Board of Visitors Meeting February 7, 2020 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting February 7, 2020

The Board of Visitors met on February 7, 2020 in the Board Room of the David Student Union with Rector Robert R. Hatten presiding.

Present from the Board

  • 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
  • Ms. Christy T. Morton
  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason
  • Kellye L. Walker, Esq.
  • Mr. Junius H. Williams, Jr.

Absent from the Board

  • The Honorable Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.

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. Tatiana Rizova, Faculty Senate President
  • Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success
  • Dr. Kevin Hughes, Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Mr. Robert Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Mr. Henry Womble, Student Government Association President
  • Mr. Jim Hanchett, Chief Communications Officer
  • Ms. Christine Ledford, Senior Associate VP for Administration and Finance
  • Mr. Keith Roots, Assistant VP for University Advancement
  • Ms. Katie Wellbrock, Associate Dean of Students
  • Ms. Julianna Wait, University Registrar
  • Mr. Curtis Davidson, Director of Admission Operations


  • Mr. Matt Jones, Daily Press

Rector Hatten welcomed everyone present and then asked President Trible to introduce the guests and new Board member. President Trible said he was delighted that the Governor had recently appointed Christy Morton to our Board. She is a Christopher Newport graduate and is Vice President for External Affairs for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. He told the Board that she was instrumental in the development of the strategy for the Amazon deal.

President Trible said at the Board meetings we usually hear from our “Generals” but he also wanted the Board to meet the “Colonels” who also make Christopher Newport so successful. He introduced Ms. Christine Ledford, Senior Associate VP for Administration and Finance; Mr. Keith Roots, Assistant VP for University Advancement; Ms. Katie Wellbrock, Associate Dean of Students; Ms. Julianna Wait, University Registrar; and Mr. Curtis Davidson, Director of Admission Operations. He said they are all remarkable colleagues.

Rector Hatten welcomed Christy Morton and said he is looking forward to working with her. He then he asked each person at the table to introduce themselves.

Rector Hatten then called for a motion to approve the minutes of the Board meeting held on September 20, 2019. Mr. Ermatinger provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Wason and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

President's Report

President Trible introduced the student speaker Ms. Elizabeth Ellis and asked her to talk about herself and her experiences at Christopher Newport.

Ms. Ellis thanked the Board for the invitation to participate in the Board meeting. She said she is a senior majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Leadership Studies and Biology. She told the Board about her study abroad experience at Cape Town University and that her passion is pediatric neurology. She said she is actively involved on campus and is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and President of Order of Omega. Ms. Ellis talked about her wonderful experience as a Student Ambassador in Admission. She said that CNU has created a culture of high standards and constantly helps students succeed.

President Trible congratulated Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith for becoming the Managing Partner of Patten, Wornom, Hatten and Diamonstein. He reminded the board of the upcoming dedication of the Carney – Smith Room in the Freeman Center and thanked Ms. Carney for her generous support of CNU.

President Trible gave a brief update on the General Assembly session and told the Board he had been spending a great deal of time in Richmond. He thanked the Board for their assistance and outreach to the members of the General Assembly.

President Trible announced that Princeton Review just named Christopher Newport as one of the 200 “Best Value Colleges” in the country. Of this 200 only 63 are public colleges and universities and only 4 public institutions in Virginia are in that group. He said that Princeton review underscored our culture of kindness and the sense of expectation possessed by our students and faculty. He also told the Board that the Luter School was awarded reaffirmation from the AACSB for business schools. Only 5% of business schools in the country earn this affirmation which reflects our commitment to academic programs and superb facilities.

President Trible said that we had a wonderful celebration of Martin Luther King and that afternoon academic sessions were paused for the activities. He told the Board there was a two- hour session in the Diamonstein Concert Hall which included the reading of a speech by one of our students who won the right to represent the student body at this event in a competition and there were panel discussions which included several board members – Mr. Steve Kast and Sheriff Gabe Morgan. Justice John Charles Thomas, first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of Virginia addressed the President’s Leadership students and university community that evening with a powerful presentation.

He told the Board that the next President’s Leadership speakers would be three former colleagues and friends from the House and Senate – Senator Bill Nelson, Congressman Jim Slattery and Congressman Don Bonker. President Trible said that the last speaker this year will be Ms. Emily Egress who is in her 3rd year of medical school. She is a CNU graduate and spoke several years ago at our donor luncheon. He said he wanted our students to see a young woman who was a leader, who is pursuing excellence and is the age of our students.

He told the Board he spoke at the invitation of President Harvey at Hampton University’s Founder’s Day. He said he was awed by the power and beauty of their choir and invited them to attend CNU and perform at the Ferguson Center. Dr. Harvey suggested charging for the tickets with the proceeds to be used for scholarships.

Finance and Audit Committee Report

Chairman Jennings reviewed with the Board the Statement of Revenue and Expenses as of December 31, 2019. He outlined the variances and said the payment due date for spring invoices was moved up from January 6 to December12 to provide more time to work with students who are having financial difficulties before the start of classes in the Spring. He said that all percentage totals and percentage budgets are in line when compared to prior years and said that the Ferguson Center is remaining strong with a $500,000 improvement over the prior year. He also said that the added revenues from Comp Fee and other income resulted in a total reserve balance of $21 million.

Chairman Jennings said the Committee reviewed the SWaM report and said our goal is 42% and our overall actual at this time is 35% with six months remaining. This compares favorably to the State at 31% and is slightly below all education at 38%.
The Committee was provided with an overview of the University’s Information Technology department by Ms. Jennifer Latour. She reviewed the organization and governance structures, the campus infrastructure and provided a comparison to other Virginia public institutions.
Chairman Jennings said the committee was also briefed on the current status of the General Assembly Session and the University’s budget requests and full briefing will be provided at the April meeting about the final outcome. President Trible said the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee met with the presidents and shared that they were considering the idea of offering universities money in return for freezing tuition. There are three bills, two of which would provide $25 million for all the schools which would be insufficient and the third would offer $50 million which he said is more in line with last year. He noted that there was no funding in the governor’s budget for state employees but there is an effort on both the House and Senate side to provide additional funding to increase compensation of employees.

Chairman Jennings said the Committee received the Internal Audit Report from Ms. Faith Belote. He said that the IT Internal Auditor position was filled but the search of the Senior Internal Auditor is ongoing. The University Cybersecurity audit report was presented and the Facilities Management-Contract Administration audit is complete. There are eleven open audit points which are to be completed by December 31, 2020.

Chairman Jennings said the Committee reviewed four Resolutions which come to the full Board for approval at the recommendation of the Committee.

Resolution 1: Cancellation of Accounts Receivable Considered Uncollectible is a Resolution that comes to the Board each year. The total write off is $92,000 which is seven-hundredths of a percent of the total non-general fund revenues. Collection efforts continue in house, through outside collection agencies and the Office of the Attorney General through the Debt-Offset program with the state. Rector Hatten called for any discussion or questions and the vote by the Board for approval was unanimous.

Resolution 2: Declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse the Cost of Expenditures for Capital Project from the Proceeds of Bonds. This reimbursement resolution is required by the IRS to begin the start of the Integrated Science Center Project with our own funds and will be reimbursed when tax exempt debt is issued in the future. Rector Hatten called for any discussion or questions and then called for a vote on Resolution 2, which passed by unanimous vote.

Resolution 3: Public Comment on Tuition and Mandatory Fees was reviewed. Chairman Jennings said this is a new requirement passed during the last Session of the General Assembly and establishes the process for the public to offer comments to the Board when increases to undergraduate tuition or mandatory fees are proposed. Rector Hatten called for any questions and discussion and Resolution 3 was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Resolution 4: Tuition for Graduate Programs is a resolution that proposes graduate tuition and fees for 2020-2021. He explains this Resolution sets tuition and fees for the new Masters of Financial Analysis and sets the rates for the continuing graduate programs. Rector Hatten called for any questions or discussion and then called for a vote on Resolution 4 which passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Chairman Hunter thanked Ms. Wason for filling in for the first part of the meeting and then asked the Provost to share the highlights of the meeting.

Provost Doughty reported that at the beginning of the year there were 287 faculty with an initial goal to reach 290 next year. However, the money awarded through the Tech Talent Initiative Program included funds for additional faculty so our goal will be 291. He said the year started with 19 searches and ten of these searches were finished before Christmas noting that the faculty salary increases over the last several years has made it easier to offer competitive salaries. Each year the Board is required to approve the range for faculty salaries by instructional rank which is set forth in Resolution 5: Plan of Compensation.

He also explained Resolution 6: Exclusion of Certain Officers/Directors in Accordance with National Industry Security Program which allows Board members to be excluded from the security clearance required of certain officers of the University. These security clearances are required if our faculty are to obtain grants and contracts which require them to have security clearances. This resolution is being updated to include our newest Board member Ms. Christy Morton.

Provost Doughty reported that 12 deposits have been received for the new Master of Financial Analysis degree program which begins Fall 2020 and 6 applicants have been admitted with an additional 2 who will soon be admitted. He said the curriculum is ready and registration takes place in March.

Provost Doughty said the Community Captains program was underway. The mentoring process has been continuing and students have been on campus shadowing their CNU mentors in classes. He said that we are now working on recruitment of our second cohort of Community Captains which will have participants from all six Newport News schools.

He told the Board that several curriculum initiatives are underway – a Cybersecurity major, Data Science minor and Kinesiology. Provost Doughty said that we are losing up to 40 students per year who are admitted to CNU but choose other universities to study Kinesiology. He said this will strengthen our positon in STEM and falls under the Biology major so no approval from SCHEV is required.

Additionally, Provost Doughty said that he and the President began exploring the idea of a major in leadership and the Provost proposed the creation of an Adjunct Major in Leadership. He said this major must be taken as a second major and cannot be taken as a first or primary major. The proposal has made it through the curriculum process and will be approved to begin this coming fall.

Provost Doughty said the Tech Talent Pipeline funding was awarded and CNU was the only non-doctoral university to receive this funding. The funds are being used this year to hire one faculty member, obtain additional administrative and recruiting help, equip our cybersecurity lab and provide scholarships for students. He also said the we are finalizing a 4+1 Masters degree program with Virginia Tech which allows our Computer Science and Computer Engineering students to take undergraduate courses at Christopher Newport and transfer to Tech’s innovation campus and be assured of finishing in one year.

Provost Doughty said the Summer Scholars program continues to grow and is now in its 6th year. This year there were 60 proposals with 55 of them being funded. He said the continuing increase in proposals reflects the increasing visibility of undergraduate research and provides the opportunity for our students and faculty to work together.

Chairman Hunter said that Resolutions 5 and 6 come to the Board for approval at the recommendation of the Committee. Rector Hatten called for questions or discussion on Resolutions 5 and 6. The Board voted unanimously to approve Resolution 5 and Resolution 6.

Student Life Committee Report

Mr. Brad Hunter chaired the Committee meeting in Sheriff Morgan’s absence. As President Trible reported, the “Colonels” are reporting today for their “Generals” and he asked Mr. Lange, to introduce Mr. Curtis Davidson for the admission report.

Mr. Davidson reported that applications for fall 2020 are running parallel with last year and the average GPA is 3.89. He also said that the number of applications for both the President’s Leadership Program and Honors Program are running ahead of last year.

Mr. Davidson told the Board that he is the liaison with our two application vendors, The Common Application and the Coalition for College Application which launched last fall. This Coalition includes James Madison, Virginia Tech and William and Mary and applicants can complete one application and submit to any member college. He told the Board that new software packages are being reviewed to broaden our communications.

Mr. Davidson said that he is working with the Fine Arts Department to develop publications, enhance communications and an on-line process for submitting portfolios in order to double the enrollment this year. Similarly he said he is working with the Tech Talent and Stem programs to help increase enrollment in these areas.

Mr. Davidson said the Community Captains was well underway and was a great collaboration with the Newport News schools. He thanked the Provost, Dr. Colvin and Mr. Stephenson who was recently hired as a day-to-day manager of that program, for their efforts on this initiative.

He told the Board that tonight there is a Presidential Scholar Selection dinner and Saturday we will host a President’s Leadership Program and Honors visit day. Other upcoming recruitment efforts include off-campus visits, admitted students days and a Counselor luncheon. Mr. Davidson said that interviews, presentations, campus tours, and personalized contacts are being done to complete applications and encourage deposits.

Rector Hatten commended President Trible and CNU for creating the Community Captains Program for the benefit of students in Newport News. He said that even though they will not all come to Christopher Newport, these students are getting great exposure about what a college education is all about and hopefully they will develop a commitment to go to college and have a better life.

Julianna Wait, University Registrar, introduced herself and said she has worked with Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines for many years and is grateful for her guidance and support. She reported on the many services that we provide to our students including creating a unique schedule customized to their individual needs. She said the students are then enrolled into one of our living and learning communities which provides the students with a solid foundation from the beginning of their academic career.

Ms. Wait said that the 9th Signing Day was recently held and was a huge success. She said this has become a valued tradition for our second-year students when they declare their major and sign in front of a faculty representative. At the event there are internship posters so the students can learn what positions they can pursue with their declared major. She also said that the Internship and Graduate School Fair was held and over 60 organizations participated and more than 500 students attended.

Ms. Wait said that many students have been utilizing the academic coaching that is available and are attending various workshops on improving study skills. She shared that our students are assigned a faculty core advisor in their first two years and this is a wonderful resource to keep our students on track to graduate. The core advisors help with deciding a career path and what steps are necessary to pursue that career, what courses are required, etc. They also provide information about internships and study abroad opportunities and provide a way for the students and faculty to connect closely with one another.

Ms. Katie Wellbrock, Associate Dean of Students, said that her time has included her work on orientation, student engagement and she has worked in the Office of Student Activities. She said there is emphasis placed on the meaningful connections that we provide our students and that we want them to be engaged and be involved in our community and to lead lives of significance. Ms. Wellbrock said that CNU’s signature program is the President’s Leadership Program where a significant amount of attention is placed on personal relationships. PLP students are required to perform100 hours of community service but most do many more. She said that to date, over 100 students have earned Service Distinction requiring 140 hours of service and Service Distinction Leaders earn over 400 hours of community service. She said Greek Life thrives at Christopher Newport and our students who are involved in Greek Life perform higher academically and these students perform thousands of hours of community service as well.

Building and Grounds Committee Report

Chairman Ermatinger said the members of the Committee toured the remarkable Fine Arts Center which is to be completed by Spring 2021. He said the project was on schedule and on budget.

Student Assembly Report

Mr. Henry Womble reported that the Student Assembly has officially changed its name to the Student Government Association. In the coming weeks there will be student body elections for the new leadership positions next year. A Student Safety Committee has been established, new members have joined the various Greek Life organizations, and the Student Honor Council has inducted its new members. Additionally he said that over 14,000 students attended more than 35 events hosted on campus this year.

Faculty Senate Report

Dr. Tatiana Rizova, Faculty Senate President, said she was honored to work with such incredible students and faculty and talented leaders with vison. She said the faculty are very grateful for the support of faculty development grants and sabbaticals. She said that the sabbaticals help faculty produce articles and books that impact the intellectual community and raise the profile of the university. She expressed their gratitude for allowing time for this solitude and time of deep reflection.

She said the faculty were very grateful to be a part of the celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King and she was honored to be personally involved and the faculty were very supportive of our efforts to honor this day. She said there is a great interest in supporting inclusion and diversity initiatives across campus. Another matter that is of importance to the Faculty Senate is climate change and sustainability.

President Trible said that Dr. Rizova gave an eloquent presentation at the Dr. Martin Luther King ceremony and asked her to share with the Board how Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech made a profound impact on her life.

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) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising. Dr. Ward 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, Ms. Terri McKnight, Mr. Brad Hunter, Ms. Judy Wason, Ms. Maria Herbert, Dr. Ella Ward, Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Steve Kast, Ms. Christy Morton, Mr. Junius Williams, Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith, Ms. Kellye Walker and Rector Bobby Hatten certified to the above.

Rector Hatten called for a vote on Resolution 7: Promotions of Instructional Faculty; Resolution 8: Tenured Appointments of Instructional Faculty and Resolution 9: Faculty Sabbaticals, all of which come before the Board at the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. The Resolutions were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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