is a requirement of the IRS and it allows CNU to pay for projects with its own funds and later be reimbursed at the time when tax exempt debt is issued. Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 5. Mr. Byler provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Freeman and passed by unanimous vote of the Board

Ms. Hunnicutt called on Internal Auditor Ms. Belote to explain her role, duties and responsibilities to the Board. Ms. Belote also explained that last year there was an external audit review and there were three recommendations for the charter to meet the required standards. Resolution 6 incorporates those recommendations into the Charter. Rector White called for a motion to approve RESOLUTION 6: Amendment to the Internal Audit Charter. Mr. Tillett provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Jennings and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Jennings reported that all the Deans of the colleges and Vice Provosts attended the meeting and there was great discussion. There was a report on a number of initiatives that have been completed or are underway. The faculty size is now up to 273 which is an increase of six positions over last year. Of the 28 new faculty that were hired, three were CNU graduates. Faculty salaries were increased to bring them up to the state-mandated average and the faculty is very appreciative. Mr. Jennings reported that Dean Colvin procured accounting 4+1 agreements with several different schools. The Committee was pleased to learn that the electrical engineering degree has been approved by SCHEV. Dr. Kidd reported on study abroad programs and said there are 17 trips next year including a trip to Scotland. Among other ongoing efforts that were discussed, Provost Doughty is working to create partnerships with universities in China for Chinese students to study at CNU and CNU students to study in China. Mr. Jennings also reported that the Luter School of Business will now have its own dean and a search will soon be underway.

Student Life Committee Meeting

Chairman Millar said the Committee was joined by the Dean of Admission, Dean of Students and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Student Services and four CNU students. Dean Lange shared great news about the freshman class and the strength of the class and wanted to note that 21% of the freshman class is minority with an increase of 2% of African American students. There is a new initiative to recruit internationally and there is a CNU Fellow from Switzerland who is working in the admission office to help with international recruitment.

Mr. Conner Trebour told the Committee that there are initiatives in place to expand activities to engage sophomores, juniors and seniors as we do our incoming freshmen. Mr. Millar said there was discussion regarding our retention rate and a key point to our retention goal is the success of our learning communities for incoming freshmen. In addition, at-risk students are recognized early on and services are provided to help these students succeed academically. There is also an outreach to recruit students who have not registered for classes and this effort is called the recruit back program.

Mr. Millar noted that the survey of the Class of 2013 shows 85% of our graduates are employed or are in graduate school. Dean Hughes shared the activities to welcome students to campus and help the freshmen to adjust to campus life. There was a discussion of student success initiatives and special efforts to support student-athletes. He said that the Day of Service has become an annual tradition where all freshmen serve non-profits and community organizations and noted that the Club Fair was a huge success. Mr. Millar said the highlight of the committee meeting was the inclusion of 4 outstanding students.

Rector White called on Faculty Senate President, Dr. Jana Adamitis. Dr. Adamitis thanked the Board on behalf of the entire faculty for supporting faculty raises. She said the goal of the Faculty Senate this year is focusing primarily on ensuring the communication between the faculty and the administration. They are also looking at the structure of university governance and making sure that the faculty is functioning properly and they will review faculty performance to ensure clarity and consensus among faculty and administration on standards and expectations.

Rector White called on Mr. Bernecker, Alumni Society President. Mr. Bernecker reported that he was very proud of how far the alumni society has come since 2002 and how pleased he is to see alums Mr. Brad Hunter, Mr. Scott Millar and Ms. Vicki Freeman on the Board of Visitors. He said that he was very appreciative of the support of the Board of Visitors and President Trible, to be part of the ground breaking of the Alumni House and for providing a home at CNU for alums. The Alumni Society is working hard to ensure that the policies and practices of the Alumni Society are fully compliant with the Board approved Policy on University Related Foundations.

Rector White next called on Mr. Trebour, Student Assembly President for a few words. Mr. Trebour thanked the Board for his representation on the Board and said the entire student body appreciates the hard of work of everyone at CNU to make the day to day life for students so wonderful at CNU. Initiatives this year are to amend the constitution and to get better representation from the student body by increasing the delegation size.

At 2:00 p.m. Secretary Freeman called for a motion to enter closed session under the Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2-3711(a) (1) Personnel and (a) (8) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising. Dr. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Hunnicutt and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session at 2:15 p.m. and Secretary Freeman 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. Downey, Mr. Tillett, Mr. Millar, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Byler, Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Morgan, Ms. Hunnicutt, Mr. Hunter, Dr. Ward, Ms. Freeman and Rector White certified to the above.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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