Board of Visitors

Presidential Search Committee Meeting January 28, 2022

The Presidential Search Committee met on January 28, 2022 at 8:00 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
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq., Chair and Rector
  • 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
  • Mr. Hayden Olsen
  • Dr. Tatiana Rizova
  • Ms. Jamilia Shipman
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason
  • Mr. Alan Witt

Absent from the Committee 

  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.*
  • Ms. Christy T. Morton*

*Listened to the meeting remotely, but did not participate

From the University

  • Mr. Bruce Bronstein, Interim Chief Communications Officer
  • Mrs. Sherry Crotts, Executive Administrative Assistant
  • Mrs. Amie Dale, Executive Director of University Events and Special Projects
  • Mrs. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Finance and Planning and CFO
  • Ms. Kelley Ann McGee-Sousa, University Storyteller/Writer

From the Office of the Attorney General

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

Others in Attendance

  • Mr. Martin Baker, Managing Partner, Buffkin / Baker
  • Ms. Sierra Jenkins, Virginia Media: The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press
  • Mr. Joshua A. Grimes, Captains Log
  • Mr. Aiden Rucker, Student

At 8:03 a.m. Chair Hatten called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone present.

Chair Hatten called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the January 7, 2022 meeting. Mr. Martin provided the motion, which was seconded by Mr. Kast and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Committee.

Chair Hatten confirmed that at the last meeting of the search committee they agreed to ask Mr. Martin Baker of Buffkin / Baker to join the committee as their search consultant and, subsequent to the meeting, a contract between Mr. Baker and the University was executed.

Chair Hatten referenced the draft committee charge discussed at the last meeting and said that amendments had been made to the charge after consultation with our consultant, Martin Baker. Amendments include a reaffirmation in the charge of the priorities and accomplishments of the last 25 years to be used as a foundation for the characteristics and values of the new president. Secondly, the new president and the University will aspire to build on that foundation in which we are all familiar. Third, the integrity of the search process needs to be protected with confidentiality as it relates to the applicants and, with this in mind, it is recommended that the search will be a Closed Search. Fourth, under the strong recommendation from Mr. Baker, the committee charge has been revised to recommend to the Board a range of 2-5 candidates. Chair Hatten said that Mr. Millar was a helpful consultant in this process and he thanked him.

Chair Hatten took comments about the committee charge and search process and Mr. Baker was asked to define the Closed Search process. He said the context of a Closed Search is really about the candidates in the search and that as we move forward we are going to actively seek input and engagement from all of the stakeholders and that it will be open and engaging. Once the committee starts discussing candidates in the pool, all of those discussions will be confidential leading up and into the committee recommendation of the finalist to the Board of Visitors who will also keep those names confidential. Throughout the search process, the Chair will be giving regular updates to the community and campus but the names of the candidates will be confidential throughout the process until the new president is announced.

Chair Hatten asked for a motion to present the charge as presented to the Board of Visitors at its next meeting on February 4, 2022. Ms. McKnight made the motion, seconded by Ms. Herbert and the motion passed by unanimous vote of the committee.

Mr. Baker made a presentation and discussed with the Committee the draft timeline for the next year (posted on BoardDocs), search process, review of public forums and survey/open forum questions (posted on BoardDocs). He said that in February and March there will be a number of listening sessions, open forums as well as small group targeted listening sessions. Open forums will be publicly notified with broad invitations to faculty, staff and students. These forums will be an opportunity to listen to colleagues and is an active part of the search to learn what is on people’s minds, for voices to be heard and to shape the position profile. Once feedback is developed, the Committee will get together and fine tune the position profile and it will be shared with the Board of Visitors one week before the April 14, 2022 meeting of the Board and will be a tool to articulate to prospective candidates what is unique and special about the opportunity of becoming the next president of Christopher Newport University. After the planning and preparation stage, they will begin the recruitment of candidates, followed by candidate review and interviews and lastly, final visits and successful completion of the search.

Chair Hatten recommended the Committee meet again in March to discuss the input from the forums and online survey questions. In the meantime, Mr. Baker will discuss individually with members of the committee the survey questions and hold open forums which will frame the March meeting and ensure everyone is working from the same foundation. The committee agreed to meet again on Friday, March 11, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Chair Hatten made a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Mr. Ermatinger. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:16 a.m.

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