Board of Visitors Meeting February 23, 2018 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 23, 2018

The Board of Visitors met on February 23, 2018 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Scott Millar presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Mrs. Vicki Siokis Freeman, Vice Rector
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter, Secretary
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar, Rector
  • The Honorable Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Mr. Junius H. Williams, Jr.

Absent from the Board

  • Lindsey A. Carney, Esq.
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Ms. Judy F. Wason

Present from the University

  • Paul Trible, President
  • Mr. William Brauer, Executive Vice President
  • Mrs. Cynthia Perry, Chief of Staff
  • Dr. David Doughty, Provost
  • Mrs. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Strategy and Planning
  • Mrs. Adelia Thompson, Vice President for University Advancement
  • Mrs. Beverley Mueller, Executive Assistant
  • Dr. Brian Puaca Faculty Senate President
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs
  • Mr. Kenneth Kidd, Student Assembly President
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel
  • Mr. Kyle McMullin, Director of Athletics


  • Mr. Lewis Folli, Student Speaker
  • Ms. Catie Chess, Student Speaker
  • Mr. Brett Clark, The Captain’s Log
  • Ms. Jane Hammond, The Daily Press

Rector Scott Millar welcomed everyone present and then called for approval of the November 2, 2017 meeting. Dr. Ward provided the motion which was seconded by Mr. Morgan and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Millar said that two student-athletes were asked to address the Board and discuss their athletic experiences at CNU and called on Mr. Kyle McMullin. Mr. McMullin said that at CNU we ask for the very best from our students as an athlete and academically. He noted that so far this year, CNU has won 82% of all athletic competitions and 330 student-athletes were recognized for having a 3.2 GPA or better and 42 of our student-athletes were inducted into the National Honor Society for Intercollegiate Athletes which recognizes students with a 3.4 GPA or higher. He said this speaks volumes about our students as athletes and their academic priorities.

He then introduced Ms. Catie Chess who is a senior communications major from Fairfax and plays lacrosse and Lewis Folli, a senior from Alexandria, majoring in accounting and management with a minor in French. Lewis is an all-conference sprinter and hurdler track athlete. Both Catie and Lewis spoke passionately, not only about their athletic experience, but also their academic experience and involvement at the university.

President’s Report

President Trible introduced Ms. Jennifer Latour who is the new Vice President for Strategy and Planning. Jennifer joins us from VIMS and is an alumna of CNU. Her responsibilities will include Planning and Budget, Human Resources, Diversity, Institutional Research and IT.

He noted that the admission program is going well with over 7500 applications for the freshman class of 1200 and we are well on the way to enrolling another highly qualified class.

President Trible said that CNU continues to excel not only in the classroom but also on the playing fields and courts. The Learfield Director’s Cup recognizes the nation’s best overall collegiate athletic programs and evaluates the success of all Division III athletics programs which includes over 450 colleges and universities. At the conclusion of the fall season CNU ranked #12. He noted that nationally women’s basketball is ranked 11th, softball is ranked 14th and men’s lacrosse is ranked 20th.

President Trible provided a legislative update and said that the House provided $450,000 each year to support the annual operating costs of the library expansion. The House also provided another $1.0 million, spread over 2 years, to increase the number of STEM graduates. The Senate did not provide any additional funding for CNU. If the House position does not prevail in the conference committee, it will require a 2.5% tuition increase to offset the loss of monies recommended by the House.

He was excited to tell the Board that the Chamber Choir will be singing in England at Oxford University which is an extraordinary opportunity for our students.

President Trible said that the Library expansion will be completed in August in time for classes and the Regatta’s expansion is now complete and open for our students.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Since Mr. Ermatinger was unable to attend the meeting, Rector Millar chaired the committee meeting. Rector Millar asked Mr. Brauer to review with the Board the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures. Mr. Brauer said the Committee found nothing unusual in the financial reports. He noted that the Ferguson Center is doing well and had added $625,000 to its bottom line. He said that there was discussion on housing noting that the age of our buildings is approaching 15 and 20 years old. There is an effort underway to use some of our reserve funds for repair and replacement of necessary capital assets.

Mr. Brauer reported that CNU is doing very well on its SWaM initiatives and we are up in every category and compare favorably to other schools and the Commonwealth. He said we are in the process of analyzing how capital projects on campus affect our SWaM performance and last year it was determined that they did not have a great impact on our numbers and he fully believes there will be a similar finding this year.

Rector Millar said that the Committee met with the Internal Auditor, Ms. Faith Belote, and noted that her department is finally fully staffed. He said the IT internal auditor position had been filled and that an IT audit was successfully completed. The Committee reviewed the audit plan, status of current audits, and specific reports regarding HRIS and Title IX.

Rector Millar asked Ms. Latour to brief the Board on the new legislation passed regarding tuition and fees. She explained additional language was added to the current appropriations act where higher education institutions must post 30 days in advance of setting tuition and fees, a range that is anticipated for the upcoming academic year and to explain how the additional revenues would be used. The purpose of this legislation is to help students and parents plan for their financial obligation for the upcoming year. Notice will be provided to the media and will be posted on our website. However, the Board will be notified in advance of the public notice.

Rector Millar said that two resolutions come at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. The first is Resolution 1: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable Considered Uncollectible. Rector Millar asked Mr. Brauer to review this Resolution with the Board. He explained that this allows the University to write off accounts receivable that are past due after internal attempts to collect have been unsuccessful. He explained that efforts are still made to collect these funds and the state has a debt offset program where if a person who owes us money files a state tax return and is entitled to a refund, CNU would be reimbursed from that refund. Rector Millar called for a second to the motion. Mr. Morgan provided the second, there was no discussion and Resolution 1 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Brauer explained that Resolution 2: Construction Procurement Approval Procedures for Capital Project Delivery is necessary as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly regarding capital projects which regulates construction procurement methods when considering the use of Design Build or Construction Management procedures. He said this has been reviewed and approved by the State Department of Capital Outlay Management. He said that it will not have much impact on CNU because most of our projects have already been procured under these guidelines. Rector Millar noted that this resolution comes as a recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee and called for a second to that Motion. Mr. Jennings provided the second and Resolution 2 was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hatten said the Committee received an encouraging report about the academic affairs of the University. He said that 13 faculty searches have been underway and 9 of those searches are now complete. CNU is attracting faculty from the best colleges and universities in the country and there has been a large increase in the number of applications for the faculty positions at CNU. Mr. Hatten also noted that CNU now has 32 Phi Beta Kappa faculty members which is well over the 10% required to gain PBK status.

Chairman Hatten said that CNU is attempting to get approval from SCHEV for a B.S. in Neuroscience and if granted, the university will increase the number of STEM graduates. The university is also proposing a Master of Financial Analysis degree. The reasoning is that our accounting students need 150 credits to become CPAs and our major only provides them with 120 hours. The masters program would allow our students to continue at CNU for another year and be prepared to enter the CPA field.

The Committee heard a report on the outstanding study abroad programs at CNU. Mr. Hatten said this is the fourth year of the Glasgow program and the first in which we sent students for both semesters. Glasgow is now sending students to study at CNU. In addition, this spring and summer there are 13 trips which include almost 200 students and three new foreign study destinations have been added which include Iceland, Finland and South Africa.

Chairman Hatten said the Committee discussed the Summer Scholars Program where students work directly on research under a professor. He said this program has been very successful and has grown tremendously over the last 3 years and 72 students have made proposals to participate next summer. In addition next fall CNU will introduce a Research Apprenticeship Program similar to the summer scholars program where students will be working with faculty members on their research but it will be during the academic year.

Resolution 3: Plan of Compensation for the faculty was reviewed by the Committee. Mr. Hatten explained that approval of the plan of compensation is required every two years. There is only a minor change from the previous years which is an increase in the salary range for Distinguished Professor. Rector Millar said the Resolution comes as a motion from the Academic Affairs committee and he called for a second. Dr. Ward provided the second. There was a discussion regarding funds available for students who cannot afford to study abroad and Provost Doughty explained that there are monies in the Funds for Excellence Program and our President’s Leadership and Honors students are provided dollars to study abroad. In addition, some scholarships have been created expressly to help students to take advantage of these opportunities. He also noted that the semester abroad programs are at the same cost as CNU’s tuition. Ms. Freeman inquired about creating a means by which airline miles could be used for foreign travel by our students and Ms. Thompson said she had done some research on that and would share her findings. There being no further discussion, Rector Millar called for a vote on Resolution 3 and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Jennings shared with the Board that CNU had entered into an agreement with the Darden School of Business at UVA where our business students will have the opportunity to interview for admission and four of our students were accepted this year. This is a delayed admission process where students get work experience before entering the Darden School. This resulted from a conversation that his daughter had with Dean Ebbs and President Trible. President Trible said that this was an extraordinary gift made possible by a personal connection and thanked Mr. Jennings for his efforts to create this opportunity.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan said the Student Life Committee had a very good meeting and he praised the work of Mr. Robert Lange, Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines and Dr. Kevin Hughes and thanked them for their hard work. He said the admission process was going well and we have currently received 7,500 applications for admission for our freshman class of 1225. He noted that if we stay under a 70% admit rate, CNU will remain the fourth most competitive university among the 15 public colleges and universities in Virginia. The average GPA of the students who have applied is 3.6 and they have an average SAT of 1175. The average GPA for admitted students is 3.9 and average SAT is 1225.

Chairman Morgan then called on Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines. Dr. Duncan Raines reported that much focus has been given on transitioning our incoming students and making sure they are successful. She said the fall to spring retention rate is 95.5% which is consistent with this time last year. The overall academic performance for the freshman class is better than previous years and these students have an average GPA of 3.04. The average GPA for all of the undergraduate students is 3.07. Additionally, the number of students with academic honors is up this year to 10%. Dr. Duncan Raines said the tutoring center had seen much activity and the center achieved international certification through the College Teaching and Learning Association. This tutor-training program establishes an internationally accepted standard of skills and training for our tutors.

Dr. Duncan Raines reported that this is the second year of the pilot of the Captains LAUNCH transition program. This program is for students who are a good fit for CNU but may be at risk academically and they must complete this program to be admitted. She reported this year’s participants finished their first semester with a stronger academic performance and higher retention rate than the first year. She was pleased to report that nine of these students made Deans List and one had earned a 4.0 GPA.

She also reported that the Career Center had contact with nearly 3,300 students this past semester through workshops, class presentations, special events and individual appointments. Classroom participation with faculty has more than doubled and this interaction has become very important to our students. Dr. Duncan Raines also reported that the Career Center listed nearly 2,000 jobs and internships for our students in the fall semester.

Chairman Morgan called on Dr. Hughes for a report on student life. Dr. Hughes said that at CNU there is a strong sense of community and there is a caring and student-centered environment. He said our close interaction with our students allows faculty and staff to know if our students are struggling academically or personally and we are able to direct them to the proper resources. Dr. Hughes said many of our students participate in the Greek Life experience and these students are high caliber students with high academic standards and leadership ability. The GPA range for all chapters is 2.4 to 3.44 and fourteen of the eighteen chapters have an average GPA above 3.0. Dr. Hughes said that the majority of our students are actively engaged in service projects, not just locally, but also abroad. An international service trip was offered during winter break to the Dominican Republic where our students worked in the town of Monte Cristi primarily facilitating English immersion learning camps for youth.

Chairman Morgan asked Mr. Kenneth Kidd, President of the Student Assembly to share with the Board his newsletter. Mr. Kidd said he produced an electronic newsletter to all students in January to help promote participation in the Student Assembly and to make them aware of initiatives underway on campus. He told the Board that for the first time all of the delegate positions had been filled and that there was so much interest in the last meeting, they had to move to a larger location. President Trible said he participated in the meeting and said it was a very impressive proceeding and praised Mr. Kidd for his efforts.

Chairman Morgan asked Dr. Brian Puaca, President of the Faculty Senate, to share his report with the Board. Dr. Puaca updated the Board on the Senate’s goals for the year. He said that the Faculty Senate had been working on the revisions to the criteria for Full Professor.
He noted that the recommendations had been finalized and they had been sent forward for review. The recommendation provides a definition of Full Professor and outlines a timeline upon which one’s professional development is evaluated to extend back to their last successful promotion.

The Senate also proposed modified language to capture the high standards of excellence that is expected of a Full Professor. Dr. Puaca said that one of the Senate’s goals is to embrace and support the university’s diversity initiatives and they have been working with the Advancement Office to create a scholarship to offer need-based support to prospective students from underserved populations. Also, they have been encouraging the faculty to take advantage of the new faculty dining space in Regattas and the discount for using Captain’s Cash has assisted in this effort. He said the Senate is also conducting a self-review of its work over the past five years through an extensive survey of the faculty and they are preparing to review applications for Faculty Excellence Awards and Faculty Development Grants. Dr. Puaca expressed his amazing respect for his amazing colleagues and his appreciation for the Board’s support.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Hunter said the library expansion is well underway and should be completed prior to the start of the next semester. The only other current capital project is the construction of the Fine Arts Center. He noted that no new construction will be taking place next semester. He said the Committee members toured the Regattas expansion which has created a very nice space for our students.

Rector Millar called on Mr. Kenneth Kidd for a Student Assembly update. Mr. Kidd said the Campus Activities Board was preparing for Spring Fest which is the largest event on campus each year and noted there had already been 36 events on campus this year. He said the Residence Hall Association raised funds for Toys for Tots through the annual pancake breakfast. Other initiatives underway are efforts to raise funds for the senior class gift, promotion of sustainability and increasing awareness of mental health. Mr. Kidd informed the Board that the Student Assembly is working with Rector Millar to have a panel discussion with the Student Assembly and alumni members of the Board of Visitors.

Rector Millar asked Secretary Hunter to entertain 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. Dr. Ella Ward provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Jennings and the motion 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. Bruce Jennings, Rector Scott Millar, Ms. Vicki Freeman, Mr. Junius Williams, Ms. Terri McKnight, Mr. Brad Hunter, Mr. Gabe Morgan and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

Rector Millar called for a motion to approve Resolution 4: Promotions of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 5: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and Resolution 6: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves. Mr. Williams provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Hunter and Resolutions 4, 5, and 6 were passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Mr. Morgan said it gave him great pleasure to make a nomination that the Board consider awarding an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree to William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University. Dr. Harvey served for 40 years of the 150 year history of Hampton University, has been an extraordinary community leader and will be Christopher Newport’s commencement speaker. Mr. Hunter seconded Mr. Morgan’s motion and the Board agreed unanimously to award Dr. William R. Harvey an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at graduation.

Mr. Jennings said that the Compensation Committee recommended two revisions to the President’s contract that were voted on at the June meeting. The Compensation Committee recommended that the funds designated for deferred compensation become a success bonus and funds intended for life insurance be added to the retention bonus. Mr. Hatten seconded the motion and it passed by unanimous vote of the Board members present with one abstention from Rector Scott Millar.

Other Business

Rector Millar said that a new slate of officers will be presented to the Board at the June meeting to be voted upon at the September meeting. He said that he had appointed a nominating committee to include Ms. Vicki Freeman as Chair, Ms. Lindsey Carney, Ms. Judy Wason and himself.

President Trible said that the board terms for Mr. Gabe Morgan, Mr. Brad Hunter, Dr. Ella Ward and Mr. Bill Ermatinger will expire in June but all are eligible for reappointment and have agreed to serve if appointed by the Governor. He thanked Ms. Vicki Freeman for her eight years of service on our Board.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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