Board of Visitors Meeting February 24, 2017 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 24, 2017

The Board of Visitors met on February 24, 2017 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Scott Millar presiding.

Present from the Board

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

Absent from the Board

  • Mr. Preston White

Present from the University

  • 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
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs
  • Ms. Amie Dale, Executive Director of University Relations
  • Mr. Michael Bamisile, Student Assembly President
  • Mr. Ross Snare, Alumni Society President
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel


  • Captain's Log: Mr. Ben Leistensnider
  • Daily Press: Ms. Jane Hammond

Rector Scott Millar welcomed everyone present. Rector Millar congratulated Mr. Bill Ermatinger for receiving the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for all of his outstanding accomplishments. President Trible also announced that Ms. Kellye Walker had been elected to the Women’s Leadership Institute and is one of only 20 women lawyers accepted.

Rector Millar called for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 16, 2016 meeting. Mr. Steve Kast provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ella Ward and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar reminded the Board that they had reviewed the proposed changes to CNU’s by-laws and policies at the last meeting and that Resolutions 1 and 2 were presented today for ratification. He asked Ms. Perry to briefly explain the changes which were either required by amendments to the Code of Virginia or to support our SACSCOC reaffirmation efforts. Following her review, Rector Millar called for approval of Resolution 1: Revisions to the By-Laws of CNU and Resolution 2: Revision to the Policies of CNU. Mr. Hughes provided the motion, which was seconded by Mr. Ermatinger. There was no further discussion and Resolutions 1 and 2 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report

President Trible reported that the General Assembly was in the process of completing its budget deliberations and said that CNU had fared very well in this difficult time. He noted that the Governor recommended a 5% reduction in general fund for all institutions but that the General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the Appropriations Committee to treat each institution individually. This will result in a reduction of CNU’s funding by 2.7% -- approximately $757,000. Moreover, the legislation proposes a 2% salary increase for state employees and a 3% increase for those schools who did not already provide raises.

President Trible thanked everyone for the wonderful 20-40-70 Celebration held in December highlighting his 20 years of service to CNU, 40 years of service to the Commonwealth and his 70th birthday. He said that he and Rosemary would remember this evening for the rest of their lives and the event raised monies to enrich and empower the lives of our students.

He noted that our athletic teams continue to excel. President Trible reported that the women’s basketball team is ranked 8th in the nation and men’s basketball is ranked 3rd. Both teams will play for the conference championship and will play in the post season. In addition, CNU’s indoor men and women’s track and field won their conference championship. CNU has won over 70% of all games in all sports. President Trible announced the hiring of the new football coach, Art Link, and said he will be a worthy successor to Coach Matt Kelchner. President Trible reported that the Alumni House was now complete and thanked Rector Millar for his leadership and support of this important and significant part of CNU. He recognized and thanked Ms. Amie Dale for all of her extraordinary efforts to complete this important project on our campus.

Rector Millar asked Mr. Michael Bamisile to give the Student Assembly Report. Mr. Bamisile said the integrity module that the Student Assembly was establishing was an effort to educate incoming students about CNU’s culture of trust and honor. Mr. Bamisile said elections to the Student Assembly were taking place next week. He also reported that he had been elected as President of State Council of Higher Education Student Advisory Council and that it was an honor to represent CNU on the state level.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Chairman Bill Ermatinger said that the committee reviewed the revenues and expenditures for the six months ending December 31, 2016. He said there is $98 million in revenues and $96 million in expenses resulting in $2.6 million net gain. The variances for student tuition and fees and state appropriations were reviewed and found to be appropriate, relative to the increase in tuition and fees last year and the increase in the general fund appropriation. He noted that the federal student financial aid declined by 5% because fewer students qualified for federal pell grants. He said there was an increase in expenditures for academic support from the prior year due to the accumulation of IT overhead across divisions that had not yet been distributed. Once that allocation is made, academic support and other expense accounts will be in line with previous years.

The educational and general revenues and expenditures were reviewed and found to be appropriate and the auxiliary enterprise revenue and expenditures were discussed. He noted that the Ferguson Center was performing much better in the first six-months. In addition, the non-operating and reserve balances were reviewed with the Committee as well as the report on compliance with the policy on university-related foundations. Chairman Ermatinger reported that CNU continues to excel in all SWaM expenditure categories against our own goals and when compared to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Committee reviewed the proposed Cancellation of Accounts Considered Uncollectible and noted that the amount is very small.

Internal Auditor Ms. Faith Belote provided her report to the Committee. She noted there were only several issues she is working on and that since the last Board meeting 35 audit points had been closed out. Mr. Ermatinger said there is slight modification to the Audit Committee Charter which allows the Audit Committee to meet with external auditors to discuss audit reports without the presence of staff. This change is made as a good standard practice. The committee received a report from the external auditor and overall it was a great report with only minor insufficiencies. A full report will be provided to the Board next week.

Rector Millar said that two resolutions come before the full Board as recommendations from the Finance and Audit Committee. Resolution 3: Cancellation of Debt Considered Uncollectable and Resolution 4: Amendment to the Audit Committee Charter. He called for a second which was provided by Ms. Freeman. There was no further discussion and the Resolutions passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hughes reported that the CNU Summer Scholars Program has seen increased interested over the last two years. This year students have submitted 52 undergraduate research proposals and it is hoped that CNU will be able to fund 40 of those this year.

Dr. Michaela Meyer reported on the ongoing accreditation process. She said there are 90 policies and quality enhancements with a rigorous set of standards to help enrich the student environment at CNU. Dr. Meyer shared information about our Quality Enhancement Program called Research Lens – Learn, Explore, Navigate and Share – which measures the quality and improvement of our undergraduate research. Dr. Geoffrey Klein discussed further with the Committee the reaffirmation process and the preparation for the upcoming visit by SACSCOC. He noted that the cost of the reaffirmation is approximately $1.5 million He noted that we do not foresee any real issues and they have requested more information regarding faculty competence.

Dean Nicole Guajardo reviewed with the Committee the proposal for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience and received positive reinforcement from the Committee. In addition, the Committee received a report from the Student Assembly President, Mr. Michael Bamisile and Chairman Hughes congratulated him on his appointment to the SCHEV Student Advisory Board.

Rector Millar thanked Chairman Hughes for his report and said two Resolutions come before the full Board from the Academic Affairs Committee for approval. The first is Resolution 5: Plan of Compensation. Ms. Vicki Freeman provided a second to the motion and there was no further discussion and the Resolution passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar called for a second to Resolution 6: Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, which was provided by Mr. Bruce Jennings and there was no further discussion. Resolution 6 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Gabe Morgan complimented the extraordinary team that supports student life at CNU. He applauded the hard work of Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Dr. Kevin Hughes and Mr. Rob Lange.

Chairman Morgan asked Vice Provost Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines to report on student success. Dr. Raines said that approximately 400 students attended the spring career fair and there were 200 businesses that participated. She was pleased to report that 40 alumni had returned to CNU to recruit for their employers. She noted that next month there will be an internship fair to assist students who are still in need of summer opportunities. Dr. Raines said that individual tutoring appointments continue to increase and CNU will apply for the College Reading and Learning Association International Certification to assist in this effort. She told the Board that approximately 96% of the freshman class returned for the second semester and we are projecting a 75% graduation rate again this year, bringing us closer to our 80% goal.

Next Vice President Kevin Hughes shared information about two new positions in the Department of Student Affairs. A national search is underway for the Chief of Police which is a critical position for the University. He noted that CNU was the first institution in the State to be certified as a Campus Crime Prevention Community.

Also, Dr. Hughes reported that a Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion had been hired, Mr. Vidal Dickerson. He said that Mr. Dickerson has 20 years of higher education experience and will be a great asset in helping CNU enhance efforts in this area and will contribute to the civic education of our students.

Next, Dean Robert Lange thanked the admission office, faculty, staff, the Board and President for their hard work and assistance in recruiting new students. He said that as the final decision deadline of May 1 approaches, we will have another superb freshman class. He said that to date over 7,000 applications have been received for a class of 1,200. The average GPA is 3.6 and average SAT is 1170. For those students who have been offered admission the average GPA is 3.8 and average SAT is 1200.

Dean Lange reported that there are new recruiting initiatives underway and the Admission Office has worked with the office of External Relations to help tell the CNU story more powerfully and early on in the college process by creating a virtual tour noting that it can been seen using virtual reality goggles. Dean Lange then demonstrated to the Board the virtual tour which is located on the CNU website.

Building and Grounds Committee

Rector Millar asked Mr. Bill Brauer to provide the Board with highlights of the Building and Grounds Committee meeting.

Mr. Brauer reported that Phase 2 of the Library expansion is well underway and that the expansion of Regattas is also making progress. He said that the design for the new residence hall, Shenandoah River, which will be located on the site of the Suntrust building and Post Office, is underway and construction will begin in about a year. Future projects include replacing the track and field flooring in the Freeman Center, adding a tennis bubble to six outdoor tennis courts and constructing a fountain between the Trible Library and the David Student Union. Mr. Brauer said that there is also consideration for placing bronze bench sculptures on campus of historical leaders to inspire our students. He said that longer-term projects would include construction of a new football complex and the renovation of Ratcliffe to accommodate other sports. Also, the turf field is in need of replacement and the bleachers need to be improved and a press box needs to be constructed.

President Trible elaborated on the ideas of the bronze sculptures on campus stating that leadership, honor, and civic engagement are important part of CNU’s culture and would provide an important reminder to our students of what it means to make a difference in the world and to live a life of significance.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Jana Adamitis said that one of the most important undertakings of the Faculty Senate had been curriculum reform. She said that it is important to match the curriculum to the CNU of today. The Faculty Senate also wants to continue to improve communication among all university committees and with the administration.

Dr. Adamitis said the Faculty Senate is also reviewing the evaluation process to be certain that faculty understand the expectations for promotions. A statement is also being crafted about why diversity and inclusion are important in a liberal arts environment.

There was a discussion regarding continuing education requirements for faculty. Dr. Adamitis stated that the evaluation process has the expectation that faculty will remain abreast of their fields of study and a Center for Effective Teaching had been established and is extremely helpful.

Alumni Society Report

Alumni Society President Mr. Ross Snare thanked the Office of University Advancement for their support in assisting the Society’s efforts to reach a 20% alumni-giving rate. He was proud to report that the Alumni Society Boards had a 100% giving rate. He said that the procedure for establishing an alumni chapter was being reviewed and improved and efforts are continuing to get all chapters more engaged with the University.

Mr. Bruce Jennings reported to the Board that he attended the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast which was held just prior to the General Assembly session and said that President Trible gave a wonderful address and our Chamber Choir performed and was superb. Mr. Jennings said that Dr. Quentin Kidd and Mr. Tom Kramer did a great job with the Eggs and Issues Breakfast which is the gathering that brings issues that are important to Virginia forward to the General Assembly. President Trible thanked Mr. Bruce Jennings for his representation at this event.

Secretary Hunter called for a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2-3711(a)(1) Personnel; (a)(8) Gifts, bequests and fundraising and (a) (10) Honorary Degrees. Mr. Hatten provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Hughes 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, Rector Millar, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Hunter, Ms. Carney, Mr. Hatten, Ms. Freeman, Ms. McKnight and Dr. Ward and certified to the above.

Rector Millar entertained a motion to approve Resolution 7: Promotions of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 8: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and Resolution 9: Faculty Sabbaticals which all come as a recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. Mr. Jennings seconded the motion and Resolutions 7, 8 and 9 were passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar called for a motion to approve awarding honorary degrees to the Commencement Speaker Mitchell Reiss and to Carol and Climis Lascaris and Elizabeth and Dieter Hoinkes for their strong support and many contributions to the university at graduation. Dr. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Hughes and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

quick edit report a problem