Board of Visitors Meeting September 16, 2016 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting September 16, 2016

The Board of Visitors met on September 16, 2016 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Preston White presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Lindsey A. Carney, Esq.
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Mrs. Vicki S. Freeman
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Mr. S. Anderson Hughes
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Mrs. Terri McKnight
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar
  • Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Mr. Preston M. White, Jr.

Present from the University

  • President Paul Trible
  • Mr. William Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Mrs. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Dr. David Doughty, Provost
  • Mrs. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Mrs. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel
  • Dr. Jana Adamitis, Faculty Senate President
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Relations
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice Provost
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Michael Bamisile, Student Assembly President
  • Mr. Ross Snare, Alumni Society President


  • Captain’s Log: Mr. Ben Leistensnider and Ms. Melanie Occhuizzio
  • Daily Press: Ms. Jane Hammond

Rector White welcomed everyone present and then proceeded with the election of officers. Mr. White reminded the Board that he had appointed a Nominating Committee which included himself, Mr. Bill Downey, Mr. Brad Hunter and Mr. Steve Kast. Mr. Downey was the Chair of the Committee and the Nominating Committee recommended the following slate of officers:

Rector Mr. Scott Millar Vice-Rector Ms. Vicki Freeman Secretary Mr. Brad Hunter

Rector White called for any other nominations and there were none. He then called for a motion to elect the slate of officers as presented. Mr. Ermatinger provided the motion which was seconded by Dr. Ward and the officers were elected by unanimous vote of the Board.

Bruce Jennings thanked Preston White for his leadership on the Board, his service and passion for the university and thanked him for working so hard for our students. Rector Millar echoed Mr. Jennings’ praise for Mr. White.

Rector Millar said that this was a milestone day for CNU. For the first time in CNU history, there are 6 members on the Board who are alumni and it is the first time ever, all three officers are alumni.

Rector Millar reminded the Board of the wonderful 50th Anniversary Gala which was held five years ago. He said that approximately 1200 people attended but only 10% to 15% were alumni which was a wakeup call that CNU needed more alumni leaders and contributors to take responsibility for the future. He said that tremendous progress had been made in alumni giving and participation and the alumni house will not only be a place to preserve the history of the University, but it will also be an educational building where students can learn the responsibilities of being a Captain for Life.

Last year CNU achieved a record of 19% alumni giving and the goal this year is to bring that number up to 20%. Also, this year the number of alumni chapters will increase from 12 to possibly as many as 15. Alumni programs are expanding and there has been an increase of alumni leadership on all of the CNU Boards.

Rector Millar thanked President Trible for challenging the alumni community to step up and play a prominent role in leadership of the University. He also thanked Ms. Adelia Thompson for making alumni giving a strategic piece of the comprehensive campaign and Ms. Amie Dale and Alumni Relations for all of their efforts. Rector Millar invited members of the alumni office to the meeting to thank them for all of their hard work and introduced them to the Board -- Mr. Baxter Vendrick, Director of Alumni Relations, Ms. Kristen Witt, Director of Alumni and Parent Giving, Ms. Monica Hill, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Ms. Katie Monteith, Alumni Relations Officer, Ms. Amy Ryan, Assistant Director of Alumni and Parent Giving and the Board gave them a round of applause.

Rector Millar welcomed Dr. Jana Adamitis, President of the Faculty Senate, Mr. Michael Bamisile, the President of Student Assembly, and Mr. Ross Snare, the President of the Alumni Society as well as the reporters from the Captain’s Log and Daily Press. Rector Miller welcomed and introduced the new Board members – Ms. Lindsey Carney, Ms. Kellye Walker and Ms. Terri McKnight.

Rector Millar called for approval of the minutes for June 10, 2016. Sheriff Morgan provided the motion which was seconded by Ms. Freeman and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar said that there were a number of proposed by-law and policy changes to be reviewed and discussed at this meeting and that they would be voted on at the next meeting. Ms. Perry reviewed the proposed changes with the Board and stated that a number of these were due to recent changes in legislation.

President’s Report

President Trible said that Mr. White contributed immensely to our success as member of the Board and his service as Rector and said he would cherish his friendship long after his time on the Board. President Trible said a special word of congratulations to Sheriff Morgan on his recent marriage and for being named the President of the Virginia’s Sheriff’s Association. He welcomed our new Board members and said he was grateful to the Governor and Secretary of the Commonwealth for satisfying the requirement that six Board members are alumni.

President Trible said that once again we have a superb freshman class of 1228 students and this is academically the strongest class to enter CNU. He also said the comprehensive campaign had great momentum and was going very well. President Trible reported that over the summer thousands of books and objects were moved out of the library and expansion will soon begin.

President Trible praised the hard work and success of his colleagues for recent recognitions in U.S. News and World Report and Princeton Review. CNU was named 5th best public college in the southern region and 14th overall, in U.S. News & World Report.

Princeton Review ranked CNU among Best 381 Colleges in all of the country and they surveyed 2500 colleges and universities and CNU was ranked 8th among those most engaged in community service; our science labs were ranked 15th, our dorms were ranked 2nd and CNU was ranked the 16th best run college.

Finally, President Trible said our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom and on the playing fields. The football Captains won the first two games, men’s soccer is ranked 8th in the nation, field hockey is ranked 14th in the nation, women’s soccer is ranked 11th and our volleyball team is ranked 15th in the nation.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Chairman Ermatinger said the Committee reviewed the financial statements which are provided in the Board notebooks and determined that the finances were in order. The Committee also reviewed the internal audit report. The Internal Audit Charter was also reviewed and there are a few minor changes to be made to the charter and the Committee approved those changes.

The Committee reviewed the SWaM report. The SWaM goal as issued by the State was 42% of expenditures and CNU was very close at 41.79% and we outpaced all of our competitors. The annual debt service report was reviewed and the debt is expected to be retired in 2042. Also, the six-year plan was reviewed and the State requires that any changes be submitted. There were no changes to any of our priorities but a few minor changes were made based on the budget.

Rector Millar said the Resolution 1: Amendment to the Internal Audit Charter comes as a recommendation from the Finance and Audit Committee. Dr. Ward provided a second and Resolution 1 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Also, Resolution 2: 2016 Six-Year Plan for 2016-2022 comes to the Board as a recommendation from the Committee. Mr. Hughes provided a second and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hughes said the committee had a robust meeting and was pleased to learn of the good news from the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The Committee discussed faculty recruitment and faculty development. Currently there are 276 full-time faculty with an increase of only one position this year although 20 new faculty were hired. The goal is to reach a total of 300 faculty by 2022. An effort is being made to get tenure track positions to 75% of total faculty and to reduce the non-tenure track positions to 25% and good progress is being made in that area. Chairman Hughes said more aggressive efforts were being made to attract faculty including advertising early in the Chronicle of Higher Education and advertising in the Diversity issue to increase and enhance the reputation of CNU and to attract well qualified candidates.

Provost Doughty reported on his meeting of the “all Provosts” (IPAC) at the State Council of Higher Education where there was a budget briefing and he said the meeting was very sobering and higher education is being asked to be very conservative moving forward due to the budget cuts. Mr. Hughes said that Vice-Provost Kidd talked about the study abroad program which is going very well and that we have reached another benchmark in that we have the third highest percentage of participation in Virginia in study abroad programs.

Chairman Hughes said our students are actively engaged in community service performing 57,000 hours of service last year representing nearly 50% of the student population. The quality of teaching at CNU continues to be enhanced and 34% of the faculty signed up for workshops to find ways to teach more effectively.

The Committee heard a report from Vice-Provost Raines about student success. She reported that our retention rate remains about 86% and that 85% of our graduates go to graduate school or are employed full-time. He said the Committee also had an update from Vice-Provost Klein on the core curriculum process. Dr. Klein also reported that we are half way through the accreditation process and that a 4,000-page document had been produced which covers 93 standards, twelve of which are core requirements which must be met for accreditation.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan said he had a committee of “rock stars” who drive everything that happens on this campus. Chairman Morgan announced that Dr. Kevin Hughes had been promoted to Vice President of Student Affairs and the Board gave him a round of applause.

He said that once again the freshman class is outstanding with 7,559 applications and, of those, 4,697 students had been admitted and 1,228 were enrolled. The average GPA is 3.79 and average SAT score is 1158. Seven-percent of the freshman class is from out-of-state and 20% of the class is comprised of students of color which is an increase from last year. Chairman Morgan said that there was a 54% increase in the merit scholarship yield rate which was a result of increasing the $5,000 scholarship award to $10,000.

Chairman Morgan asked Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines to give the Board an update on enrollment and student success initiatives. Dr. Raines said that a new program had been put in place to help freshmen who may have challenges transitioning from high school to college. She explained that the “Captain’s Launch” program helps “at risk” students more effectively transition to university life. Another new program that has been started is “Accounting Day” which is a collaborative effort between the Career Center and the Accounting and Finance Department to reach accounting firms that we have been unsuccessful in reaching and the event was a big success.

Dr. Kevin Hughes told the Board about our university-wide efforts to identify at-risk-students. He said one of the earliest identifiers of students who may face challenges are the orientation leaders. He said there has been a significant increase in the student usage of counseling services and the benefits the students have received from counseling are substantial. In addition a First Six Weeks Team has been formed to help students connect with all aspects of the University at the beginning of their college career.

President Trible said this is an extraordinary student success team which reaches across campus to support and encourage our students. This year CNU was accorded the greatest recognition to any college or university – the Noel Levitz Gold Award for excellence in student success. CNU was acknowledged as having the best comprehensive programs to promote student success in America.

Building and Grounds Committee

Chairman White asked Mr. Brauer to report to the Board and he reviewed the capital projects summary that was provided in the Board notebooks. Mr. Brauer said that the preplanning for the Fine Arts Center had been completed and an architect has been hired to begin working drawings. The Regattas Dining Hall expansion will be completed in the fall of 2017 and Greek Village Phase 1 is now complete and the Alumni House, which the Board toured today, will be complete in December. The committee discussed housing needs and the possibility of a new senior residence hall.

The Committee discussed Resolution 3: Construction Procurement Approval Procedures for Capital Project Delivery. He explained that the General Assembly passed legislation requiring universities to develop a process for determining the selected procurement method. He said the Resolution comes to the Board at the recommendation of the Committee. Rector Millar called for a second which was provided by Mr. Hughes and it was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Title IX Annual Report

Rector Millar said there had been many mandates handed down at the State level regarding policies and procedures relating to Title IX and the Cleary Act. The University put together a committee to review our current policies. The recommendations and changes were reviewed by the Board and were approved for implementation. He introduced Michele Moody, Director of Title IX and EO, who provided the Board with an annual report.

Ms. Moody said that a nationally recognized company trained 65 faculty and that staff and new employees are provided training at orientation. Ms. Moody said that training continues across the university and over 2,000 people were trained last year. An online Title IX training model is moving forward as well. All freshmen must participate in Title IX training and are required to take an online alcohol course. She said some policy changes had been made which were mostly clarification of several definitions and the name of the policy was shortened. She provided the Board with the number and types of investigations and the outcomes.

Student Assembly Report

Student Assembly President Michael Bamisile said that the Student Assembly was continuing its sustainability initiatives and that last semester over 1,000 students signed a petition to increase sustainability efforts on campus. A $1,000 grant was received from Keep Virginia Beautiful and recycling bins have been purchased. Also, the Student Assembly arranged to have bike repair stations on campus. A community garden is being planned as well.

Mr. Bamisile said a student integrity module was being devised because students want a community of honor. The purpose is to teach incoming freshmen and transfer students about CNU’s Honor Code and the values at CNU before they arrive on campus. The Student Assembly has increased from 14 to 42 members with a diverse membership. Their motto is “we listen, we care, we serve.”

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Jana Adamitis said the Faculty Senate has been reviewing the policies and procedures that are in place to be certain they are appropriate for the CNU of today. They want to be more proactive about setting updated standards for full-time professors and have looked at streamlining the curriculum process. The Faculty Senate has been involved in the 6-year plan and want to make sure the goals of faculty and administration are aligned. Other issues that are very important to the faculty are Phi Beta Kappa initiatives, study abroad programs and diversity and inclusion. In light of the State’s struggling budget, the Faculty Senate revised their priorities in order to ensure the academic integrity remains high and our academic programs remain strong.

Alumni Society Report

Alumni Society President Ross Snare said the Alumni Society Board had a 72% giving rate and he expected that to be 100% by Homecoming. He said the focus is on hitting the 20% alumni giving rate and they are being very proactive in this regard. A formal process is being developed for the approval of new chapters. He thanked the Advancement and Alumni Relations Office for all of their support and said he looks forward to an exciting year.

Secretary Hunter called for a motion to enter closed session under 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 Mr. Jennings and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session and Secretary Hunter 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. Millar, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Hunter, Ms. Carney, Mr. Hatten, Ms. Freeman, Mr. Kast, Ms. Walker, Ms. McKnight, Dr. Ward and Mr. White certified to the above.

Other Business

The Board discussed having an Advance in even numbered years but due to the budget situation, this decision was delayed. Rector Millar announced appointments to other CNU Boards: Real Estate Foundation: Mr. Hunter and Mr. Jennings; Education Foundation: Mrs. McKnight and Mr. Millar; Investment Committee: Mr. Hughes and Mr. White; and Alumni Society: Ms. Carney and Mr. Kast. Rector Millar said that at the June meeting the President’s performance was reviewed. He has appointed a committee (Mr. Jennings, Chair, Ms. Freeman, Mr. White, Mr. Ermatinger and from the Education Foundation Mr. Brown and Ms. McCoy) to review and update the provisions of the President’s contract which will come to an end this fiscal year.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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