Board of Visitors Meeting May 1, 2015 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting May 1, 2015

The Board of Visitors met on May 1, 2015 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Preston White presiding.

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
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Mr. Curtis Davidson, Director of Admission Operations
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Dr. Jana Adamitis, Faculty Senate President
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
  • Mr. Conner Trebour, Student Body President
  • Mr. C.J. Cahill, Incoming Student Body President


  • Ms. Ashely Speed, Daily Press

Captains Log Reporters

  • Jack Jacobs
  • Josh Reyes
  • Collin Brennan

Rector White welcomed everyone present. He then introduced Student Representative Conner Trebour stating that this is his last meeting and he will be working in Richmond and getting married to another CNU alum. Mr. Trebour introduced the new Student Assembly President C.J. Cahill who will be the new student representative on our Board.

Rector White called for approval of the minutes of the February 20, 2015 full Board meeting and Executive Committee meeting. The motion was provided by Ms. Hunnicutt, seconded by Mr. Tillett and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

Trible said it has been another extraordinary year and thanked the Board and staff for all they do each and every day. He reminded the Board that Commencement was the following weekend and that this would be the largest graduating class in the history of CNU with approximately 1200 graduates. The Secretary of Education, Anne Holton will be the speaker, Governor and Mrs. Linwood Holton will be honored and Mr. Adachi who leads Canon operations around the world will also be honored.

He reported that Christopher Newport has received 1300 deposits for admission for a class of 1200 students. He noted that the average GPA is 3.8 and average SAT score is 1200. Nearly 400 freshmen will be in the President's Leadership Program, 8% of the class is from out of state and approximately 22% of our freshman class are minority.

President Trible was pleased to announce that this year all 150 of our seniors in the Luter School of Business took the Major Field Test and they finished in the 96-97 percentile - top 3-4% in the nation. This test is taken by a half million students and determines how much they have learned. This result speaks to the rigor of our academic programs, quality of our teaching and intellect of our students.

President Trible said that Christopher Newport's athletic teams continue to record impressive results. Our teams have won 70% of total games played this year and five teams have qualified for post-season play. Two teams reached the Elite Eight and football advanced to the Sweet 16. Several other sports are now contending for spots in the NCAA competition.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Ms. Hunnicutt reported that the Committee met and reviewed revenues and expenditures, the internal audit report, SWaM Report and Capital Projects, all of which are in the Board notebooks and to let her know if there were any questions. She then asked Ms. Perry to present the tuition and fee proposal as this was the main focus of their meeting.

Rector White stressed to the Board that the setting of tuition and fees is one of the most important tasks of the Board and encouraged everyone to share their thoughts, give input and ask questions.

Ms. Perry said that the proposed tuition and fees and room and board support the priorities of the University, provide the non-general share of salary and fringe benefit increases, provide funds to meet debt service obligations, advance the goals of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011 and support CNU's six-year academic and financial plan. A 5.37% increase is being recommended and she reviewed the proposal in great detail with the Board.

There was much discussion among the Board members regarding the proposed tuition increase and the cost of higher education. Mr. Byler believes the cost of attending Christopher Newport is an extraordinary value and was pleased that the faculty would be receiving a modest increase in salary. Mr. Morgan expressed concerns about the affordability especially for those families with more than one child in college and the costs should be in the range of the majority. President Trible pointed that we had been in the process of building the university for the last 20 years and are now nearing completion - unlike universities who have been in business for hundreds of years. He said that students are wanting to come to CNU citing that there are 400 on our waitlist. CNU has been recognized as a great value by Kiplinger's and recognized by other but we are sensitive to every cost and the burden placed on families. Mr. Hughes said that this is the reason for the Comprehensive Campaign to raise funds to build CNU's endowment to put us in a position to support the students in need. Rector White pointed out that this increase includes, among other priorities, monies to support scholarships. President Trible assured the Board that CNU goes the extra mile to support any student who has financial need whether it is through scholarships, jobs on campus or other avenues. Mr. Rodgers inquired about a long term plan and President Trible said the university has a 6-year plan that very clearly shows where we are and where we are headed and how it will all come together.

Ms. Hunnicutt said that Resolution 1: Tuition and Fees Room and Board comes as a recommendation from the Finance Committee. Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 1. Mr. Byler provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Millar and Resolution 1 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Ms. Perry explained that Resolution 2: Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act is being presented to all public schools in Virginia and requires that universities offer in-state-tuition rates to uninformed services veterans and other qualified individuals covered under 38 U.S.C. 3679(c). Ms. Hunnicutt said that Resolution 2 comes at the recommendation of the Finance Committee. Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 2 and Ms. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Downey and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Bruce Jennings said the Committee had a great meeting with good discussions. The Provost announced that the search for a dean of the Luter School of Business was successful and the new dean will begin work on July 1st. He reported that the university is on target to have 275 faculty on board next year and are moving toward the goal of 300 faculty. A faculty salary increase of 4% has been approved which will bring our faculty salaries closer to the 60 percentile of our peer group. Mr. Jennings said that the Parental Leave Proposal had been approved by the Faculty Senate but the proposal for lecturer ranks has been delayed until the Fall of 2016. He noted that the Summer Scholars Program was underway and 25 students were given the opportunity to participate. Mr. Jennings said that the Committee was given an update on study abroad trips this year - there were 12 students at the University of Glasgow, two students who will study in China and we will have several students from China studying at CNU in the fall. We are still working with the UESTC in Chengdu and with an environmental firm CECEP to create graduate fellowships and this summer there are 12 faculty trips planned.

Mr. Jennings reported that efforts are continuing on the accreditation process and things are moving along as scheduled. CNU continues to administer the CLA+ as a means to measure educational growth at the institutional level. The national exam was administered to 100 randomly sampled graduating seniors this semester and our seniors scored in the 85th percentile. Efforts for Phi Beta Kappa membership continue. The President and senior staff visited Elon University who is the top-ranked university among the Southern Regional Universities and was successful in achieving PBK. President Trible said the visit to Elon was very instructive and informative. The leadership at Elon noted that an important element to their success is having a very able team who stays together for a long time and works together successfully.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Scott Millar said that the committee had very good conversations about the success of admission and student life. There was a focus on minority recruitment efforts and Mr. Millar called on Mr. Curtis Davidson, Director of Admission Operations, who leads the charge in minority student recruitment to report to the Board on this initiative.

Mr. Davidson said that a minority recruitment plan has been developed and implemented and he reviewed a number of recruitment initiatives underway. Last summer CNU partnered with Newport News Schools' Gear Up program which is designed to provide opportunities for low income families. Superintendent Dr. Kilgore was invited to meet with the Minority Task Force and we are working on ways to work with Newport News schools. Dr. Kilgore suggested we partner with the Early College Program at TNCC where high ability students finish their high school graduation requirement in the fall of their senior year and take college level courses in the spring. These students enter college with academic credit, thus reducing their cost. Mr. Davidson said that we have a plan in place to offer a wide range of seminars and workshops at local high schools as well as on the CNU campus. Mr. Davidson said he and his staff are visiting all the high schools on the Peninsula and Southside and meeting with students and principals. They are also offering on site admission where the students can be admitted to CNU on the spot.

Ms. Ward announced to the Board that one of our outstanding minority students, C.J. Stanford, was going to be the keynote speaker at a breakfast for the New Chesapeake Men for Progress organization which provides numerous educational scholarships. Mr. Sanford is the recipient of one of these scholarships. It is the first time a student has been asked to speak which is not only a great honor but underscores the caliber of our students. This breakfast is also a good recruiting tool as other high school students will be in attendance.

Mr. Millar reported that there is an early indication that we will have a 91.1% retention rate and that progress is being made on the 6-year graduation rate. He reported on the many student life activities and student outreach on campus. Over 300 freshmen have been placed in learning communities and over 1600 group tutoring sessions have been held at no cost. There is a survey underway regarding post-graduation outcomes for the class of 2014. The university is partnering with the Wason Center to look four years beyond graduation at student outcomes. There are over 200 student organizations on campus and roughly 25% of those are directly related to academics and there have been several new organizations formed this year. He said that our students have presented their research at 14 different conferences. We have one Fulbright Scholar, a student who will be going to Rwanda to teach computer science and an art student who helped create the sculptures for the Newport News One City Marathon. Among other highlights, Mr. Millar stated that over 27% of our undergraduates join Greek organizations, there has been increased participation in activities hosted by the campus activities Board, there is an increased number of applications for key student leadership positions on campus and that 88% of our student athletes performed community service despite their very busy schedules.

Faculty Senate Report

Dr. Jana Adamitis, President of the Faculty Senate, said that it had been a very productive year and thanked the administration for their support. The Faculty Senate has been working on communication and has found that the infrastructure has not kept pace with the changes at the university. They have created two new committees - one on Phi Beta Kappa and that committee will have authority over the Deans Park Colloquium Series and an advisory board to create a center for excellence in teaching. She said the lecturer rank arrangement will be implemented in 2016 and each department is being charged to develop very clear evaluation standards. She said there is a five year strategic plan to maintain a high level of tenured track faculty positions and the deans and chairs are being asked to determine how many lecturers are needed and how many multi-year contracts should be given all in an effort to meet the institutional goals of small classes and the use of fewer adjuncts. Finally, she reported that the parental leave policy had been passed and the faculty are very thankful.

At 2:50 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 Rector White and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session at 3:10 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. Byler, Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Morgan, Ms. Hunnicutt, Mr. Hunter, Dr. Ward, Ms. Freeman and Rector White certified to the above.

Rector White called for a motion to approve Resolution 3: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves for 2015-2016. Dr. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Downey and passed by unanimous vote of the Board. He then called for a motion to approve Resolutions 4-9: Award of Emeritus Status. Mr. Morgan provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Freeman and passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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