Board of Visitors

Operations, Audit and Risk Committee Meeting September 24, 2021

The Operations, Audit and Risk Committee met on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in the Freeman Center, Room 202 with Chair Terri McKnight presiding.

Present from the Committee

  • Mrs. Terri M. McKnight, CPA, Chair
  • The Honorable Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.

Present from the University

  • Mrs. Ashleigh Andrews, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Planning
  • Mrs. Faith Belote, Director of University Audit
  • Mr. Andrew Crawford, Chief Information Officer
  • Mrs. Stephanie Hautz, Director of Human Resources
  • Mrs. Sarah Herzog, Director of Budget and Planning
  • Mrs. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Finance and Planning/Chief Financial Officer
  • Ms. Christine Ledford, Vice President for Administration and Auxiliary Services
  • Ms. Olga Lipatova, Faculty Senate Representative
  • Mrs. Adelia Thompson, Chief of Staff
  • Mrs. Rhonda Wissinger, Executive Assistant

Public in attendance

  • None

Chair McKnight called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone in attendance.

Approval of Minutes from the June 11, 2021 Operations, Audit and Risk Committee Meeting

Chair McKnight asked if everyone had a chance to review the minutes from the June 11, 2021, Operations, Audit and Risk Committee meeting and asked if there were any edits needed for the minutes. No edits were needed, however, there were not enough members of the Committee present to have a quorum and the approval of minutes was deferred to the November meeting.

Chair McKnight introduced Mrs. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Finance and Planning/CFO, to report on the following:

Annual ARMICS (Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards) Certification and Management Summary

Mrs. Latour reported the annual ARMICS Certification and management summary is a Commonwealth of Virginia mandate. The ARMICS agency level evaluation is completed every three years, with the next agency level evaluation due in FY 23. No internal weaknesses were found as of June 30, 2021; therefore, Christopher Newport University will report there were No Significant or Insignificant Weaknesses in Internal Control to the Department of Accounts using the new online ARMICS Certification System, which Diane Reed, University Comptroller, and President Trible, will certify by the due date of September 30, 2021.

Virginia Department of Human Resources Annual Report on Workforce Management/Succession Planning

Mrs. Latour provided an overview of the workforce management/succession plan for the years of 2019-2021. The workforce management/succession plan serves as a risk assessment and identifies employees who are eligible to retire within 5 years. The report also identifies critical and Executive Leadership positions, which if left vacant, would be detrimental to the health and safety of the work place. The report not only looks at retirement eligibility, but turnover and retention rates, and breaks data down by Diversity and Inclusion metrics. For the 2021 year, the report shows that there are 1,049 employees, with 178 (17%) near retirement, 79 are critical positions with 15 of those near retirement and 10 Executive Leadership positions with 4 of those near retirement.

Biennial Report on Spans of Control

Mrs. Latour reported that as a result of a JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission) study, the General Assembly requires an annual spans of control analysis for public institutions of higher education. This analysis reviews how many employees are assigned to a supervisor. Mrs. Latour provided an overview of the Organizational chart and the University Policy on spans of control that has been adopted by the University Policy Committee. She also reported that the target median is 5 with our actual number being 3 and there were 1,319 positions with 16% being supervisory. Human Resources annually reviews the units that have less than or more than 5 direct reports.

Resolution 4: Update University Retirement Plan Committee Members

Mrs. Latour presented Resolution 4: Update University Retirement Plan Committee Members. The update reflects that members of the University Retirement Plan Committee be designated by position, rather than by name. Since we did not have a quorum, the committee was not able to vote and a recommendation for approval will be made to the Board.

Chair McKnight introduced Mrs. Faith Belote, Director of University Audit to report on the following:

Report from the University Internal Auditor

Mrs. Belote, reported the NCAA audit is complete and planning is underway for the Laboratory Safety audit. The third search for the Information Technology (IT) Internal Auditor position has begun and will close on October 12th. We are also utilizing cooperative state contracts, requests for information have been sent to various consulting service providers to co-source the performance of the disaster recovery plan audit. The submission due date is September 30th and the audit time frame is anticipated during the fall semester.

The NCAA audit report showed there are currently 18 open audit points targeted for completion by March 15, 2022, with a system implementation by July 1, 2022. The target completion date for the Admission audit has been extended to November 1, 2021 due to the priority of fulfilling the freshman class. One audit point has closed and there are currently 12 open audit points.

Mrs. Belote has confirmed that the internal audit activity is independent and objective in performing its audit work. Auditors have maintained an impartial, unbiased attitude. There has been no personal conflict of interest. There have been no restrictions of access to all functions, records, personnel and properties. 

Resolution 5: Amendment to the Audit Committee Charter

Mrs. Belote presented Resolution 5: Amendment to the Audit Committee Charter to the committee and reported the approved bylaws on April 16, 2021, revised the responsibilities of the Operations, Audit and Risk Committee. Therefore, revisions are recommended to the Committee Charter. Since we did not have a quorum, the committee was not able to vote and a recommendation for approval will be made to the Board. Chair McKnight recommended that the Audit Committee Charter be updated again at the November meeting to include receiving periodic reports from ARMICS and Emergency Management.

Mrs. Belote presented the report for the Annual Quality Assurance and Improvement Program. This report is required annually. The report for FY 2021 has assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal audit activity and identified goals for FY 2022. The performance of the internal assessment confirmed the internal audit activity’s conformance with the IIA Standards and identified supplemental quality enhancements.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.

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