Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 15, 2019

The Board of Visitors met on February 15, 2019 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Robert R. 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
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward

Absent from the Board

  • The Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Mrs. Judy F. Wason
  • Mr. Junius H. Williams, Jr.

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
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Mr. Emmet Aylor, Student Assembly President
  • Mr. Jim Hanchett, Chief Communications Officer
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs
  • Mr. Jered Benoit, Associate Director of Information Technology
  • Mr. Kyle McMullin, Athletic Director
  • Ms. Gabby Gillis, Student Speaker


  • Mr. Matt Jones, Daily Press

Rector Hatten welcomed everyone present. He then introduced Mr. Jered Benoit, Associate Director of IT. Mr. Benoit is coordinating the effort to shift to electronic Board notebook swhich should be in place for the September 2019 meeting. Rector Hatten then called for a motion to approve the minutes of the Board meeting held on November 16, 2018. Mr. Scott Millar provided the motion, seconded by Dr. Ella Ward and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President’s Report

President Trible said that CNU Day is March 14, 2019 and that is when CNU hopes that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will contribute to CNU. He then showed two videos that were created to promote CNU Day.

President Trible then introduced the student speaker, Ms. Gabby Gillis. Ms. Gillis is a senior, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. She is a gifted and successful athlete – two time All American on the soccer team and also voted as the National Scholar Athlete of the Year. Gabby is Captain of the team and led them to the Final Four this year. President Trible said that she and her teammates have won over 85% of their games over the last four years. Ms. Gillis shared with the Board her insights on being a student-athlete at CNU. She said that the team values are togetherness, commitment, selflessness and kindness. She talked about each of those virtues and how those values have shaped and defined her life.

President Trible said that applications continue to soar and he reported that last week there was a special admission day for students considering the PLP andHonors programs and an open house will be held tomorrow. He told the Board that35% of the freshman class is in place and the academic qualifications of these students is superb.

President Trible said that our athletic teams are excelling. During this season the men’s and women’s basketball teams are ranked among the best teams in America and are currently number one in our athletic conference. He said our track & field team is one of the strongest in the country and this weekend CNU is hosting the Capital Athletic Conference championships. President Trible announced that Head Coach Dan Weiler was named Division III National Coach of the Year by the United Soccer Coaches Association.

President Trible said the General Assembly is in session and the House and Senate versions of the budget are vastly different. Currently the budget is being debated in the Conference Committee and we await that outcome.

The Wason Center for Public Policy recently held its Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast. At this meeting, polling data is shared about the issues most important to the citizens of Virginia. This year 25 CNU students attended the breakfast in Richmond and they met with senior members of the House and Senate and went to the gallery where they were welcomed by the Speaker. He said the students were also able to meet with several CNU graduates who have senior positions in the legislature and were able to hear first-hand about their experiences in Richmond.

President Trible said that CNU held marvelous celebrations in honor of Martin Luther King and the events hadgreat attendance. He said that wewill continue to work with students, faculty and staff to enrich the diversity experiences on campus.

President Trible reported that Princeton Review honored Christopher Newport as a “Best Value College.” CNU was one of the top 200 colleges and one of only four public universities in Virginia and one of only 63 public universities in the nation to be included in the “Best Value Colleges.” Princeton Review praised CNU for affordable cost, the focus on the study of leadership, a core curriculum in the arts and sciences and our students’ commitment to civic engagement. He said our students described the campus as stunning; the residence halls as spacious and high quality; having the best technology and that there is a culture of kindness on campus. President Trible remarked that that is exactly what Ms. Gillis shared in her remarks about the values of the soccer team and that these qualities – kindness, togetherness, commitment, and selflessness – are what make CNU precious, distinctive and life-transforming.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Bruce Jennings said that the Committee reviewed the revenues and expenditures as of December 31, 2018 and noted that all the variances are within reason when compared to the prior year. He specifically mentioned that the negative balance of the Ferguson Center continues to be reduced and it is projected to end the year by reducing the negative balance by half.

He then reviewed the SWaM Report which again indicated that CNU is well above its goal and the participation levels in all categories exceed those of the state and all other educational institutions.

Chairman Jennings said that the General Assembly convened for a short session on January 9, 2019 and is scheduled to conclude on February 23rd. He said we are in the second year of the biennium and items that appear to have stayed in the budget include monies for the operation of the Trible Library; monies to increase STEM degree programs and monies for financial aid. Other matters before the General Assembly include the amount of faculty/staff raises, whether there will be additional need-based financial aid, additional operating dollars, public comment period, the tech talent pipeline, and the Institutional Partnership Performance Agreement.

Chairman Jennings said that the annual audit plan was reviewed and has been adjusted based on a re-evaluation to meet the engagement objectives, scope and audit work program for the Cybersecurity, Facilities Management and Business Office Cash services audits. He said that the Quality Assurance Self-Assessment Report is complete and CNU received a “generally conforms” rating which is the highest possible rating.

The Committee reviewed Resolution 1: **Cancellation of Accounts Considered Uncollectable and Mr. Jennings noted that this Resolution comes to the Board every year to write off outstanding debt. He explained that although the debt is written off, efforts are still made to collect and debt over $3,000 is turned over to the Attorney General’s office. Rector Hatten called for any questions or discussion and then called for approval of Resolution 1. The Resolution passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Brad Hunter said that the Provost reported that 20 faculty searches are either completed or in process. He noted that two professorships were completed – the Aaron Professorship in Jewish Studies and the Sacks Professorship in Chemistry. Mr. Hunter said that the university is putting together a plan of action to be able to participate in the Amazon and Tech Talent Pipeline. Chairman Hunter announced that SCHEV has officially approved CNU’s Master of Financial Analysis degree program and the program will start in Fall 2020.

Mr. Hunter said the committee received an update on the Community Captains Program which was publicly announced in November. He said the response and support of this initiative has been absolutely amazing.

Chairman Hunter said the study abroad programs are going very well. He noted that this is CNU’s fourth year in Glasgow and the first in which we have students there for both semesters. He said the agreement with the University of West Indies is complete and we expect to send 10–16 students and a faculty member this fall. Chairman Hunter said we are on track to have over 400 students participating in study abroad programs this year.

The Committee reviewed Resolution 2: Plan of Compensation which is required to be voted on by the Board every biennium. This resolution sets forth faculty salary ranges and there was only one minor change this year. Chairman Hunter said the Resolution comes to the Board as a recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee. Rector Hatten called for any discussion of the Resolution and then called for approval and Resolution 2 passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Hatten commented on the selection of Richard Freund for the Professor of Jewish Studies and said he is one of the most respected scholars in Jewish studies and commended the University on his hiring. Provost Doughty elaborated on his expertise and the many contributions he will bring to our students.

Mr. Hunter also briefed the Board on the efforts of the Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to the last meeting of the Council, there was an Open House for faculty and staff to provide an opportunity to meet with members of the Council and to gain a better sense of the work and goals of the Council. Mr. Hunter said the open house was a great success with over 100 people in attendance and everyone was very engaged and excited.

Student Life Committee Report

Mr. Kast reported on the Student Life meeting since Chairman Morgan was unable to attend. He said that to date a total of 7,364 applications have been received. For the students who have applied early action, their average GPA is 3.9 and average SAT is 1253. He said that 3,549 students have been admitted and 427 of those had already paid their deposits.

Mr. Kast said that the Committee had a very good report on student success from Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines. He said that our students engaged with 1,429 recruiting organizations, which is more than double the previous fall semester and the Career Center posted 5,376 employment opportunities which is also an increase from last fall. Chairman Kast reported that the current fall to spring retention rate is consistent with this time last year. He reported on the number of academic coaching sessions, outreach opportunities with students and the number of Captain’s Care referrals.

Chairman Kast said that an important initiative in the spring is Signing Day for our second-year students. This is when students declare their major and this year 92% of the students participated. He also said that preparations are underway for May Commencement, Setting Sail which happens in the summer and the arrival of freshmen in August.

Dr. Hughes highlighted for the committee the impact of our student leaders and how they care and interact with students on a regular basis. Mr. Kast said student leaders receive extensive training and monthly trainings continue throughout the year.

Chairman Kast said that the outgoing Panhellenic President presented to the committee on the Panhellenic recruitment process and she shared specifics about each phase, its purpose, and how this approach helps match women successfully with their sorority.

Lastly, Mr. Kast reported that PLP students led the way in service outings this year topping the 20,000 hour mark for the Fall 2018 semester!

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Ermatinger said that the construction of the Fine Arts Center and Band Rehearsal Hall are well underway. Construction costs are still being projected but CNU is committed to staying within the $57 million budget although there have been dramatic increases in steel and other materials.

Mr. Ermatinger reported that the parking lot project in front of the library is near completion, the brick paver roadway project by Luter is complete and the demolition of the turf field has begun.

Mr. Brauer presented an overview of the history of capital development of CNU and shared a series of aerial photographs. Mr. Ermatinger said that the community does not realize that the transformation of CNU has had a huge economic impact on our community and the lives of our residents are better for it.

Student Assembly Report

President Aylor updated the Board on several Student Assembly initiatives stating that the Assembly would be hosting its first Executive Leadership Forum featuring President Trible and other administrators at the University. The forum will provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the roles of the administrators and ask questions about campus initiatives. Additionally he said that students are being surveyed to determine interest in a shuttle service to transport them to regional areas during holiday breaks. He also said that the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee is preparing for allocations for the 10 anchor organizations. Lastly, Mr. Aylor said that spring elections for the 5 positions on the Executive Board would take place in the next several weeks.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Puaca updated the Board on the activities of the Faculty Senate. He said the Senate has been able to create a new Faculty Excellence Award for Interdisciplinarity which will be awarded for the first time this year. Currently, there are three faculty excellence awards in Teaching, Scholarship and Service which are awarded in August. He thanked Ms. Mary Sellen and the Provost for helping support these awards.

Dr. Puaca said that he was pleased so many of his colleagues received support for their projects through Faculty Development Grants and that many will have the opportunity to advance their work through sabbaticals. He thanked the Provost, President and Board for their support and commitment in funding these important initiatives.

Dr. Puaca said the Senate has been involved and supportive of the university’s ongoing diversity efforts and he is pleased to serve on the Council for Diversity and Inclusion as well as the diversity working group. The biggest challenges are to engage the campus community, inform them of its work and involve them in these efforts.

The Senate has requested that the commitment to reviewing the senior academic leadership continue. Dr. Puaca said that they would continue the practice of reviewing the deans on a three year cycle and that review will now include the Provost. Dr. Puaca also said the Senate is dedicated to a thorough review of the ways that student ratings of instruction are conducted. They are analyzing the use of the instruction instrument used called IDEA to determine the accuracy of the data, what it tells us, how we compare to other institutions and how we can improve.

Alumni Society Report

Mr. Kast reported that the enthusiastic work of the Alumni Society continues. He said there were five regional alumni parties which were all well attended and he thanked Ms. Lindsey Carney and Mr. Skip Smith for hosting one of these events again this year.

Mr. Kast said that the creation of a Student Alumni Society was a new initiative and replaces the former Senior Class Council. The Student Alumni Society is made up of students from sophomore, junior and senior classes and is led by seniors. It is intended to create a closer connection with alumni earlier in the University experience.The Alumni Society is geared up for CNU Day and they are ready to be the first Board to have 100% giving rate for a third year in a row. He said that all alumni chapters are planning a CNU Day celebration and all affinity chapters are working on CNU Day social media support. He said the regional chapters are organizing their annual Welcome Home events that welcome new graduates to the locations where they will begin their new professional lives or graduate studies. Mr. Kast said the Career Committee was working with the Center for Career Planning to facilitate various alumni hosting a student for a day during spring break. The Captains Committee is partnering with Dean Lange on the engagement of alumni leaders in the recruitment of future Captains. Lastly, he reported that the Lois Wright Cup was being announced in March. This is named after Christopher Newport’s first graduate, Lois Wright and will be awarded to the class with the highest annual giving percentage for FY19.

Rector Hatten thanked Provost Doughty for hosting his sister Dr. Mary Beth Hatten as the guest speaker for the Dean’s Colloquium. He said she was very impressed with CNU and our students who were engaged and understood the issues presented.

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, (a)(2) Student Issues 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. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Steve Kast, Ms. Maria Herbert, Dr. Ella Ward, Ms. Kellye Walker and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

The Board reviewed Dr. Hoag’s appeal and the materials he submitted.  The Board also reviewed the documents of the faculty, the Dean, the Provost and President - all of which concluded with the decision of the administration to deny tenure.  After full discussion and consideration, Rector Hatten moved that the Board of Visitors affirm the decision to deny tenure and the request for a hearing.  Mr. Millar seconded the motion to deny tenure and the request for a hearing.  There was no further discussion and the decision of the administration was affirmed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Hatten called for approval of Resolution 3: Promotions of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 4: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and Resolution 5: Faculty Sabbatical Leaves which were discussed in closed session. Mr. Jennings provided the motion, which was seconded by Dr. Ward and Resolutions 3, 4 and 5 were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President Trible told the Board that CNU once again received a Perfect “A” rating from ACTA for the rigor of our core curriculum which underscores the extraordinary job done to create a rich and rigorous academic curriculum.

President Trible also thanked the Board for naming the Reading Room in the Trible Library for Rosemary Trible and said the celebration was a wonderful event. He told the Board that Rosemary is going to be honored by the General Assembly with a Resolution for her extraordinary work with Fear to Freedom and her efforts to combat sexual violence on college campuses.

There was a discussion regarding the standards and process for termination of faculty for cause and Rector Hatten requested that legal counsel, Ms. Matsen, examine the procedures implemented at other institutions.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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