Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting May 31, 2019

The Board of Visitors met on May 31, 2019 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Bobby Hatten presiding.

Present from the Board

  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Ms. Maria Herbert
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. W. Bruce Jennings
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • The Honorable Gabriel Morgan
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar
  • Kellye Walker, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason
  • Mr. Junius Williams

Absent from the Board

  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.
  • Mr. William Ermatinger
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast

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
  • Maureen Matsen, Esq., University Counsel
  • 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. Henry Womble, Student Assembly President
  • Dr. Tatiana Rizova, Faculty Senate President
  • Mr. Jim Hanchett, Chief Communications Officer
  • Mr. Tom Kramer, Director of External Affairs


  • Mr. Matt Jones, Daily Press

Rector Hatten welcomed everyone present. Rector Hatten thanked Mr. Scott Millar for his eight years of unselfish and devoted service to Christopher Newport and the Board of Visitors. Mr. Millar said it has been an honor and he looks forward to serving on the Education Foundation and staying involved with the University. Mr. Bruce Jennings expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation for Mr. Millar’s commitment to CNU and said it had been a tremendous pleasure and honor to work with him through the years.

Rector Hatten then called for a motion to approve the minutes of the Board meeting held on April 26, 2019. Dr. Ella Ward provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Terri McKnight and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible said that we had brought to a close another wonderful academic year. He reported that the Commencement Ceremony was a great success and that the remarks of Rector Hatten and our speaker, Suzanne Scheuble, touched minds and hearts. He said that Ms. Scheuble told through her life’s story what it means to lead and live a life of meaning, consequence and purpose.

President Trible also acknowledged Mr. Millar’s remarkable contributions to Christopher Newport and thanked him for bringing his intellect, heart, emotion and passion to this special place. He said that Mr. Hatten and Mr. Kast’s terms on the Board also come to end. President Trible thanked Mr. Hatten and Mr. Kast for their extraordinary service and leadership on the Board and expressed his hope that they will be reappointed for a second term.

President Trible said that once again we will have an extraordinary freshman class and thanked Mr. Rob Lange and everyone on campus for their hard work in recruiting these outstanding students.

Dr. Tatiana Rizova, the new Faculty Senate President, was introduced and welcomed by President Trible. He told the Board that Dr. Rizova had spent the last semester in Scotland and led the program at the University of Glasgow which was attended by 22 students. He said that he looks forward to working with Dr. Rizova and the Faculty Senate in the upcoming year.

President Trible was pleased to report on the new partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College. He said the agreement will allow some TNCC students to take classes at CNU toward degrees in technology and engineering. This program will help meet a demand for more people with degrees in the STEM disciplines.

President Trible told the Board that our students in the Luter School of Business won the 2019 Bloomberg Trading Challenge – a national competition that tests the investment skills of 266 teams from 81 universities – including undergraduate and graduate students.

Finance and Audit and Committee Report

Chairman Bruce Jennings said the Auditor of Public Accounts presented the June 30, 2018 Audit to the Committee. He said that they issued a clean opinion with no material issues. He also said that there was a separate report on internal control and compliance which did not identify any material weaknesses. Chairman Jennings said that past audit issues had been resolved and there were no instances of fraudulent or illegal acts and no material audit adjustments were necessary on the financial statements.

Chairman Jennings reviewed with the Board the Statements of Revenues and Expenses as of March 31, 2019 noting the variances in the increase in net income, student aid and scholarship expenses and payment of debt service. He said the Committee found all variances within reason as compared to the prior year. He said that with the added revenues from the comp fee and other income, the total reserve balance is $20.7 million. Mr. Jennings did note that the Ferguson Center continues to greatly improve and hopes to have a positive balance by the end of the year.

Chairman Jennings reported that CNU continues to do well on its SWaM goal with participation at 47% on $15.8 million in expenditures against a goal of 42%. In addition, we continue to exceed our goals in small business, women-owned businesses and minority businesses.

He reported that the auditors from the state had no issues with our Internal Audit Department and the annual risk based audit plan was approved as presented. Lastly, Chairman Jennings said that six audit points have been closed and there are currently 10 open audit points to be completed by October.

Mr. Jennings said the committee received updates on the progress of the Six Year Plan and the Tech Talent Investment Program. The Six Year Plan will be presented to the Board for review and action at the September Board meeting. He noted that we are awaiting notice from Richmond regarding the status of our Tech Talent proposal.

Mr. Jennings said the Committee reviewed the 2019 Operating Budget and pointed out that the university’s fiscal year 2020 operating budget is $174.1 million and increased revenues are primarily from state general funds. The budget includes an increase of approximately $1 million in state financial aid and the administration recommends level funding for the Funds for Excellence Scholarship next year and the Committee agreed with that recommendation. New expenditures include the university’s share of employee raises and associated fringe benefits, increases in repair and maintenance accounts, funds to support faculty development grants, undergraduate research and increased counseling services for evening hours. Also funds are being held in reserve for capital expenses for minor renovations or campus improvements and the new residence hall that will come on line in 2020. Chairman Jennings said two resolutions come to the full Board at the recommendation of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Mr. Jennings explained that RESOLUTION 1: Declaring the Intention to Reimburse the Cost of Certain Expenditures allows the university to be reimbursed by the state for the athletic expansion of the turf fields. Rector Hatten called for any questions or discussion on Resolution 1. The Board then passed the Resolution by unanimous vote.

Rector Hatten called for questions or discussion regarding RESOLUTION 2: Budget Resolution Fiscal Year 2019-2020. Rector Hatten then called for approval of Resolution 2 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Hatten asked Mr. Brauer to explain the changes in the operation of the Ferguson Center which is now generating more revenue. Mr. Brauer said that several factors contribute to this. In part, we are using a management company to rent our facility using their national buying power to bring shows to the Ferguson Center. In addition, we have become more strategic about the performances we present and our fundraising efforts have been successful with the use of corporate sponsorships to help subsidize a number of our performances.

Student Life Committee Report

Chairman Morgan said that the Committee went to the public safety building and they were briefed by the Emergency Manager and Chief of Police on CNU’s emergency plan. He said that given what is happening nationally, the question is “are we ready?” Chairman Morgan was pleased to report that we are ready at CNU in the event of an emergency.

Mr. Morgan asked Mr. Robert Lange to share with the Board an admission update. Mr. Lange said we are in great shape with our freshman class and students will be arriving shortly for orientation at Setting Sail. The class profile is strong with a 3.8 GPA - which is the highest ever - and the average SAT is 1203. He said the number of students of color has increased and there are a record number of students in the President’s Leadership Program. He noted that other universities are going to their waitlist and we did not have to go to our waitlist to make the freshman class. President Trible said that there were only a handful of public universities who did not have to go to their waitlist and we were one and thanked Mr. Lange for his hard work. Mr. Lange said there were 1,284 deposits which will yield 1,225 to 1,240 freshmen. He said that the recruitment process for next year’s freshman class starts next week.

Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines presented a few highlights about the graduating class. She reported to the Board that there were 1,152 total degrees conferred. Of those, 303 of our students earned Latin Honors, over 100 graduates were in the Honors Program, over 200 students in the Leadership Program and 320 graduated with Service Distinction. She explained that to earn Service Distinction the student must perform at least 140 hours of community service individually and in combination our students performed over 100,000 hours of community service. Dr. Duncan Raines pointed out that 15% of the graduating class were legacy students.

Dr. Kevin Hughes provided a general overview of our police department, CNU’s safety and crime prevention measures and our notifications process. He reviewed the administrative structure and said that the Emergency Policy group advises the President of policy issues and notifies him when an emergency is ongoing. There is an Emergency Management Team in place that meets regularly to discuss what hazards may be experienced – weather, active shooter, lightning strike, etc. and how to respond to those situations. Dr. Hughes said that CNU works alongside the City of Newport News, state and federal agencies to be as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency.

Chairman Morgan commended Dean Lange on his phenomenal job of recruiting an outstanding freshman class, Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines on her support and efforts on the success of our students and Dr. Hughes for having CNU prepared as possible in the event of a crisis.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Brad Hunter reported that we are on track to have 287 faculty members by this fall which is an increase of five over last year and noted that four of those positions are funded by the state for the STEM fields. Additionally, he reported that we continue to increase the average faculty salary which keeps CNU competitive for hiring the most qualified faculty. Chairman Hunter said the Committee discussed the Tech Talent Pipeline and the proposal that was submitted. Dr. Bob Colvin reported to the Committee on the success of the Study Abroad Program stating that this year just over 400 students were able to take advantage of this opportunity. In many instances, CNU was able to provide some financial assistance.

He said that lastly there was a discussion about the Community Captains Program. Mr. Hunter told the Board that students and parents had recently been invited to campus to learn about this opportunity and they were excited and interested about the possible funds to support this program. The students will return to campus at various times throughout the year to meet with mentors, attend workshops, sporting and cultural events. Mr. Hunter said he was confident it was going to be a successful program and produce the high performing students we are looking for at CNU.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Mr. Scott Millar reported on the Building and Grounds Committee meeting. He told the Board that the Committee had a live look by surveillance cameras of construction sites on campus including the Fine Arts Center and Band Rehearsal Hall which is scheduled for completion by January 2021. He told the Board that the parking lot project in front of the library and the Warwick Boulevard lot is now complete. The construction of the Turf Field along Moore’s Lane is expected to be completed in August and there will be a grand unveiling and celebration of the Jennings family for their generous contribution. He thanked the Athletics Advisory Committee for their support and raising the initial funds for this project. Mr. Millar told the Board that a new residence hall is being constructed to replace CNU Crossing Apartments. The hall will have 80 beds and is expected to be completed in August 2020.

Student Assembly Report

President Trible welcomed Henry Womble the new Student Assembly President and thanked him for his leadership on campus.

Mr. Womble said that he is a rising senior and is studying finance and economics in the Luter School of Business. In addition he is a Student Ambassador in the Office of Admission and Transfer Ambassador in the Office of Student Engagement. He told the Board that he will be joining Dr. Kip Redick and other students on their El Camino hike in Spain. Mr. Womble reported they are renaming the organization to the Student Government Association known as SGA. He reported that last month the Office of Student Activities had an advance for all student organizations and also the SGA held a retreat to discuss goals and expectations for the upcoming year. Mr. Womble said the Appropriations committee allocated $330,000 for all the anchor organizations on campus. Lastly, he told the Board that senior week was successful and the graduation ceremony was wonderful. He thanked the Board for their support of the student body. Mr. Millar noted that Mr. Womble brings a unique view to our students as he is a transfer and out-of-state student.

Faculty Senate Report

Faculty Senate President Dr. Tatiana Rizova thanked the Rector for the opportunity to participate in the Board meetings and to introduce herself. She told the Board that the other members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee include Dr. Brian Puaca, Secretary and former President; Dr. Rachel Holland, Vice President; Dr. Roberto Flores, handbook liaison and Dr. Sean Connable, Parliamentarian.

Dr. Rizova said that the Executive Committee is currently drafting an agenda for the upcoming academic year and will solicit feedback from colleagues over the summer to draft that agenda. Topics will include returning student evaluations, allocation of resources for faculty research and sabbaticals and strategic planning for the future. She said the Faculty Senate is looking forward to working with administration and the Board and she expressed their appreciation for the support of faculty salary increases. Dr. Rizova told the Board that she became a nationalized citizen of the United States about one year ago and appreciated all the incredible support from her CNU colleagues.

Alumni Society Report

Ms. Terri McKnight reported that the nomination and election process is underway for new members and officers according to the new by-laws. She said that the Board members are in the process of end-of-year calling to alumni who have not given this year and that the Alumni Awards and Board Advance are scheduled for August. She reported that several reunions would be taking place, as well as the Sigma Pi Event in memory of Mike Hogge and the First Decaders annual picnic will take place in September. Ms. McKnight told the Board that four chapters were hosting “Welcome Home” events for our 2019 graduates. In addition, the Alumni Society will have on-site chapter leader training in August. Lastly, she said that another event which has become popular is the Captains Uncorked where a number of alumni get together and go to Charlottesville for a wine tour.

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)(9) Gift Bequest and Fundraising. Ms. Walker provided the motion, seconded by Mr. Millar 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. Junius Williams, Ms. Judy Wason, Ms. Maria Herbert, Mr. Gabe Morgan, Ms. Ward, Ms. Walker and Mr. Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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