Board of Visitors Meeting September 24, 2018 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting September 24, 2018

Board of Visitors Meeting September 24, 2018

The Board of Visitors met on September 24, 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
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Ms. Maria Herbert
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Mrs. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar
  • The Honorable Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Ms. Judy Wason
  • Mr. Junius H. Williams, Jr.

Absent from the Board

  • Dr. Ella P. Ward

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. Lynn Shollen, Faculty Senate Vice President
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice Provost
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Emmet Aylor, Student Assembly President
  • Michelle Moody, Esq., Director of Title IX
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs
  • Ms. Rhonda Wissinger, Mr. Brauer’s Administrative Assistant


  • Ms. Jane Hammond, Daily Press

Rector Scott Millar welcomed everyone present and then welcomed the newest Board member Ms. Maria Herbert and congratulated Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Brad Hunter, Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Dr. Ella Ward on their reappointment to the Board of Visitors.

Rector Millar presented the Alumni Distinguished Service Award to Ms. Lindsey Carney. Lindsey was recognized for her many contributions to Christopher Newport and her exceptional leadership and life of significance.

Election of Officers

Rector Millar said the Nominating Committee, which was chaired by Ms. Vicki Freeman, recommend the following slate of officers to serve for the 2018–2020 term – Rector, Mr. Bobby Hatten, Vice Rector, Mr. Brad Hunter and Secretary, Ms. Terri McKnight. Rector Millar called for other nominations and there were none. He then called for a motion to elect the slate of officers by acclamation. Mr. Ermatinger provided the motion, seconded bySheriff Morgan and the officers were elected by unanimous vote of the Board. Mr. Millar advised the Board that the Executive Committee includes the three new officers, the committee chairs and 2 at large members – Mr. Bobby Hatten, Mr. Brad Hunter, Ms. Terri McKnight, Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Sheriff Gabe Morgan, Mr. Bruce Jennings, Mr. Scott Millar and Ms. Kellye Walker.

Rector Millar thanked the Board for their strong support and counsel during his tenure as Rector and thanked President Trible and the senior staff for all that they do.

Mr. Bobby Hatten said it was a high honor to be elected as Rector and thanked Mr. Scott Millar for his leadership and service on the Board of Visitors and for the many hours of volunteer service to Christopher Newport. He noted that Mr. Millar’s service to CNU includes serving as past President of the Alumni Society, member of the Education Foundation Board and member of the Comprehensive Campaign Executive Council.

President Trible also thanked Mr. Millar for his many contributions to CNU saying that no one speaks more powerfully and persuasively about our vision, values, hopes and dreams than Scott Millar. Mr. Jennings also added his accolades for Mr. Millar’s service and leadership on our Board of Visitors.

Rector Bobby Hatten spoke eloquently about the founding of Christopher Newport College and the journey to where the university is today. He said the university lacked leadership and Paul Trible had a “vision of transformational change” and the success of that vision is obvious with a billion dollar campus, strong student body and national recognition that CNU is one of the top public universities in America. He said the challenge now is to sustain the mission and continue to improve and solidify our place in America as one of the great universities for generations to come.

President Trible thanked Rector Hatten for his extremely kind remarks and said he was most grateful for the kind and generous words and his willingness to take on this leadership.

Rector Bobby Hatten called for a motion to approve the minutes of the two meetings held on June 8, 2018 – the full Board of Visitors meeting and the meeting for the President’s annual evaluation. Mr. Kast provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Jennings and minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report

President Trible welcomed the newest Board member Ms. Maria Herbert, an alumna and successful business leader and said we are looking forward to her tenure on the Board.

He reported that the Captain’s athletic season is off to a successful start with 20 victories and winning percentage of 69%. He announced that our volleyball coach Lindsay Birchis the third coach in CNU history to win 500 games in her career. He reported that field hockey is ranked 7th in the nation, soccer is ranked 10th and volleyball is ranked 20th in the nation.

President Trible said that the Governor participated in the celebration of the completion of the library and at that time, preparations were underway to ready for Hurricane Florence. Just prior to arriving on campus, the Governor asked that the Freeman Center be available asa state-managed shelter. This was a monumental task and the next day 18 tractor-trailers and 257 staff from 8 different agencies were on campus. President Trible thanked Sheriff Morgan and his office for providing perimeter security if the shelter remained opened when classes resumed. He underscored the remarkable work of Tammy Sommer, Director of Emergency Management who coordinated this effort. Ms. Sommer relied heavily on theCNU Police Department, Wayne Reed, Alicia Brown and Walter Walker who worked 12–14 hour shifts during this time. President Trible askedMs. Sommer to stand so the Board could thank her and her colleagues for their hard work on behalf of the University and the Commonwealth.

Regarding admissions, this year nearly 7,500 applications were received and President Trible noted that in this class of over 1,200 freshmen there are 163 legacies and 99 siblings. He said that is an extraordinary number and could not be a stronger validation that what is happening at CNU is nothing short of amazing. He reported that there are 572 four-year public colleges and universities in America and CNU is ranked 12th for it 4-year graduation rate. He said that among the almost 200 schools in the U.S. News ranking of Southern Regional Schools, CNU ranks 4th among the publics and 10th overall. Princeton Review announced that our campus is among the top 20 most beautiful campuses in America. President Trible noted that 92% of our students, within 6 months of graduation, are employed full-time or are enrolled in graduate school full-time.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Bruce Jennings said that the university is required to submit its Six-Year Plan at the start of each biennium to the General Assembly. In the off year, we are required to submit any changes to that plan. The updates to the plan this year do not change any of our priorities and the only changes reflect budget actions. TheFinance and Audit Committee thoroughly reviewed the plan and recommends it to the full Board for approval.

Chairman Jennings reported that in 2017 the General Assembly required that all Executive Branch Agencies develop succession plans for key personnel, executive positions and employees nearing retirement. The Department of Human Resource Management provided the template for the study. He highlighted the results of the study and said that the University is taking appropriate steps to mitigate risk associated with upcoming retirements and staff shortages and that the Finance and Audit Committee was pleased with the report.

The Committee thoroughly reviewed the financial statements for the twelve months ended June 20, 2018 and 2017 and found that the year closed in good financial order. Chairman Jennings reviewed notable variances and said that educational and general revenues and expenditures were on budget and favorably comparable year over year.

The Committee reviewed the SWaM report and again he noted we finished strong with 60% compliance against a state mandated goal of 43%. CNU remains strong in the sub-categories finishing higher than the averages for the Commonwealth and higher education. Chairman Jennings reported to the Board that CNU will be hosting its 6th Annual SWaM fair in November.

Chairman Jennings also reported that the Internal Audit office will undergo an independent assessment in January by a team of audit managers from GMU and VCU.

Chairman Jennings said the Committee also reviewed the Annual Debt Service Report which is required to be presented each year. It provides a snapshot of all outstanding debt obligations. He noted that CNU is meeting the Board requirement to maintain a current debt to operating ratio of less than 10% and we stand at 7.6%.

Chairman Jennings said that RESOLUTION 1: 2018 Six-Year Plan for 2018–2024 comes to the full Board at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee. Rector Hatten called for discussion following which Resolution 1 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Chairman Jennings said that RESOLUTION 2: Amendment to the Internal Audit Charter also comes as a recommendation from the Finance and Audit Committee. Rector Hatten called for discussion and the Resolution was then passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Brad Hunter said the Committee was updated on the Study Abroad Program noting that the program at Glasgow continues to have tremendous success. He told the Board that negotiations are underway to partner with theUniversity of West Indies, Cave Hill which is located in Barbados. This program will begin in the fall of 2019 with 12–16 students participating.

Provost Doughty updated the Committee on the efforts underway for an early admission program with Newport News Public Schools. In addition he reviewed numbers on retention and class sizes, and briefly talked about CNU’s standing in national rankings. Chairman Hunter said that CNU’s Six-Year Plan calls for 300 faculty members and we currently have 282 faculty members. He said there are 5 new positions open and three of those are for newly endowed chairs. These positions have been advertised in theChronicle of Higher Education. Additionally, Chairman Hunter said that the first draft of the PBK application will soon be completed and the submission date is November 1st.

Chairman Hunter said that the Committee heard from Professor Ronnie Cohen about the new Masters of Financial Analysis starting next fall. He said this proposal needs to go to the Graduate Council for their review and approval and then it will come to the Board for approval. The meeting of the State Council of Higher Education is prior to our next planned Board of Visitors meeting so the Committee has requested that the Rector call a meeting of the Executive Committee to approve this new degree. Rector Hatten called for a motion to approve calling an Executive Committee meeting in order to approve the Masters of Financial Analysis and the Board was in unanimous approval.

RESOLUTION 3: Resolution for the Exclusion of Certain Officers/Directors in Accordance with the National Industry Security Program was discussed and approved by the Committee. This resolution excludes the Board from having to undergo security clearances that may be necessary in order to secure grants for CNU. Rector Hatten called for any discussion and then the Board voted unanimously to approve Resolution 3.

Mr. Hunter said that at the last meeting of the Council of Diversity and Inclusion a draft university statement was prepared. He said at the next Council meeting the statement will be recommend for formal adoption.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan thanked Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Dr. Kevin Hughes and Mr. Rob Lange for all their hard work and success in attracting, retaining and ensuring the success of our students.

Dean Robert Lange reported that the freshman class number is at 1,228 just above our goal of 1,225. President Trible noted that Mr. Lange comes within 1or 2 of his freshmen goal every year and thanked him for his outstanding effort. Mr. Lange noted that applications were up this year and that reduced our admit rate to 68%. Notably, Mr. Lange reported that the average GPA stands at 3.8 while the average SAT score is up 10 points from last year. Students of color represent 20% of the class and 9% of our students are from out-of-state. Mr. Lange said80% of our applicants were personally interviewed which is unique to Christopher Newport.

Mr. Lange reported that work is already underway to recruit the class of 2023 and 15% more applications have been received today than this time last year. He said that off-campus events this year include traveling to New Jersey and Pennsylvania with Dr. Doughty, Dr. Hughes and the athletic director to meet with school counselors and prospective students and their families.

Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines said that working with new freshmen in January and putting together class schedules early is key to building a strong foundation for their arrival in the fall and to get them to graduation. She noted that 92% of our students are employed full-time or are in graduate schools within 6 months of graduation which is higher than the national average.

Our students are being actively recruited for employment. A career fair was held for the Luter School of Business and 19 major firms attended to interview our accounting majors. She said that we have a similar response to the Physics, Computer Science and Engineer career fair.The campus-wide career and internship fair is overbooked this year with 119 organizations coming to campus.

Dr. Raines said a major focus is getting our students to graduation and there is a lot of effort underway on year to year retention. In that regard, they are working with Alumni Relations to develop ways to celebrate Signing Day that happens in the student’s second year with a “half way there” pinning ceremony.

Dr. Kevin Hughes said that transition is key to helping our students prepare for their first academic year. A number of steps are in place with multiple departments on campus. Current student leaders partner with incoming students to help them understand the expectations of being a CNU student. Parents are also being involved working with administrators and faculty on what to expect when their child becomes a college student at Christopher Newport. Welcome Week is the last transition step prior to the start of classes with programs on academic and social transitioning. He shared charts indicating which programs the students found the most helpful and academics rose to the top.

Chairman Morgan said that there have been substantive changes to our policy relating to notification of parents or legal guardians in certain situations involving the mental health of their students. RESOLUTION 4: Parent/Legal Guardian-Student Health and Safety Notification was discussed and reviewed by the Committee and comes to the full Board at the recommendation of the Student Life Committee.Rector Hatten called for discussion and then called for approval of Resolution 4 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Title IX Annual Report

Ms. Michelle Moody provided the Board with the annual Title IX Report stating there are new proposed federal guidelines. She said that our policy is in compliance with the Office of Civil Rights and Ms. Moody reviewed the minor changes that had been made. She also reported on the number of sexual misconduct cases and the results of the investigations. She noted that in the cases reported there were no strangers involved in the incidents. She reviewed the very focused effort on training across campus with every employee. Ms. Moody also said that the NCAA now also requires training of our student athletes. She updated the board on the ongoing networking in the community and on campus. The Student Assembly has been very involved with Title IX and learning about our policies and procedures and there is now a student representative on the SAVE committee. She provided the Board with an update of the programming that is provided starting withWelcome Week. Both Rector Hatten and President Trible thanked Ms. Moody for her good work on this very important issue. President Trible spoke about the events on campus to raise awareness of sexual assault in which he and Mrs. Trible are involved.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Puaca thanked the Board for their continued work to improve faculty salaries and expressed their appreciation for the recognition of faculty for their hard work. He said that for the first time a Senate Summer Survey was conducted to identify issues important to faculty. The response rate was very good and the Executive Committee put together a list of objectives. The first objective is to continue its meaningful work with the Council on Diversity and Inclusion as it drafts a university statement. The Senate is working with the Council of University Chairs to create a more responsive and efficient annual review process. Dr. Puaca said the university has had a long-standing commitment to reviewing administrators and the Senate asked that this continue. The Senate is looking for ways to recognize our faculty in new and meaningful ways and discussions are underway for creating new awards, greater promotion of significant accomplishments and public displays of important work. In addition, he said the final exam schedule is going to be reviewed by the Senate to determine if it would be advisable to recommend any changes. Lastly, the teacher evaluation process is being reviewed, particularly the use of the IDEA student reviews of instruction. The Senate will work with the faculty committee on IDEA in order to respond to concerns.

Alumni Society Report

Mr. Steve Kast presented the Alumni Society report on behalf of President Chris Inzirillo. Mr. Kast reported that three new directors were appointed to the Board and that the Student Alumni Society was established which replaces the senior class council. He reported on the many activities of the Alumni Chapters of the Peninsula, South Hampton Roads, Richmond, Northern Virginia and Atlanta. Among many other activities he said the Ring Ceremony took place during Family Weekend and is always very well attended. Mr. Kast said plans were well underway for Homecoming and the flyers had gone out for this upcoming event. Lastly, Mr. Kast thanked Ms. Adelia Thompson and Mr. Doug Hornsby for their many efforts and support in putting together the By-Laws for the Alumni Society.

Student Assembly Report

President Emmet Aylor said the Student Assembly recently held its first meeting and is off to a good start. He thanked President and Mrs. Trible for participating in the Light the Night event that had over 3,000 students in attendance. He reported that there are 17 new delegates in the Student Assembly this year. He said two new commissions had been formed this year – the Community Outreach Commission and the Sustainability Commission – and everyone is excited to begin work this academic year.

Rector Hatten asked Ms. McKnight 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. Carney provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Ermatinger and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

The Board returned to open session and Secretary McKnight 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, Mr. Scott Millar, Ms. Terri McKnight, Mr. Brad Hunter, Mr. Gabe Morgan, Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Ms. Kellye Walker, Mr. Steve Kast, Ms. Judy Wason, Ms. Maria Herbert and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

President Trible said that former Board member and Rector David Peebles would be celebrating his 90th birthday in November and asked for the Board’s approval to honor him in some appropriate way. The Board gave their consent and empowered President Trible to recognize Mr. Peebles for his considerable contributions to Christopher Newport through the years.

In addition, President Trible said there was discussion underway of the possible use of electronic Board notebooks and that we would poll the Board on their preference and begin looking into this possibility.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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