Board of Visitors Meeting April 14, 2017 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting April 14, 2017

The Board of Visitors met on April 14, 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
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Mr. S. Anderson Hughes
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar, Rector
  • Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Mr. Preston White, Jr.

Absent from the Board

  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast

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 President for Enrollment and Student Success
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Michael Bamisile, Student Assembly President
  • Mr. Ross Snare, Alumni Society President


  • Captain's Log: Ms. Melanie Occhiuzzio
  • Daily Press: Ms. Jane Hammond

Rector Millar welcomed everyone present. Rector Millar said the university recently held its Annual Service Awards Ceremony where employees are honored for their service to the University and the Commonwealth. He recognized and congratulated Ms. Adelia Thompson for five years of service, Mr. Bill Brauer for 25 years of service and Ms. Cindi Perry for 40 years of service. The Board gave them all a round of applause.

Rector Millar called for a motion to approve the February 24, 2017 minutes. Mr. Hughes provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ward and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report

President Trible said that he is looking forward to the conclusion of another great year and the graduation ceremony which will be held on Saturday, May 13th. He said that the recruitment for incoming freshmen was going well with deposits ahead of last year. Again it is expected that we will have a freshman class of 1200+ students.

President Trible thanked Mr. Ermatinger for his wonderful remarks at the Scholarship Luncheon and said that Rector Millar spoke eloquently on behalf of the Board. Scholarship donors and the students who benefit from their scholarships are invited to this annual event and there were over 400 people in attendance. President Trible thanked everyone on the Board for their support of scholarships to assist our students.

President Trible announced that Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines had recently become the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success. He said that Dr. Duncan Raines has contributed so much to our success and is passionate about enriching the lives of our students.

He told the Board that we had our accreditation review from SACSCOC and there were no red flags and all the comments were positive. An official report will be issued in the near future. He thanked Dr. Geoffrey Klein and his colleagues for their hard work and preparation to ensure that this process went so well. Also, he said the MAT accreditation team was on campus and that meeting went extremely well and he noted that Dr. Marsha Sprague was leading that effort.

President Trible reported that two of our students won prestigious Fulbright Awards this year.

Ms. Brook Byrd is a physics major and will do research at the University of Liverpool and Nathan Sieminski, an English and Political Science double major will go to South Korea to teach English.

President Trible said that we continue to do very well in our athletic competitions winning 75%

of all games played and 87% of the games in the Capital Athletic Conference. The cheerleading team won the national championship; the women’s basketball team played in the FinalFour and the men’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16. He said not only are our students doing well athletically, but they continue to excel in the classroom.

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. He noted that auxiliary enterprises has a healthy cash balance and the Ferguson Center is on course for having a profitable year. Chairman Ermatinger commended the Internal Auditor Faith Belote for her hard work and said that she has now hired an additional auditor. She is also in the process of hiring two IT auditors.

He noted that we are well ahead of our SWaM goal and are ahead of the Commonwealth and other educational institutions. The committee had requested that the SWaM numbers be looked at without capital construction and still the goals were exceed. He commended the staff for their hard work.

Chairman Ermatinger then asked the Chief of Staff Ms. Cynthia Perry to review the proposed Tuition and Fees, Room and Board.

Ms. Perry noted that the General Assembly had reduced the budget for higher education by approximately $52.5 million in response to declining revenues. In addition, higher education was asked to revert $16.1 million to support the Virginia Retirement System and approved a 3% salary increase for faculty and staff. For CNU, the adjustments include a general fund reduction of $757,606 in base budget, a non general fund reversion of $260,200 and a 3% salary increase for faculty and staff. Based on those actions of the General Assembly an increase in tuition and fees and room and Board of 3.8% for full-time in-state students and 4.16% increase for full-time out-of-sate students is recommended.

Ms. Perry reviewed the proposed uses of the tuition increase which will generate approximately $2.16 million in revenue. These monies will support the priorities of the university adding four new full-time instructional faculty, increasing scholarship funds, will start a base budget for maintenance and equipment replacement and will support undergraduate research as part of our Quality Enhancement Plan. The increase in the comprehensive fee will be used, among other things, to support salary increases, the health care rate increase and the operating costs of the alumni house. The room and board increase will help support the expansion of Regattas debt service and operating costs and the debt service on Shenandoah River Hall.

Rector Millar said that Resolution 1: Tuition and Fees and Room and Board comes as a recommendation from the Finance and Audit Committee. Sheriff Morgan provided a second to the recommendation. Rector Millar called for questions and discussion of Resolution 1. Sheriff Morgan said that the Committee had a very thorough and thought provoking discussion about the proposed increase and the Board communicated its desire to minimize the increase relative to tuition while maintaining the priorities of the University. He said it was a very delicate balance given the state of the Commonwealth but feels that this proposal maintains that balance and Rector Millar and others agreed. Rector Millar then called for a vote to approve Resolution 1: Tuition and Fees and Room and Board and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hughes said the Committee discussed faculty searches, salaries and study abroad programs. He said that 15 faculty searches out of 22were complete which will bring the total number of faculty members to 280 next year. He was pleased to report four of these faculty are Phi Betta Kappa. Chairman Hughes reported that we have moved from 193 to 202 tenure track positions and reduced the non-tenure track positions by 7%. Chairman Hughes said CNU is doing well compared to our peer institutions in regard to faculty salaries and with the 3% salary increase we will get even closer to our goal of 60% of our peer group.

In regard to our study abroad programs, this semester there are 19 students studying abroad and 14 trips are planned for this summer with a total of 170 students participating. He said that 21 trips were planned for 2018 and the Provost had challenged the faculty to explore new destinations. Trips will include Rome, Peru, Bolivia, among many other exciting places. The Provost said our relationship with the University of Glasgow in Scotland is strong and 19 students will be studying there in the spring. We will send students every spring and fall and CNU is their largest international partner. The University of Glasgow will begin an exchange program with us partnering with the Luter School of Business.

Chairman Hughes also reported that the SACSCOC accreditation visit had taken place and there were no significant recommendations and we fully expect to be reaffirmed. He acknowledged the very hard work of Dr. Geoffrey Klein and his colleagues for the past 3 years to bring this process to a successful conclusion.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan praised the hard work and leadership of Dean Rob Lange, Vice Presidents Lisa Duncan Raines and Kevin Hughes.

Chairman Morgan reported that 889 students have paid their deposits compared to 861 last year indicating their intention to attend CNU. This represents 92% of in-state students and 8% of out-of-state students and 19% are students of color. The average GPA is 3.8 and the average of the new SAT score is 1204. He praised Mr. Lange for doing a wonderful job of bringing in another outstanding class.

Chairman Morgan said the Committee took a “field trip” on campus and saw prospective students touring campus,talked to a number of current students and University Fellows about their experiences at CNU. They saw students participating in the “pet away stress” program where the SPCA brings animals on campus during exam week and students can spend time with them to relieve their stress.

He said they toured the tutoring center and saw the “finishing strong” program in progress which helps students prepare for exams. He also noted that the Campus Activity Board was already planning for next year! One highlight of the tour was the opportunity to talk to a first generation student who was first planning on going to another school and once he toured CNU, he loved the environment here. Chairman Morgan said the conversation was enlightening and the student told him that he initially thought he would not be able to go to college.

Building and Grounds Committee

Chairman White asked Mr. Brauer to review the capital projects summary. He said the library expansion was going well and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018. The Fine Arts Center is in the design phase and Whiting Turner has been hired as the contractor for this project.

He said that the expansion of Regattas Dining Hall has been slow but it is anticipated that construction will be complete in time for the return of students in the fall. Mr. Brauer said that Shenandoah River Hall is being designed and construction should begin within a year. A traffic study has been conducted and it was determined there should be no increase in traffic.

Student Assembly Report

Student Assembly President Michael Bamisile highlighted some accomplishments of the Student Assembly over the last year and said he was most proud of the Integrity Module that he developed which introduces incoming freshmen and transfer students to the culture of honor, integrity and service at CNU. He said this this year CNU’s Relay for Life was third in raising the most money to support cancer victims. Mr. Bamisile then introduced the new Student Assembly President Kenneth Kidd who told the Board a little about himself and his plans for the upcoming year.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Jana Adamitis said the Faculty Senate was completing the process on curricular reform and looks forward to working with faculty and administrators going forward on the new curriculum. The Faculty Senate had been hard at work on the evaluation process and that work is almost complete as well. Dr. Adamitis thanked the Board for their support of the faculty and our students.

Alumni Society Report

Alumni Society President Ross Snare said the Alumni Society Board had a great year and he thanks Ms. Adelia Thompson, Ms. Amie Dale and Mr. Baxter Vendrick for their strong support. He noted that last year the Alumni Board reached 100% giving and was the only Board to achieve a 100% giving rate on CNU Day.The Board is reviewing the process for accepting new chapters and is looking for ways to get students involved early in their college careers. The Board will continue to focus on community involvement and fundraising opportunities for scholarships.

Vice Rector Vicki Freeman 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. Ms. Walker 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 Vice Rector 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. Millar, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Ermatinger, Mr. Morgan, Ms. Carney, Mr. Hatten, Ms. Freeman, Ms. Walker, Ms. McKnight, Dr. Ward and Mr. White certified to the above.

Rector Millar said that Resolutions 2–6: Awards of Emerita and Emeritus Faculty and Resolution 7: Promotions of Instructional Faculty are a recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee. Mr. Hatten provided a second and Resolutions 2–7 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar said that the Board recommended approval of a 3.56% increase in President Trible’s compensation effective July 10, 2017 to coincide with the state allocation. Mr. Jennings seconded the recommendation and the increase was approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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