Board of Visitors

Presidential Search Committee Meeting January 7, 2022

The Presidential Search Committee met on January 7, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. in the Boardroom of the David Student Union with Rector of the Board of Visitors and Presidential Search Committee Chair Bobby Hatten presiding.

Present from the committee

  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Rober R. Hatten, Esq., Chair
  • Ms. Maria Herbert
  • Dr. Rachel Holland
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Mr. Michael Martin
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • Mr. N. Scott Millar
  • Ms. Christy T. Morton
  • Mr. Hayden Olsen
  • Dr. Tatiana Rizova
  • Ms. Jamilia Shipman
  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason
  • Mr. Alan Witt

From the University

  • Ms. Sherry Crotts, Executive Administrative Assistant
  • Ms. Amie Dale, Executive Director of University Events and Special Projects
  • Ms. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer
  • Mr. Jered Beniot, Associate Director for Enterprise Services
  • Mr. Bruce Bronstein, Interim Chief Communications Officer

From the Office of the Attorney General

  • Deb Love, Esq., Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief, Education Section

Public in Attendance

  • None

At 11:00 a.m., Chair Hatten called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present for the first meeting of the Presidential Search Committee. Chair Hatten stressed the importance of the job before the committee and that the work of the committee will affect thousands of students, the community, and the state for years to come. He underscored that the committee members are all volunteers and were purposefully chosen to create a group that is balanced and composed of members with diverse backgrounds. There are 16 committee members, a majority of which are members of the Board of Visitors.

Each member of the committee introduced themselves and described their relationship to the University and their background.

Reference Book

Each member of the committee was given a copy of A Complete Guide to Presidential Search for Universities and Colleges (2nd Edition) by AGB Press. Chair Hatten said the book is meant to be a resource and roadmap for members to reference throughout the search process.

Legal Overview, Search Process and FOIA

Senior Assistant Attorney General Deb Love introduced herself and described her role as Counsel to the Committee. Ms. Love differentiated between her role as the lawyer representing the Committee and the separate jurisdiction of the University’s General Counsel who represents the Board of Visitors.

Ms. Love described what a search process and timeline could look like and also gave a detailed presentation on FOIA to members of the committee (posted on BoardDocs).

Confidentiality Agreement and Code of Ethics

Each member of the committee was given a Confidentiality Agreement and Code of Ethics which they were asked to sign and return for the records of the Committee. Ms. Love reviewed the Agreement in detail with the Committee.

Closed Session

Chair Hatten called for a motion that the meeting be convened in closed session, as permitted by Virginia Code Section 2.2–3711(A)(29) for the purpose of discussion of the award of a public contract involving the expenditure of public funds, including interviews of bidders and offerors, and discussion of the terms of scope of such contract, where discussion in an open session would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the public body, and under Section 2.2–3711(A)(8) for the purpose of consultation with legal counsel regarding the search. Mr. Witt seconded the motion and the motion was passed by unanimous vote the Committee.

All members of the public were asked to clear the room with the exception of Ms. Latour, Ms. Dale and Ms. Crotts who were asked by the Chair to remain. The Committee took a short break while lunch was served and the meeting continued in closed session.

Return to Open Session

Chair Hatten called for a motion to enter open session, seconded by Ms. Shipman and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the Committee.

The Committee returned to open session and Chair Hatten read the certification language: The Presidential Search Committee of Christopher Newport University certifies that, to the best of each member’s knowledge, (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements under this chapter were discussed in the closed meeting to which this certification applies, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed session was convened were heard, discussed or considered by the Committee.

Chair Hatten asked the Committee Members to certify that only public matters were discussed that were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was called and Mr. Ermatinger, Chair Hatten, Ms. Herbert, Dr. Holland, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Kast, Mr. Martin, Ms. McKnight, Mr. Millar, Ms. Morton, Mr. Olsen, Dr. Rizova, Ms. Shipman, Ms. Smith, Ms. Wason and Mr. Witt certified to the above through roll call.

Search Committee Charge

Chair Hatten read the draft Board of Visitors Charge to the Presidential Search Committee. After discussion by the Committee, the Charge to the Presidential Search Committee was approved with an amendment to Paragraph 6 to strike “a range of 3–5 candidates” and replace with “up to 5 candidates”. Chair Hatten called for a vote and the Committee unanimously approved the change to the draft Charge to the Presidential Search Committee.

Chair Hatten said he will present the Search Committee Charge to the Board of Visitors in the form of a resolution at their next meeting with the recommendation from the Committee suggesting “up to 5 candidates”.

Executive Search Firm

Chair Hatten recommended the Committee decide if they want the University to retain the Executive Search Firm, Buffkin / Baker based on the presentation and under the conditions of the state contract for the Buffkin/Baker firm. After the Committee discussion, Mr. Martin made the recommendation and it was seconded by Mr. Miller and approved by unanimous vote of the Committee.

Chair Hatten then invited Mr. Martin Baker of Buffkin/Baker to join the Committee in the Board Room and informed him that the Committee unanimously agreed to recommend that the University contract with his firm to conduct the search for the next president of Christopher Newport University.

Chair Hatten asked Mr. Baker to review the sequencing of steps and timetable for the search process. After discussion, the Committee and Mr. Baker agreed that they should meet again before the next board meeting to map out their search strategy, timeline and next steps. The Committee agreed to meeting again on Friday, January 28 at 8:00 a.m.

Chair Hatten made a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Mr. Kast. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

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