Board of Visitors Meeting June 8, 2018 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting June 8, 2018

Board of Visitors Meeting June 8, 2018

The Board of Visitors met on June 8, 2018 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Scott Millar presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Ms. Lindsey A. Carney
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Mrs. Vicki Siokis Freeman, Vice Rector
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter, Secretary
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Mrs. 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

  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Ms. Judy 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
  • Dr. Brian Puaca Faculty Senate President
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel
  • Mr. Chris Inzirillo, Alumni Society President


  • Ms. Jane Hammond, Daily Press

Rector Scott Millar welcomed everyone present and then called for approval of the April 27, 2018 minutes. Mr. Jennings provided the motion which was seconded by Mrs. Freeman and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report

President Trible thanked Mr. Hunter, Mr. Ermatinger, Sheriff Morgan and Dr. Ward for their service and leadership on the Board of Visitors as their terms are expiring. He expressed his hope that the Governor would reappoint them to the Board for a second term. He thanked Ms. Freeman for her leadership and service and for her countless ways of contributing to the success of Christopher Newport during her two terms on the Board of Visitors.

President Trible said it was a very good year made possible by the effort and spirit of truly wonderful people at the University. He said Christopher Newport is soaring, pursuing excellence in all things and seeing remarkable results.

He highlighted a few successes this year. President Trible announced that the freshman to sophomore retention rate is 88.2% -- the highest in history; the 4-year graduate rate is 68% which is also the highest ever; and this year over $5.6 million was raised in gifts and pledges.

President Trible thanked Mr. Ermatinger and Ms. Walker for their leadership and for the generous gifts from Huntington Ingalls and Newport News Shipbuilding. Huntington Ingalls committed $500,000 and Newport News Shipbuilding $100,000 to create scholarships for our students in STEM and in business, finance, marketing, management, accounting and economics. He said that the greatest need at Christopher Newport is to provide funding for our students who need financial assistance and to reward merit.

In regard to athletics, President Trible reported that our student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom and on the playing fields. Christopher Newport’s winning percentage rate is 76%. Out of 443 schools in Division III of the NCAA, Christopher Newport finished 15th in the nation and first in our Conference. He also announced that, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, CNU is ranked 27th in the nation - out of 572 four-year public institutions – in its four-year graduation rate. He said this data underscores that everyone at CNU is doing an extraordinary job of attracting, retaining, instructing and inspiring the young women and men who are on our campus.

Nominating Committee Report

Chairman Freeman said that, as President Trible mentioned, the terms of five members of the Board are coming to an end and the Governor is expected to make new Board appointments in the coming weeks. Until that time, a determination cannot be made on the slate of officers. Therefore, the slate will be presented at the next Board of Visitors meeting and the vote will be taken at that time.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Ermatinger reported that the auditor of public accounts reviewed the financial statements for the period ending June 30, 2017. There were two recommendations but there were no repeat offenses and no material weaknesses reported.

The Committee reviewed the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures and everything appeared in order and normal variances were noted. The education and general fund is consistent with the budget, auxiliary enterprises was also reviewed and all debt service was paid for the year. Mr. Ermatinger noted that with the age of the residence halls, there is need for expenditures for maintenance which will be supported from housing reserves. The Ferguson Center continues to make financial improvement and it is anticipated to add $400,000 to the bottom line. The Committee reviewed the SWaM report and he noted that against our goal of 42% participation, we stand at 62% and we have exceeded all of our SWaM goals. The university goals were exceeded in every category as compared with the Commonwealth and other higher education institutions. Year after year and quarter after quarter, Mr. Ermatinger said that CNU does an excellent job meeting or exceeding SWaM goals.

Internal Auditor, Ms. Belote, presented the annual audit plan for 2019 which was reviewed by the Committee. Mr. Ermatinger said that the Committee was presented the 2019 Operating Budget and there were no surprises and no variations. He noted the budget is based on the tuition and fees room and board rates which were set by the Board at the last meeting.

Rector Millar said that RESOLUTION 1: 2019 Operating Budget comes as a motion to the Board from the Finance and Audit Committee and called for a second to the motion. Dr. Ward seconded the motion, there was no discussion and RESOLUTION 1 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hatten reported that we are making progress toward reaching the goal of having 300 faculty members noting that we are on track for having 282 faculty this fall. He said that five positions are open and all faculty contracts have been executed. Chairman Hatten said that a postdoc is being hired for an incoming physicist who works on the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) experiment and which brings a $600,000 grant.

Chairman Hatten said that increasing faculty salaries continues to be an important objective and this year, without support from the state, we raised the average salary by about 2%, which increased the average salary to $78,561. He said that over the last few years we have become more competitive at all ranks, especially at the assistant professor level. This will continue our quest to increase our salaries up to 60% of our peer group, and continue strengthening our efforts to house a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Chairman Hatten reported that next year two more professorships will be in place. One has been established with the collaborative effort of the Jewish community for a $500,000 endowed professorship in Jewish Studies and a search is underway to fill the Aaron Endowed Professorship position. Additionally, the Abbitt Endowed Professorship in Finance has been established.

Chairman Hatten noted that Christopher Newport attracts a large number of siblings and this is another factor considered for housing a PBK chapter. This indicates a high degree of parental satisfaction and pride in the university. On a final note, he mentioned that the international study program is continuing to attract more and more students bringing us closer to our goal of having 400 students studying abroad. Several years ago there were only 273 students in the program; last year there were 316 students and it is expected that there will be 395 in the coming year. He noted there are 21 programs offered in every corner of globe and the opportunity to participate is also available for Board members.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan thanked Mr. Rob Lange, Dr. Kevin Hughes and Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines for all of their efforts to recruit, retain and make our students successful.

He said that that Mr. Lange reported that we are on target to enroll 1225 students this fall and he has already started recruiting for next year. The Committee heard from the Director of Athletics, Mr. Kyle McMullin. He said that even though our students do not receive athletic scholarships, their urge to play and compete is strong and they are very successful on and off the playing fields. He also said there are no discipline problems among the student athlete population.

Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines reported that special emphasis has been placed on first generation students who often face different challenges than other first year college students to ensure their success. They start with a reception during Family Weekend connecting the families and students with faculty and staff who can be good resources to help these students stay in school and graduate on time.

She said each year the Career Center conducts a survey of students who have graduated. The data analysis shows 70% of last year’s graduating class responded to the survey and that 91% of our graduates are either employed or are in graduate school. She noted that in 2011 that result was 83%. The national association that tracks this data is changing its methodology and, if we use the new format, 96% of our graduates would be working full time or attending graduate school.

Dr. Hughes provided information regarding the President’s Leadership students’ involvement on campus. He said not only do they lead and serve in our community, have a rigorous curriculum and participate in leadership activities, they are also involved in a wide array of campus activities. He noted that the general student population is also very engaged in campus activities.

Dr. Hughes provided follow-up information about counseling services and the support provided to our students. He noted that 30% of our graduates have used the Counseling Center during some of their time at the University. The national trend supports this percentage as mental health issues, particularly suicide, have been increasing over the years. Dr. Hughes said that in addition to the staff members in the Counseling Center a number of people from different administrative areas convene bi-weekly meetings to discuss and track students who have been identified as facing additional challenges and to provide the necessary resources for them to remain successful.

Chairman Morgan expressed his appreciation and thanks for this team and everyone at CNU who make the students at Christopher Newport so successful.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Hunter said that the library construction was on schedule and on budget and the library will be open for the start of the fall semester. He said that with the upcoming construction of the Fine Arts Center, the Visitor Lot will be lost but over the summer additional parking spaces will be created. Chairman Hunter said the Committee addressed the fact that now that the majority of the construction is done, the focus will turn to the future maintenance and renovation of our buildings. The 6-year plan has accounted for these needs and Mr. Ermatinger pointed out that with the reduction of the debt, those monies can be allocated for the maintenance and repair of these facilities.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Puaca was pleased to report that all the final grades are in and his students did well. He said that this summer faculty will be involved in leading study abroad trips, writing articles and conducting research in archives and libraries around the world. He noted that the Senate Executive Committee has met to discuss ideas for next year and they will conduct a Senate Survey to improve communication and to get a sense of the issues that faculty care the most about.

Dr. Puaca said that the Faculty Senate Self Study was administered by the Senate and the faculty was asked to comment on the last five years of Senate activities. There was a 63% response rate and the results of that survey were shared via email. Dr. Puaca offered three observations from the results of the survey. Overall the report indicated a high degree of satisfaction among the faculty; the data suggested that faculty are doing a better job of keeping up with the work of the Senate and the report highlighted several areas for improvement, including communication and a plan is in place to address that issue. Dr. Puaca again thanked the Board for their continued support of the faculty.

Alumni Society Report

President Chris Inzirillo said the Alumni Society is in its first year of a new operating structure and is focused on Captains, commitment and careers with the goal of engaging the Alumni Society in these areas. He also said that the terms for executive committee members have been extended. Among other exciting announcements he was pleased to report that there are currently 12 Alumni Chapters and the next alumni Chapter will be established in Raleigh. He also gave a full report of the Alumni Societies many activities over the course of the past year. President Inzirillo thanked the Board, faculty, staff and administrators for their support, dedication and loyalty to making the Alumni Society such a success.

Rector Millar asked Mr. Brad Hunter to entertain a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2.3711(a)(1) Personnel, and (a)(8)Gift Bequest and Fundraising. Ms. Freeman provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ward 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, Ms. Lindsey Carney, Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Ms. Kellye Walker, Dr. Ella Ward and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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