Board of Visitors Meeting April 14, 2022 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting April 14, 2022

The Board of Visitors met on April 14, 2022.

Present from the Board

  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Ms. Maria Herbert
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • The Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr.
  • Ms. Christy T. Morton
  • Dr. Lee Vreeland
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason

Absent from the Board

  • Ms. Regina P. Brayboy
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Mr. Sean D. Miller
  • Dr. Ella P. Ward

Present from the University

  • Paul S. Trible, Jr., President
  • Dr. David Doughty, Provost
  • Ms. Jennifer Latour, Vice President for Finance and Planning and CFO
  • Ms. Adelia Thompson, Chief of Staff
  • Ms. 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 of Student Affairs
  • Ms. Christine Ledford, Vice President for Administration and Auxiliary Service
  • Dr. Rachel Holland, Faculty Senate President
  • Ms. Mary Romanello, Student Government Association President
  • Mr. Bruce Bronstein, Interim Chief Communications Officer
  • Ms. Amie Dale, Executive Director of University Events and Special Projects
  • Mr. Rob Lange, Dean of Admission
  • Mr. Keith Roots, Vice President for University Advancement


  • Joshua Grimes, Editor in Chief of the Captains Log
  • Mr. Brian Eakes, Chair of the CNU Education Foundation
  • Mr. Spencer McDonald, Comptroller of the CNU Foundations
  • Mr. Doug Hornsby, CEO of the Real Estate Foundation
  • Mr. Martin Baker, Presidential Search Consultant

Rector Bobby Hatten welcomed everyone present and called for a moment of silence to remember Ms. Sierra Jenkins, a Daily Press Education Reporter who was recently killed.

Rector Hatten called for a motion to approve the minutes of the February 4, 2022 meeting. Ms. Judy Wason provided the motion, which was seconded by Ms. Christy Morton and the minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the Board.

Rector Hatten thanked the Board for their participation in the Board Self-Evaluation Survey. He reported that the consensus was that the Board is carrying out its duties well. Members highlighted that they are proud of the culture and values, the great relationships between students and the CNU community, the reputation of the university, enhanced D&I efforts and professionalism by students. Not surprisingly the presidential search ranked at the top of everyone’s mind. Rector Hatten instructed Vice Rector Brad Hunter to codify the process of Board Self-Evaluation for the by-laws.

President’s Report

President Trible thanked Rector Hatten and welcomed everyone. He noted that Washington & Lee honored Rector Hatten as the outstanding alumnus of the year and he congratulated Rector Hatten and offered a round of applause.

President Trible said he was pleased that there has been a drastic drop in the number of COVID cases and the ability to shift to a normal campus experience without mandated masks and strict mitigation measures.

President Trible was pleased to report that CNU has reigned supreme in athletics and won more than 78% of our games this year. He said that our national champion Women’s Soccer team is the only undefeated team in collegiate sports this year. The Captains are currently nationally ranked #1 in softball, #2 in men’s lacrosse and 15th in baseball. The men have advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament. Coach Broderick’s women’s team was ranked #1 for most of the season, won their first 26 games and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the tournament ending with a 26 –1 record.

President Trible said that over the past two weekends thousands of prospective students and their family members visited campus -- crowd sizes not seen since pre-COVID. To date over 7,500 applications have been received – the most since 2019 - and, most importantly, we have received 826 deposits which strongly suggests that we are moving back toward our historic number of 1200 freshmen. Moreover, the academic profile of students is strong -- on average, a 3.8 high school GPA, and 1224 SAT.

On March 25, the Wason Center hosted the inaugural “Dinner for the Common Good” celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Center and the leadership and generosity of Judy and Harry Wason. He said that the first 8 Wason Civic Leadership Scholars were recognized, all of whom work in the Wason Survey lab and will earn a second major in Leadership Studies in addition to the major in their chosen discipline. He then highlighted the story of senior Brooke Nixon who will graduate in May with a BS in Information Science and Psychology. He was pleased to report that the event raised nearly $100k for the Wason Center.

President Trible said that Signing Day took place on February 22 and that is when our sophomores literally “sign on” for the major they intend to pursue for the balance of their time as Captains.

President Trible said the first cohort of Community Captains is completing their spring semester. He thanked Dr. Lee Vreeland for her support for the students from An Achievable Dream and her advice on how we can make all the students more successful. He also thanked Rector Hatten, Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Mr. Steve Kast for their encouragement and strong support of this program. He said that in cohort two there are 60 students, and 27 of those students have applied to Christopher Newport.

The President reported that Richmond has yet to adopt a state budget and thus, we are not able to bring forward a recommendation on tuition and fees and room and board. He said that Governor Northam’s budget recommendation and the House and Senate passed budgets all include $62 million to construct the final phase of the science facility.

Our alumni, parents and friends continue to be very generous and this will be our strongest fundraising year since we completed our major comprehensive campaign in 2017, said President Trible. He also reported that CNU Day was our most lucrative day of giving yet. He noted that the faculty/staff campaign is drawing to a close and we have exceeded 80% participation.

President Trible reported that Dr. Angela Spranger has left CNU to lead the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis and recognized her leadership as the inaugural DEI Officer. He then announced that the new Chief DEI Officer is Mr. Vidal Dickerson. He said that Mr. Dickerson is well-known and respected across campus and brings a breadth of experience with over 22 years in the diversity field.

The President said that the arts are flourishing at the Torggler Fine Arts Center. Art courses for the community are underway, the Senior Art Show is now in place, and we are moving into the final weeks of the beautiful inaugural exhibit “Night Light.” Summer camps will be held once again and there will be a Family Day. He also said that the Ferguson Center had a full season of performances and made a profit this year.

The President offered kind words about Dr. Dave Doughty on the occasion of his retirement. He said that Dr. Doughty has enriched the life of this campus for almost 40 years and he celebrated him as a well-loved faculty member, a successful chair, an effective special assistant for student success initiatives, an able dean and an incomparable provost. President Trible said that no one has contributed more to the success and richness of our academic programs, empowering the lives of our students than Dr. Doughty. He thanked Dr. Doughty and the Board gave Dr. Doughty a sustained and lengthy round of applause.

The President announced that Dr. Tatiana Rizova will serve as the new Dean of the College of Social Sciences because Dr. Quentin Kidd will become Provost. President Trible then asked Ms. Adelia Thompson to announce Dr. Bob Colvin’s new role. Ms. Thompson thanked Dr. Colvin for agreeing to step up for a year as the Chief of Staff. She recounted his career of 24 years at CNU, noted his immense contributions to building the leadership program, and also his overall service to the Commonwealth for 40 years. The Board offered a round of applause for Dr. Colvin.

The President concluded his report by introducing Mr. Brian Eakes, Chair of the CNU Education Foundation thanking Mr. Eakes for his strong leadership and support of CNU.

Education Foundation Report

Mr. Brian Eakes thanked President Trible and said that he has been on the Education Foundation since 2015 and he was elected Chair in 2019. He continued to say he was grateful for the in-person meeting on campus and how he loves to see the impact on students first hand. Mr. Eakes outlined the purpose and activities of the Foundation, reviewing the history of the Foundation and its makeup. Notably he reported that over three fourths - 14 of the 18 elected trustees – are alumni and that having a high level of alumni participation directly bolsters our commitment to ensuring the Foundation will be here for the long term and continue to support CNU for many generations to come. He then outlined the impact of the Foundation noting that returns from the portfolio go to the university and the Foundation directly benefits hundreds of students with scholarships, funding for multiple professorships and also oversees special projects like the CEE fund.

He then reviewed his handout noting that the Foundation has grown from $1million dollars to over $60 million today, with 40% of the investment balance coming from contributions and 60% coming from returns. He said the portfolio is positioned and managed with a long-term perspective and the Foundation is cognizant that we have a long way to go to reach the multi-billion-dollar endowments held by our sister institutions who have been around for a lot longer than us. He recognized the work of the Advancement team that works fervently to continue to bring in new contributions.

Mr. Eakes said that in comparing our portfolio's performance against other endowments across the country by reviewing the results of the annual survey conducted by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, or NACUBO, for the periods ending June 30, 2021, our investment managers have delivered exceptional performance. They outperformed the median return achieved by other endowments by over 10 percentage points for the one-year period, and by five percentage points annually for both the three- and five-year periods. Mr. Eakes closed his report by underscoring the Foundation's contributions to supporting students and the university and thanked the Board for allowing him to report at the meeting.

Rector Hatten thanked Mr. Eakes for his report and expressed his appreciation for all of the Education Foundation’s support.

Finance and Facilities Committee Report

Mr. Ermatinger thanked the Rector and reported on the activities of the Finance and Facilities Committee. He reviewed the Capital Projects Report and gave updates on the Integrated Science Center, the CNU North Replacement and the smaller capital maintenance projects that are moving forward. He thanked Ms. Christine Ledford and her team for their hard work bringing all of these projects to reality. He told the Board that the General Assembly had yet to reconcile the budget which prevents the Board from being able to set tuition and fees. Despite the General Assembly adjourning without a budget, the Board still held an open hearing on the range that was posted for tuition and fees to solicit comments from the public. He noted that two written comments were received ahead of the meeting, one student signed up to speak, but did not attend and that additional comments were received after the meeting.

Mr. Ermatinger reported that the Committee received an update on the Classified Staff Compensation Study that started last fall noting that the market analysis that was conducted showed that CNU is in a fairly good position, and much of that can be attributed to the raising of the minimum wage in the fall. However, the study shows that there is still room for improvement. The Committee reviewed the projected costs to fully implement the study and it is approximately $900,000 – which includes the fringe benefits in addition to the salary. The Committee discussed implementation strategies, but this depends on what funding comes out of Richmond.

The Board had a brief discussion on the compensation study regarding minimum wage and market competitiveness. In conclusion, Mr. Ermatinger pointed the Board to the quarterly SWaM report and financial statements in BoardDocs.

Operations, Audit and Risk Committee Report

Secretary McKnight thanked the Rector and began with an update on three recent cyber-attacks noting that none of them were serious, they were immediately detected and corrected, and improvements have been made as a result including increased and improved vulnerability screening. She reported that the internal audit plan is underway with the faculty recruitment and succession planning underway, the Maxient Software Application Planning is complete and into the fieldwork phase and the IT Disaster Recovery Planning fieldwork is nearing completion. She detailed that the laboratory safety audit report reflects a number of open points targeted for completion by April 1, 2023 and pointed out that this has a longer implementation period because additional staff will need to be hired. Finally, she concluded that Athletics has closed eight NCAA audit points since the Board last met, with only one remaining that is targeted for completion by July 1, 2022. She commended the Athletic Director and Manager of Athletic Administration for doing a great job establishing a comprehensive compliance manual with newly developed and revised policies and procedures.

Academic Affairs Committee Report

Vice Rector Hunter recognized and congratulated Provost Dave Doughty for his long and dedicated service to the University. He then highlighted that more than 75% of our faculty are on tenure track, a new interdisciplinary major in Global Commerce and Culture is being developed, and a minor in journalism and geography. He said there are 21 outstanding grant proposals and that 9 grants have been received totaling $1.4 million with $3 million still pending and it is anticipated that the end result will likely be $2 million this fiscal year.

Vice Rector Hunter also noted that the University of Glasgow agreement is being expanded to cover all majors in Arts and Humanities, except for music. He told the Board that the 3+3 agreement with Regent University’s School of Law has been executed and is modeled after the agreement with the Scalia School of Law at George Mason. He celebrated that the Summer Scholars program is back to pre-pandemic size with 49 students. Study Abroad is also rebounding at 80% of pre-pandemic with 15 spring and summer trips with 300 students participating. He also said that it is projected that our students will perform over 50,000 hours of community service this year and over 200 will graduate with Service Distinction.

Student Life Committee Report

Sheriff Gabe Morgan greeted the board and commented on how good it is to meet in person. He noted that the Student Life team is doing an incredible job. He called on Dr. Kevin Hughes to share with the Board a recently received email from an outside vendor that praised our students for their behavior, standards, decorum and professionalism. Sheriff Morgan continued his report by highlighting the strong work of the Center for Career Planning in assisting our students with job applications and internships.

Sheriff Morgan said that the student-athletes are performing well and 64 student-athletes were inducted into the national college athlete honor society, Chi Alpha Sigma. Sheriff Morgan thanked everyone involved in supporting the Community Captains Program and reported that 19 students would be completing their first year at CNU. He said that cohort 2 consists of 60 students drawn from all six Newport News public schools and 27 of have completed a CNU application. Programs and activities for cohort 3 are continuing and recruitment efforts are underway for cohort 4.

He expressed gratitude to the staff at the University for their hard work to take care of our students and to recruit new students. He also thanked Ms. Maria Herbert for her support of the Community Captains program. Sheriff Morgan reported that through at $5,000 grant awarded by the Racial Justice Community Fund, the Community Captains were able to donate materials, labor and time to construct 26 beds for needy children.

The President’s Leadership Program is continuing to make an impact and students have been making academic presentations and participating in leadership competitions around the world. He said that our students took 2nd place at a Student Global Leadership Conference in Switzerland.

Sheriff Morgan reported that approximately 7,500 applications have been received and we are on track to have a freshman class of 1,100 to 1,200 students. He said that the average GPA is 3.8 and average SAT is 1224.

Student Government Report

Ms. Mary Romanello was excited to report that campus is fully alive again. She said that students have returned to regular meetings and gatherings, the go-to the great lawn to picnic and tan is back in full force, and clubs and organizations continue to plan events for students day and night. She detailed a number of upcoming events for the last month of the semester and thanked the Board for their support and encouragement. She then introduced Celine Rosario, the President-Elect of the Student Government wishing her the best of luck next year.

After a round of applause for Ms. Romanello, the Rector recognized her service, her enthusiasm, dedication and insights into student life. President Trible also offered a word of thanks to Ms. Romanello for her leadership during a difficult and challenging time.

Faculty Senate Report

Dr. Rachel Holland thanked the Board for allowing her the opportunity to offer some reflection on the academic year as the semester comes to a close. She began by taking the opportunity to express heartfelt gratitude to Provost David Doughty for his faithful service to Christopher Newport over the last 38 years. She said that the faculty would also like to express heartfelt congratulations to the incoming Provost, Dr. Quentin Kidd, to Dr. Tatiana Rizova for her new role as the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, and to Dr. Bob Colvin for his transition to Interim Chief of Staff.

Dr. Holland offered a brief faculty perspective on the thoughts of the faculty about the search for new leadership. She said that the faculty overwhelmingly expressed the desire to remain committed to the University’s mission to provide “excellence in teaching” grounded in the “principles of liberal learning” and that a significant challenge for the new President will be addressing the national conversation surrounding the “value proposition” of higher education compounded by the broader conversation surrounding careers in the liberal arts and sciences.

Dr. Holland said that the faculty are wholly dedicated to the mission and vision of this institution and there is a strong desire to retain our identity where quality teaching is offered through individualized attention and small class sizes and that the faculty desire this transition to be an evolution, not a transformation.

The Rector thanked Dr. Holland for her report and called on Secretary McKnight to bring the board into closed session.

Secretary McKnight called for a motion to enter closed session under Freedom of Information Act Section 2.2-3711(a)(1) Personnel; (a)(8) Consultation with Legal Counsel; and (a)(9) Gifts, Bequests and Fundraising.

Ms. Judy Wason provided the motion, it was seconded by Ms. Maria Hebert and the motion was 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 Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith, Mr. William Ermatinger, Rector Bobby Hatten, Ms. Maria Herbert, Mr. Brad Hunter, Ms. Terri McKnight, Sheriff Gabe Morgan, Ms. Christy Morton, Ms. Lee Vreeland, and Ms. Judy Wason certified to the above.

Rector Hatten said that Resolutions 1-9 come at the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee called for a motion to approve Resolutions 1-9: Award of Emeritus and Emerita Status. The Board voted unanimously to approve Resolutions 1-9.

Rector Hatten said that Resolution 10: Promotions of Instructional Faculty comes to the Board as a recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee and called for a motion to approve the resolution. The Board voted unanimously to approve Resolution 10.

Presidential Search Update

Rector Hatten offered a status report on the Presidential Search, the listening sessions, the survey and the one-on-one interviews. He then introduced Mr. Martin Baker to the Board to walk through the draft of the Presidential Profile. At that time, President Trible left the meeting to allow for open discussion of the search.

Mr. Martin Baker presented the Presidential Profile to the Board for their review and asked for discussion. He explained that to develop the profile he pulled together all of the common themes and then the presidential search committee was charged with focusing on these common themes to synthesize the feedback. Rector Hatten asked for discussion from the Board on the Presidential Profile presented. He thanked Mr. Baker for capturing the essence of where we are now and where we want to go.

Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith asked Ms. Latour to explain the Board’s role moving forward, especially as it relates to the search committee. Ms. Latour said that the Board of Visitors’ job is to hire the next President and the search committee is appointed to develop the profile, solicit nominations and ultimately bring 3-5 candidates to the Board for consideration. The charge was the major action of the Board to empower the search committee to move forward. The next steps are for Mr. Baker to officially post the job, accept and vet nominations. Mr. Baker will receive the formal applications and then bring candidates forward for first level review to the Presidential Search Committee. In reviewing those candidates, the Presidential Search Committee operates from the board expectations that were set in the charge. Once the search committee narrows down the candidates to finalists, the finalists are then brought to the full Board to interview and to select the next President. In short, the Presidential Search Committee is the recruiting arm and the Board is the hiring arm.

A brief discussion continued regarding the six-year plan, the charge, roles and responsibilities of the Board. Additional thoughts were offered on ensuring that any new Board members that come on the Board this summer be fully briefed on the presidential search process and the university so that they have a comprehensive orientation and understanding of who we are and what we are looking for.

After a brief discussion, the Rector called for a motion to award these degrees to Paul and Rosemary Trible. Sheriff Morgan provided the motion, which was seconded by Ms. McKnight and the Board voted unanimously to award the Honorary Degrees.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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