Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting November 16, 2018

Board of Visitors Meeting November 16, 2018

The Board of Visitors met on November 16, 2018 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Bobby Hatten 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.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Ms. Judy Wason
  • Mr. Junius H. Williams, Jr.

Absent from the Board

  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.

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
  • Mr. Jim Hanchettt, Chief Communications Officer
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs


  • Ms. Jane Hammond, Daily Press
  • Mr. Matthew Scherger, Captain’s Log

Rector Hatten welcomed everyone present. Rector Hatten reported that the Executive Committee of the Board met on October 10th. The Executive Committee approved the Masters of Financial Analysis Degree and reviewed the proposed Guaranteed Tuition and Fee Program with the recommendation that it come to the full Board for approval.

Rector Hatten called for a motion to approve the minutes of the Board meetings held on September 24, 2018 and the Executive Committee meeting held on October 10, 2018. Sheriff Morgan provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Ermatinger and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Student Assembly Report

President Emmet Aylor said the Student Assembly worked with the various departments on campus on the Food for Thought Campaign which was very successful. The Student Assembly continues their work to increase sexual assault awareness and have created a number of posters displayed throughout campus. He also said they were working on a campaign called “Being Not Rich” which provides money saving tips for students, provides information for obtaining internships, finding jobs and financial aid workshops among other things. Sheriff Morgan commended Mr. Aylor and the Student Assembly and faculty for their dedication, commitment and strong support of the Food for Thought Campaign.

President’s Report

President Trible recognized and congratulated Ms. Lindsey Carney on her recent marriage to Mr. Skip Smith. He announced thatDr. Ella Ward and Herman recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary and he offered his congratulations!

President Trible recognized Mr. Steve Kast for his many contributions to our community by leading the Boys and Girls Clubs and more recently, the United Way. He told the Board of Mr. Kast’s efforts in advancing the idea for promoting a community of kindness. He asked Mr. Kast to tell the Board about this important initiative and the recent article in the paper. Mr. Kast said that so many people had been kind to him throughout his life and he wants to create a culture of kindness in our community. He said he believes that if we look through the lens of kindness in the way we treat others and the decisions we make we can be impactful in our community. He said local governments and businesses and schools have embraced this idea and noted that there is even a Kindness Club at CNU. President Trible thanked Mr. Kast for his leadership and his commitment to enriching and empowering lives.

President Trible said that as part of the President’s Leadership Program, we bring to

campus men and women who live lives of meaning and consequence and purpose and he asked Mr. Ermatinger to be a PLP speaker because he exemplifies these qualities. He said his presentation was especially meaningful where he expressed the principles that influenced his life and leadership style. Mr. Ermatinger captivated our students and received a standing ovation. Mr. Ermatinger spoke briefly about his presentation. He told the story of his grandmother and the lesson he learned from her – if you are going to be a leader, you need to know where you are going. He said although CNU has two marvelous leaders in President Trible and Mrs. Trible, he spoke of Rosemary’s amazing leadership qualities and encouraged the students to reach out to her. President Trible said they were both deeply touched by Mr. Ermatinger’s kind words.

President Trible said that Mr. David Peebles, former Rector, will celebrate his 90th birthday at CNU today at an event sponsored by Ferguson Enterprises. At the recommendation of the Board at the last meeting, Mr. Peebles will be presented the Distinguished Service Award this evening.

At the last meeting there was a discussion about electronic board notebooks and a survey of the Board members showed that most are in agreement to move in that direction. Currently different options and pricing are being researched.

President Trible reported on two recent book collections donated to CNU. Mr.Ross Mackenzie who was Editor of the Editorial Page of the Richmond Times Dispatch built a marvelous collection of nearly 4,000 books that instructed and inspired his life. He has donated those books to CNU and we house some of his collection in the Ross Mackenzie Special Collection Room.

Secondly, he said we celebrated a gift of another collection of books by Dr. Bruce Cole who was a distinguished professor of fine arts at Indiana University. Dr. Cole was selected to lead the National Endowment of the Humanities. Dr. Cole was introduced to CNU by Dr.Michelle Erhardt, Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Museum Studies Program who was one of Dr. Cole’s Ph.D. candidates.

He said that Mr. Lange and his admission team and our faculty and staff continue to work hard to recruit high ability students. Applications are up by 8% over last year and up 28% over two years ago. Students of high ability continue to express enthusiasm and interest in joining us.

President Trible reported that our student-athletes continue to excel on and off the field and on the playing court winning well over 70% of their games. He said for the tenth year in a row CNU received the award for having the highest winning percentage in all sports of any school in Virginia.

President Trible told the Board that we have established a University Council on Diversity and Inclusion. The Council’s work is to enhance our recruitment and retention of underrepresented students, and faculty and staff and creating a culture of respect and of civility. He said the University recently adopted a Statement on Diversity and Inclusion which was the work of the Council and the Faculty Senate and said that statement has been enthusiastically received.

President Trible said we have a marvelous program in Leadership and American Studies and a team of our students recently won the undergraduate leadership case study competition held by the International Leadership Association where teams across the country competed.

The students who competed were Nathan Hotes, Jonelle Brown and Adam Stillabower. President Trible introduced the students and said thatDr. Brent Cusher, Assistant Professor inLeadership Studies and Dr. Lynn Shollen led this effort to bring the team together. President Trible asked the students to share with the Board their experience. President Trible thanked Dr. Shollen and Dr. Cusher and the students for their excellent work.

President Trible said that Dr. Kevin Hughes recently made a presentation to the Council of Diversity and Inclusion on mental health and thought it would be appropriate to share it with the Board. He said the presentation reflects the state of mind of our society as reflected on our campus and how we care passionately about our students. Dr. Hughes proceeded with his presentation. Following the presentation Rector Hatten said that it illustrated the nurturing culture we have at Christopher Newport starting even before our students arrive on campus and throughout their four years here.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Bruce Jennings said that at the Executive Committee meeting held in October there was a thorough overview of the new tuition and fee model. He said that there had been much positive feedback from current students, alumni and parents. Mr. Jennings said that RESOLUTION 1:as amended, Captains Commitment: GuaranteedTuition and Fees comes to the full Board for approval at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Rector Hatten said that the response has been overwhelmingly positive and that families deserve financial certainty so they can plan and provide for higher education. He told the Board that the General Assembly has also strongly encouraged us to limit increases to less than 3% per year and the Captains Commitment accomplishes that goal. He said that the need for this type of program is a result of the General Assembly failing to provide more funding for operating expenses for public universities, therefore transferring the cost to our students. He said we hope to receive funding from the General Assembly in the future.

Rector Hatten said the Resolution comes before the Board at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee and the Executive Committee and called for further discussion.

Mr. Scott Millar expressed his support of the guaranteed tuition plan stating that he believed it was well thought out and is pleased it will provide insurance that students will have access to CNU. Sheriff Morgan agreed with Mr. Hatten stating that the state has failed higher education and we must insure affordability of higher education by any means possible.

Following the discussion, Rector Hatten then called for approval of Resolution 1 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Chairman Jennings reviewed and summarized the Statement of Revenues and Expenditures and explained the variances. He noted that the Ferguson Center contractual services lag the prior year by $190,000 but noted there were three more shows last September. He said that all other variances are within reason at three months into the new fiscal year as compared to the prior year. Chairman Jennings said there is a reserve balance of $19.7 million and will be used for maintenance on our buildings such as boilers, carpeting and roofs.

The SWaM report was reviewed and CNU continues to do extremely well. Chairman Jennings reported that our participation is 62% on $7.2 million in expenditures against a goal of 42%. We continue to exceed the participation of the State at 33% and all of education at 40%. Mr. Jennings thanked Mr. Brauer for his efforts in this area and particularly for organizing the SWaM Fair.

Mr. Jennings said the Committee reviewed and discussed the two operating and one capital budget request the University submitted for the Governor’s consideration. The operating requests asks for additional funds to support the operation of four new academic and administrative buildings that have come online either this academic year or in prior years. Operating funds have also been requested for information technology infrastructure needs. The capital budget request is for needed maintenance and repair extending from roof replacements to new chillers.

Lastly, Mr. Jennings said that Internal Audit is undergoing a Quality Assurance Review and that is going very well. Internal Audit has greatly improved all of its controls. He told the Board that there will be interviews and conference calls from the independent assessment team in January. They will speak with the Rector and Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, Chief of Staff and others. Additionally confidential surveys will be sent out. He said any open audit points will be completed by May 31st.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Brad Hunter said that at the last meeting the Committee discussed the Masters of Financial Analysis degree which was approved by the Executive Committee and now has been submitted to SCHEV. We expect to receive approval in December.

Mr. Hunter updated the Board on the Study Abroad Program at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill and said the agreement has now been signed and 16 students and one professor will be participating in that program this fall.

Provost Doughty shared with the Board the Phi Beta Kappa Application and reviewed the submission with the Board. He noted that this has been a six-year effort and was a lot of hard work by our PBK faculty. He said the goal of this submission is to convince PBK to come to campus for an onsite visit. He explained that we should hear from them by the spring but the process extends over three years.

Provost Doughty said that CNU produces 40 computer science graduates a year and next year we will produce about 50 which positions us to take advantage of the Amazon deal. He said that going forward we will ask the State for funding for a cybersecurity major and a program to encourage community college students to attend CNU to study computer science and computer engineering as Christopher Newport has a reputation for being a great place to study in the STEM disciplines.

Brad Hunter said that the Council on Diversity and Inclusion met in October and made a recommendation to the President to adopt a University Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. President Trible accepted that statement and Mr. Hunter thanked the Council and the working group and the Faculty Senate for their efforts on this important initiative. He said the Statement is already on our website and is being incorporated into the university’s employee orientation. The Council’s work will continue and they are working on developing a communication plan.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan thanked Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Dr. Kevin Hughes and Mr. Rob Lange for all their hard work on recruiting, retaining and caring for our students.

Chairman Morgan asked Mr. Lange to report on our recruiting efforts. Mr. Lange said there is an 8% increase in applications and that the students who have applied for early decision is up 3%. He reported that the academic profile is up with the average GPA of 3.8 and that SAT scores have also increased. President Trible said that Mr. Lange does a superb job of telling our story and recruiting our students and he thanked all of the faculty for their efforts and for participating in all the open houses and traveling to recruit students.

Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines discussed our efforts to keep our students enrolled and to help them beyond graduation. She said they are particularly focusing on second year students to make their year fulfilling and exciting. Second year students participate in Signing Day where they declare their major and they have partnered with Alumni Relations to plan a half-way there pinning ceremony. In addition, there will be a career event associated with major selection and relevant career paths and there will be customized videos congratulating the students on their major and sharing different career options.

Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines said that there is a special effort to support the first generation college students. The program includes increasing retention and graduation rates and developing strategies and initiatives to support degree completion. She said that a number of first generation faculty and staff have agreed to serve as part of a support system and resources to these students.

Dr. Kevin Hughes said he shares with parents and prospective students about the expectations of being a student at CNU and how we emphasize a student-led, student-driven model which allows our students to get involved in activities that can shape their time at the university. He talked about three programs that take place in the fall that are traditions established by our students. Light the Night is a celebration the night before classes start, Stroll to the Polls is sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha and combines educational programming, civic engagement, philanthropy and entertainment and encourages voter engagement. Another student-led event is Glow in the Dark-Capella which happens at Homecoming and has become a signature tradition for our students. Lastly, he mentioned that CNU’s Relay for Life team finished in the Top 5 in the country in fundraising.

Rector Hatten congratulated Dr. Duncan Raines, Mr. Lange and Dr. Hughes on their good report and said that at CNU we are truly changing hearts and minds. President Trible also expressed his appreciation for all of their efforts.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Ermatinger said that the Library is 98% complete with only some remaining interior and exterior lighting to be done and that it is absolutely beautiful. The Committee received an update on the Fine Arts Center and Band Rehearsal Hall. He said that construction will begin in December 2018 with a completion date of 2020. He was pleased to report that 90% of the drawings were complete. Mr. Ermatinger reported that the authorized projected budget had increased due to construction cost increases but the General Assembly and Bureau of Capital Outlay will fill the gap and that funding is in order for this project.

Mr. Ermatinger said the Committee reviewed the Operating and Capital Budget Requests. He said that an increase in base operating funds and improvements to IT infrastructure in FY 19–20 and funds for McMurran, Forbes, Luter and Christopher Newport Hall were requested. There was a $8.8million capital request to improve building infrastructure and for roofing and HVAC projects. Lastly, the Committee reviewed the University’s five-year repair and maintenance plan and Mr. Ermatinger said that CNU has a very thorough process and has identified every possible need.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Puaca updated the Board on the activities of the Faculty Senate. He said the Senate has identified supporting the university’s ongoing diversity initiatives as a main objective this year and was grateful to assist the Council on Diversity and Inclusion in preparing the University’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion which was inspired by the Faculty Senate’s own statement.

Dr. Puaca told the Board that the Faculty Senate is engaged in a discussion with the President, Provost and senior administrators to prepare a Free Speech Statement to promote the free exchange of ideas. He said that faculty recognition continues to be a priority and a new award is being created to recognize and reward faculty whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries in teaching, scholarship and/or service. They are also working with Librarian Mary Sellen on a large display of faculty scholarship to be located on the second floor of the Media Center. Dr. Puaca said the Senate is considering a number of different issues related to the final exam schedule and has endorsed three changes that will be submitted to the Provost and President for consideration. Lastly, an ongoing item for the Senate is discussion about student ratings of instruction through IDEA and how to bring greater clarity to this process. Dr. Puaca thanked the Board for their continued support of the faculty.

Alumni Society Report

Mr. Steve Kast said that Homecoming was a great success with record sales of Homecoming t-shirts. He said that the Alumni House was fulfilling its role and is being used for many events at Homecoming, Family Weekend and many others activities throughout the year. He noted that the golf tournament this year had a record number of registrations.

Mr. Kast said that he was very excited about the Captains Guarantee and understands the need for the General Assembly to generate funding. But looking through the lens of kindness as was mentioned today, he wanted to thank the General Assembly for their generosity for the capital funding provided for making this campus beautiful. President Trible agreed and said that the General Assembly had been very supportive of our capital needs.

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. Herbert 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 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, Ms. Lindsey Carney, Mr. Junius Williams, Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Steve Kast, Ms. Judy Wason, Ms. Maria Herbert and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

Rector Hatten called for a motion to name the new reading room in the library for Rosemary Trible. Mr. Jennings provided the motion, which was seconded by Ms. McKnight.

The Board voted unanimously and enthusiastically and with a standing ovation that the beautiful reading room will be named The Rosemary Trible Reading Room in appreciation for Rosemary’s love and spirit and her countless contributions that have made Christopher Newport a magical place.

President Trible thanked the Board by saying:

I am very thankful for this wonderful honor that you have given Rosemary.

Look around this campus and you will see that Rosemary’s contributions are evident everywhere –every coat of paint, every chandelier and sconce, every piece of marble and carpet – indeed this magnificent reading room – all reflect the exquisite taste of our beautiful First Lady and the love of my life for almost 50 years.

But it’s Rosemary’s heart and compassion that have most impacted this campus. She loves and engages our students, the hundreds and hundreds of students that she has prayed with and prayed for, the countless young women whose lives have been torn asunder by sexual violence that she has counseled and encouraged, the amazing work of her foundation Fear to Freedom on this campus and on campuses throughout the country that brings hope and healing to victims of sexual abuse and, of course, her 23 year tradition of hugging every Christopher Newport graduate at commencement.

I am so pleased and deeply grateful that Rosemary’s name will be etched forever into the life of this university by the naming of this beautiful space The Rosemary Trible Reading Room.

Another matter that was discussed was parental leave. President Trible said paid parental leave has been authorized by Executive Order of the Governor for all state classified employees. He said that faculty receive paid parental leave for one semester. President Trible said the University is recommending the same benefit to be provided to our administrative and professional faculty retroactive to July 1, 2018. The Board discussed this proposal and the cost to the university and agreed that the benefit should be offered to all employees.

President Trible said that Provost Doughty has been working with the Newport News Public Schools to provide educational opportunities for students who would not have a chance to attend college. He said the students would be selected by Newport News Schools and must meet certain requirements to be granted provisional admission to CNU. Dr. Doughty explained all the aspects of the program and its many benefits.He was excited to report that there will be an official signing ceremony for this early admission agreement in November with the Superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, Dr. Parker. President Trible applauded Dr. Doughty for his hard work and success in leading this effort.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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