Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 26, 2016

The Board of Visitors met on February 26, 2016 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Vice Rector Scott Millar presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Mr. William B. Downey
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Mrs. Vicki Siokis Freeman, Secretary
  • Mr. S. Anderson Hughes
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar, Vice Rector
  • Mr. Mark Rodgers
  • Hon. Ronald L. Tillett
  • Hon. Ella P. Ward

Absent from the Board

  • Mr. Preston White
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.

Present from the University

  • Hon. Paul Trible, President
  • Mr. William Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Ms. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Dr. David Doughty, Provost
  • Mrs. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Mrs. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Dr. Jana Adamitis, Faculty Senate President
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice Provost
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Dean of Students
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Ms. Lori Jacobs, Director of Public Relations
  • Mr. CJ Cahill, Student Assembly President
  • Mr. Robert Macklin, Alumni Society President
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel
  • Mr. Mitchell Stith, University Counsel Extern

Captains Log Reporters

  • Mr. Josh Reyes

Vice Rector Scott Millar welcomed everyone present. He announced that Rector White had appointed a nominating committee chaired by Mr. Bill Downey and includes members Mr. Brad Hunter and Mr. Steve Kast. The committee will present a slate of officers of the Board at the April meeting. The election of officers will take place at the September meeting.

Vice Rector Millar called for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 2, 2015 meeting. Mr. Hughes provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ward and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Vice Rector Millar called for approval of Resolution 1: Establishment of Committee on Building and Grounds. He noted that the establishment of this committee was presented and discussed at the last Board meeting. He explained that creating this committee required a change to the by-laws and approval of the Board. Mr. Tillett was appointed Chair of the Building and Grounds Committee and he briefly explained the roles and responsibilities of the committee. Mr. Jennings provided the motion to approve Resolution 1; Ms. Freeman provided a second and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible announced that the Commencement speaker will be Dr. Chris Howard, President of Robert Morris University. President Trible shared information about his background and said he was excited that he would be with us. He asked the Board to consider awarding Dr. Howard an honorary degree.

President Trible provided an update on the General Assembly session. He said the House has included funding for the library and arts center, however the Senate has not. The Governor has provided for an increase in funding of approximately $1 million for general purposes and those funds would be used for the priorities of the University. The Governor's budget does include the funding for the library expansion. Plans are in place to start construction of the library as early as June.

President Trible said that recruitment for next year's freshman class is going well. We expect to receive 8,000 applications for a class of 1,200 freshmen. Thus far, the average high school GPA is 3.9. President Trible said CNU is the 3rd most selective school in Virginia and has the 3rd highest GPA.

He said that on the athletic front we continue to do well. The men's basketball team is ranked 5th in the nation and CNU will host the final game in post-season conference play. The women's basketball team, made up of freshmen and sophomores, is ranked in the top 20 in the nation.

President Trible told the Board that CNU honored Alan and Beverly Diamonstein by naming the Ferguson Center Concert Hall after them. He said this was done to recognize Mr. Diamonstein's substantial influence in helping make CNU a world-class University for America which began with the building of the Ferguson Center for the Arts. Mr. Diamonstein was a principal player in the General Assembly and secured $5 million in funding for the Ferguson Center and was a strong advocate for CNU.

President Trible announced the establishment of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. He said that it's important that our students live and work and study and learn in a campus community that reflects the faces of 21st Century America and CNU wants all people to feel welcomed and honored and to be engaged in the life of the university. He said that for many years CNU had a Minority Recruitment Task Force on which Mr. Brad Hunter had served as a student leader. This year in consultation with Mr. Hunter, Mr. Morgan and other members of the Board, it was decided to expand our concentration beyond just recruitment of students of color. The first meeting of the Council took place in February and Mr. Hunter, who was named Chair of the Council, explained that the purpose of the Council is to explore ways to enhance recruitment of underrepresented students and expand and strengthen our focus on the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff of color and to ensure that we are promoting and supporting them. Two members of the Board will be a part of the Council, Mr. Hunter and Mr. Morgan, along with several former Board members and there will be faculty and student representation on the committee as well. Mr. Hunter said the first meeting was a great success and there was good input from the entire group and especially from the students. CNU will also increase the ranks of faculty of color and the diversity of people in administrative positions as well. Ms. Freeman asked how the Board could help with this initiative. President Trible said that identifying prospective students and helping financially would be most beneficial.

President Trible announced that Mr. Brad Hunter will be the speaker at the New Chesapeake Men for Progress and noted that Dr. and Mr. Ward are the leaders of this organization. Last year one of our students - CJ Stanford--was the speaker. Dr. Ward shared a few words about the event stating the CJ Stanford is an excellent role model and they are pleased that Mr. Hunter would be the speaker this year. She said this is wonderful for CNU because more black male students and their parents will hear about our university and enhance our recruiting efforts.

Vice Rector Millar thanked Ms. Amie Dale and Ms. Adelia Thompson and their team for putting together the 100 day countdown event to graduation which instructs our new graduates about alumni participation and their responsibilities as alums in the future. He then called for a motion to award Dr. Chris Howard an honorary degree at graduation. Dr. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Freeman and it was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Millar reported that the committee met and reviewed in depth the revenues and expenditures for the first half of the fiscal year. He asked Mr. Brauer to share some highlights of their meeting.

Mr. Brauer said there was an Entrance Conference with the Auditor of Public Accounts for 2015 and the Board would get the report in June. He said the Board would receive an audit memorandum that outlines the scope of the audit. Mr. Brauer said the revenues and expenditures were discussed in detail by the committee. He gave the Board a summary of the financial reports. He noted that everything seems to track well this year in comparison to where we were last year and called for questions from the Board.

Mr. Brauer called the Board's attention to the audit report. He said the Internal Auditor, Ms. Faith Belote, is in the process of a number of audits and is especially looking at study abroad protocols, policies and emergency notification procedures.

He said this is particularly important since study abroad is a priority in the Comprehensive Campaign. The committee asked Ms. Belote to put together a report showing how long it takes the university to clear audit recommendations.

Mr. Brauer reviewed the SWaM report and said we made good progress for the first 6 months. CNU continues to lead the other agencies of the Commonwealth but understands that SWaM is very closely related to capital construction projects and as these wind down at CNU we will need to closely monitor our SWaM activity.

He said that CNU hosted the annual SWaM Fair in November and it was very well attended. A new category has been added to SWaM which focuses on micro-businesses. In an effort to support our SWaM initiatives a coordinator has been hired.

Mr. Brauer reviewed the Compliance Report which is an annual report to the Board on university related foundations and their compliance with university policies and protocols. He said everything is in order. He said this was the first report of the Alumni Society. He noted that last year the Alumni Society established an updated Memorandum of Understanding with the Foundation.

Mr. Brauer said that Resolution 2: Cancellation of Accounts Considered Uncollectible comes to the Board as a recommendation and motion from the Finance Committee. He explained that the amount is very small, but noted that collection efforts continue. Vice Rector Millar called for a second to the motion. Mr. Downey provided the second and Resolution 2 was approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hughes said the Committee discussed faculty searches that are underway and stated that we are doing well in attracting our first choice candidates. He said currently there are 28 searches in progress and 16 offers had been made with all 16 accepting. CNU is doing a good job in attracting great faculty and offering competitive salaries.

The Summer Scholars program was started last year. Mr. Hughes explained that this program is designed to link a student with a professor to do research under a joint proposal. This gives the students a chance to do undergraduate research and prepare for graduate school. The students are paid $3,200 and receive a housing stipend. This year 42 proposals were submitted and 35 were funded.

The Committee discussed the accreditation process which is currently underway. He said there are three parts to the accreditation - an enhancement plan, compliance certification report and an on-site visit. There are 93 standards that go through the reaffirmation process. The Plan is to be submitted in September and the review takes place in March 2017.

Mr. Hughes reported that the Study Abroad program is making great progress. One primary program is our partnership with the University of Glasgow where 19 students are studying this year. President Trible and the Provost will visit the University of Glasgow and meet with their leadership in order to enhance our relationship. They will also be traveling to Ireland to see the Marching Captains in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Mr. Hughes noted that there are 14 trips under way and there will be a total of 350 students studying abroad this year.

Mr. Hughes reviewed Resolution 3: Plan of Compensation and stated the only difference from last year is that the maximum salary range for associate professor is increased to $130,000. Mr. Hughes stated that this Resolution comes at the recommendation of the Committee. Vice Rector Millar called for a second to the motion which was provided by Dr. Ward and Resolution 3 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Life Committee Report

Mr. Hughes reported on the Student Life Committee meeting. He said the number of Early Action and Early Decision applications have increased making regular admission very competitive. The Committee discussed retention and graduation rates and student success. He said the overall retention rate from the first year to second year is 88% and our goal is to increase that to 90%. The retention rate for Fall 2015 to Spring 2016 is 95.3%. The Captains Launch Summer Bridge Program has been started and will be offered to select students for an enhanced support system in preparation for the first semester of college. Students will learn about adjusting to college both on a personal and academic level.

There was a Career Fair on campus in February and the event was very successful with strong student participation and numerous employers being represented. There will also be a spring internship fair in March.

Mr. Hughes said that student engagement in campus activities and events has increased. Greek Life continues to be a growing interest for many students. He said participating in Greek Life has positive influences on students including giving them a greater sense of personal confidence and personal values and stronger self-esteem.

The Committee reviewed Resolution 4: Hazing Policy which is required by the Code of Virginia. SCHEV, the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Department of Education established a model policy to provide guidance to colleges and universities. He said that Resolution 4 comes as recommendation and motion from the Committee. Vice Rector Millar called for a second to the motion which was provided by Mr. Tillett and Resolution 4 was approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Tillett said the Board was provided an overview of capital construction underway, proposed or in the planning stages with their Board materials. The committee members plan to tour the campus and spend time on grounds looking at various projects underway as well as existing buildings. He said the committee members would work with the Foundation, and other offices in the University to understand the rules under which they will need to operate.

The Committee reviewed Resolution 5: Charter for Building and Grounds. He said the charter had been reviewed by counsel and university representatives and comes as a motion and recommendation from the committee. President Trible said that the purpose of the Committee is not to take over the day to day decisions of the University as the Board has empowered the President and his administrators to make these decisions. The role is to work together, provide advice and counsel and make sure we are making progress in the right direction. Vice Rector Millar called for a second to the motion which was provided by Ms. Ward and was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Assembly Report

Vice Rector Millar called on Student Assembly President CJ Cahill. Mr. Cahill said applications were now being submitted for the new E-Board and the campaigns are beginning. He said the Student Assembly is meeting monthly with the anchor campus organizations to better organize and coordinate programming on campus. There will be a meeting at the end of the year for all E-boards and they will create a master calendar for all events and look for ways to continue to work together on behalf of all organizations.

President Trible told the Board that Mr. Cahill will be attending Eastern Virginia Medical School and was admitted as a sophomore. He explained that CNU has an agreement with EVMS where a limited number of students are offered admission in their sophomore year contingent upon their continued academic success. He said that Mr. Cahill is a Riverside Medical Scholar and Riverside Health System has established one of our most important scholarship programs for students who wish to pursue the healthcare profession.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Jana Adamitis said the Faculty Senate was involved in a peaceful protest about the proposed changes to the Virginia Retirement System. It was announced that there was going to be a change to the third party administrator plan which negatively affects faculty retirement. This change was poorly communicated and caused much controversy. Faculty across the state also became involved in this debate. Ultimately the Commonwealth did not make the change. An ad hoc task force will work with Human Resources to make recommendations to the VRS.

She said the Faculty Senate has been carefully reviewing the university handbook and making sure they are in compliance. She said the Senate is looking at the curricular process, reviewing the process for faculty evaluations and ensuring that evaluations standards are in place. She said the Faculty Senate continues to regularly meet with the President and Provost and there will be a working session to see how faculty can best support the institutional mission of the university.

Alumni Society Report

Alumni Society President Mr. Bob Macklin reported that a group of individuals made up of alums and non-alums from the '60's are looking for historical CNU items to donate to the Alumni House. The Alumni Society has developed a survey to get the opinions of our alums on various matters and four students from the Luter School of Business are analyzing that data and will present it to the Alumni Board in April. This should provide a basis for making the Alumni Society stronger and will allow them to address the concerns and needs of our alumni.

Advancement Committee Report

Ms. Freeman said that the Committee had a very good meeting and reviewed the fundraising efforts of the Comprehensive Campaign and asked Ms. Thompson to report to the Board.

Ms. Thompson said that this year's Campaign goal is $6 million and we are quickly approaching that total. She reported on the total number of donors and the alumni participation. She said the numbers are growing in gifts that cannot be counted at this time in the campaign. This includes monies in bequests which will come to us at a later date. Ms. Thompson said the Faculty Staff Campaign was a major success with 92% participation.

She said that Faculty excellence was one of the top 5 priorities in the campaign and said that Mr. Jennings led the way with the first endowed professorship followed by another established by Mr. and Mrs. George Torggler. She was pleased to say that discussions are underway for two more professorships.

Ms. Freeman said the Committee discussed the Alumni House and asked Vice Rector Millar to give a brief overview.

Vice Rector Millar said that construction is underway for the Alumni House with site work currently being done. He said construction will be completed by December and they hope to give hard hat tours during Homecoming in October.

University Alumni Relations will have its offices in the Alumni House and it will be used for receptions, reunions, etc. which will generate revenue. In the beginning the thought of building an alumni house was a way to preserve some of the old CNU because we were tearing down all the buildings. That concern sparked the creation of the 1961 club. But now, rather than looking at the past, the Alumni house is the future of fundraising for the University as our support will come from our alumni community. We are making efforts to engage current students in alumni activities and educate them on their responsibilities as alums after graduation.

Ms. Freeman asked the Board members to explore ways to reach out to the community and get people engaged in CNU and keep them connected as we enter the last phase of the Comprehensive Campaign. It is very important to stay connected to our donor base and not lose the momentum of the campaign. President Trible agreed and said we need to find what it is that speaks to the minds and hearts of our friends and redouble our efforts on things we deem most important to make the campaign successful.

Vice Rector Millar asked Mr. Hughes to review Resolution 6: Promotions of Instructional Faculty, Resolution 7: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and Resolution 8: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves. Mr. Hughes said these resolutions come to the Board at the recommendation and as a motion from the Academic Affairs Committee. Vice Rector Millar called for a second to the motion which was provided by Mr. Kast and the Resolutions were passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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