Board of Visitors Meeting June 8, 2022 - Board of Visitors - Christopher Newport University

Board of Visitors

Board of Visitors Meeting June 8, 2022

Present from the Board

  • Ms. Regina P. Brayboy
  • Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq.
  • Mr. William R. Ermatinger
  • Robert R. Hatten, Esq.
  • Ms. Maria Herbert
  • Mr. C. Bradford Hunter
  • Mr. Steven S. Kast
  • Ms. Terri M. McKnight, CPA
  • Mr. Sean Miller
  • Dr. Lee Vreeland
  • Ms. Judy Ford Wason

Absent from the Board

  • The Hon. Gabriel A. Morgan, Sr
  • Ms. Christy T. Morton

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. Celine Rosario, 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
  • Mr. Rob Lange, Dean of Admission


  • Ms. Deb Love, Senior Assistant Attorney General

Rector Bobby Hatten welcomed everyone present and announced that the Board’s nominating committee for the fall officer elections will be Mr. Steve Kast, Mr. Bill Ermatinger (Chair), Ms. Judy Wason and himself. The Rector noted the slate of officers will be brought in the September meeting. He then called for a motion to approve the minutes of the April 14, 2022 meeting. Ms. Regina Brayboy provided the motion, which was seconded by Dr. Ella Ward and the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote of the Board.

The Rector concluded his opening remarks and called on President Paul Trible to give his report.

University Report

President Trible thanked Rector Hatten and welcomed everyone. He began by noting that his 26 and a half years at CNU have been the most meaningful, most rewarding, most consequential of his life and that he is deeply grateful to everyone for making that possible. He recognized the retirements of Ms. Beverley Mueller and Dr. Dave Doughty.

President Trible offered the following highlights of this academic year:

  • In Advancement, the goal was to raise $6 million or more in private support and to date, $8.3 million has been raised in new gifts and pledges and $8.7 million has been received in cash.
  • Momentum has been regained in Admission, as students and their families have returned to our campus by the thousands to visit and our incoming freshman class now numbers 1209 students.
  • In Richmond, President Trible expressed thanks for the increase in operating funds, the $62.1 million for the planning and construction of Luter II, and generous support for our Community Captains program.
  • In Athletics, CNU won TWO National Championships this year - Women’s Soccer and Softball. This was the winningest season in Captains athletics. We had 4, #1 ranked teams more than any other school in Virginia.
  • In Academics, the departments of Music and Theater and Dance were successfully merged to create the Department of Performing Arts, the new major of Global Commerce and Culture has been created, Leadership Studies as a second major has been initiated and Kinesiology faculty have been hired to begin that program.
  • The President continued his report by offering a reflection of the last twenty-six and a half years:

  • Over 25,000 diplomas have been awarded and Rosemary hugged almost the same number.
  • President Trible has given 572 speeches which are on file, with over 1,000 more that were scheduled and spontaneously given.
  • Served 8 governors beginning with George Allen, 72 Board of Visitor members, 11 rectors and many, many general assembly leaders.
  • The campus has grown from 100 acres to 260 acres and over $1 billion in capital construction has been completed and over 40 major construction projects.
  • The Operating budget has increased from $34 million to $172 million and the endowment and investment portfolio has increased from $300,000 to $62 million.
  • Applications have exploded and the quality of our students has soared. The average high school GPA of our freshmen has increased from 2.8 to 3.8.
  • The freshman to sophomore retention rate has soared from 69% to 87% and our four-year graduation rate has increased from 11% to 69%.
  • Our academic offerings have been expanded and enriched and recruited an extraordinary faculty that have graduated from the best schools in the world. Those new academic offerings include Master of Financial Analysis, Master of Arts in Teaching, B.S. in Neuroscience, B.S. in Chemistry, B.A. in Social Work, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, B.S. in Computer Engineering, Majors in Kinesiology, Leadership Studies, Biochemistry, Cybersecurity, Environmental Studies, and Global Commerce and Culture.
  • The President’s Leadership Program was created and has attracted large numbers of high-ability students who have a passion for engagement and have contributed immensely to the creation of a campus culture that embodies leadership, honor and service.
  • The Christopher Newport Real Estate Foundation was created to be the entrepreneurial arm of the university and the value of the real estate foundation has increased from $0 to over $200 million.
  • The president concluded his report by thanking everyone for working together to make this audacious dream a reality.

    Finance and Facilities Committee Report

    Mr. Ermatinger thanked the Rector and reported on the activities of the Finance and Facilities Committee. He reviewed the proposed budget allocations from Richmond, noting that the budget from Richmond is not finalized and has not been enrolled, so the time clock has not started yet for the Governor’s approval and that means we are awaiting this approval to set Tuition & Fees.

    He reviewed the revenues and expenditures, gave updates on the current capital projects and maintenance including specific timings for 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.

    The Rector then gave input on the CNU North replacement noting the President’s integral role, thanked Mr. Ermatinger for his service as Finance Chair and called for a round of applause.

    The President continued with a heartfelt thanks to all of the members who are going off the board at the end of this term: Mr. Bill Ermatinger, Mr. Brad Hunter, Ms. Maria Herbert, Dr. Ella Ward and Sheriff Gabe Morgan. He also recognized Rector Hatten for his service as Rector to the Board and called for applause. Rector Hatten responded with thanks and gratefulness and thanked Brad Hunter for his service as Vice Rector.

    Operations, Audit and Risk Committee Report

    Secretary McKnight thanked the Rector and began with reviewing the draft financial audit report and celebrated that the APA issued an unmodified opinion for a clean audit which is the best result possible. She also happily reported that there are no material weaknesses for our internal controls, but she also highlighted that there were 3 findings of deficiencies in I.T. that are primarily the result of ever-changing regulations/standards from year to year. Our Information Technology team is already underway in addressing these deficiencies and they will continue to update the Operations, Audit and Risk Committee on their progress in the months to come. She congratulated the Finance and I.T. Departments on a job well done.

    She reviewed the annual risk assessment presented by Ms. Faith Belote and outstanding audit points and the work that’s being done toward them for the IT Disaster Recovery Planning, Laboratory Safety, and the one final Athletics audit point. The target for completion is scheduled on July 1st.

    The Rector thanked Secretary McKnight, called for applause for the superior audit team, and called on Vice Rector Brad Hunter to give the Academic Affairs Committee Report.

    Academic Affairs Committee Report

    Vice Rector Hunter began his committee report by recognizing and congratulating Dr. Dave Doughty on his retirement. In the area of academic affairs, he highlighted that faculty levels are holding steady, he noted an average 5% faculty raise and that it has been a banner year for research. Currently $2.7 million in grants have been approved and funded and we have also received notice about $538,000 coming for projects. He continued that Summer Scholars has rebounded with 51 participants this year, summer enrollment has increased back to normal levels and there are 295 students studying abroad this summer.

    Vice Rector Hunter then brought forward RESOLUTION 1: By-laws Change to the Board at the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee. Rector Hatten called for any discussion, there being none, the Board voted unanimously to approve.

    The Rector thanked Vice Rector Hunter for his report and called on Ms. Judy Wason to give the Student Life Committee Report.

    Student Life Committee Report

    On behalf of Sheriff Morgan, Ms. Judy Wason greeted the Board and called on Dean Rob Lange for the Admission report. Dean Lange noted that we have rebounded in applications and enrollments and that the profile of our freshman class is strong. He reported that this incoming class has 1209 students, with an average of 3.7 GPA and 1200 SAT. He noted that the biggest rebound is in out of state, up to 7% out of state, 13% of the class are legacies, 28% are persons of color, and 35% of the class are in PLP. Dean Lange yielded the floor to Dr. Lisa Duncan Raines, who reported that the office of Enrollment and Student Success is working on building out class schedules for the 1209 students, 1,138 students graduated in May–15% of which were legacies–and employment and internships are up for the past year. She then gave a report on Community Captains highlighting the work of Cohort 1 student Christopher Mojica and proudly reported that we currently have four cohorts of community captains in progress: Cohort 1 with 19 students at CNU who are rising Sophomores, Cohort 2 had their high school graduation last week and 15 are planning to come to CNU, Cohort 3 are rising high school seniors and we are in the process of recruiting for Cohort 4 which are rising high school juniors. President Trible thanked Dr. Vreeland for her early support of Community Captains.

    Dr. Kevin Hughes finished the Academic Affairs with a recap of the entire year. He highlighted that 70% of PLP seniors graduated with honors contributing more than $1.2 million in service to the community. He reminded the Board that it is less than 2 weeks from Setting Sail and Leadership Adventure and we are ready to welcome our newest Captains to Campus.

    Rector Hatten thanked everyone for their reports and called on Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith to provide the Advancement report.

    Advancement Report

    Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith gave the Advancement report celebrating a year of incredible successes:

      • The faculty staff campaign achieved 90% participation for the 7th year.
      • There were 567 contributors to the Senior Class Gift and over $90,000 support was raised.
      • 178 families were members of the President’s Parent Council this year with 78 families being in the silver tier giving level representing an increase over last year.
      • The Torggler Fine Arts Center raised over $1 million in new gifts and pledges.
      • Alumni participation is currently at 9.72% with a goal of 15%
      • The Athletics Campaign raised $1.5 million
      • The Wason Center raised $139,000 new support this year

    Ms. Carney Smith also noted that Mr. Bruce Jennings is the new chair of the Wason Center Advisory board. She finished by commending an outstanding year and encouraged the university to continue the momentum.

    Rector Hatten thanked Ms. Carney Smith and called on Ms. Celine Rosario to provide the Student Government report.

    Student Government Report

    Ms. Celine Rosario introduced herself to the committee and outlined her vision and goals for Student Government going forward. She reported that they are busy planning for next academic year, recruitment is on-going for anchor organizations and that Light the Night will be on August 21. Ms. Rosario announced that the Campus Activities Board won two awards this year, the Board of Excellence and Outstanding Social Media, from their national parent organization, Award. On behalf of the student government, she thanked President Trible for creating this incredible community and supporting the student experiences.

    After a round of applause for Ms. Rosario, Rector Hatten called on Dr. Rachel Holland for the Faculty Senate Report.

    Faculty Senate Report

    Dr. Rachel Holland thanked the Board for allowing her the opportunity to speak. She said it is a quiet time for faculty, at least on campus. She said there was one final senate meeting where they wrapped up outstanding items and new officers were elected including Dr. Johnny Finn - Vice President, Dr. Brian Puaca - Secretary, Dr. Rocio Gordon - Parliamentarian and Dr. Olga Lipatova - Handbook Liaison. She said she looks forward to serving as President again. She finished her report by noting that the Faculty Senate is working on finalizing their agenda for the next year and strategizing and assembling teams to be ready on day one of the fall semester.

    The Rector thanked Dr. Holland for her report. He then took the liberty of providing a special recognition for Ms. Beverley Mueller.

    The President offered a gift and applause to Dr. David Doughty for his service. Dr. Doughty noted how much he’s going to miss this place.

    Rector Hatten 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 and Section 2.2-3711(a)(8) Consultation with Legal Counsel.

    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. All Board members present, certified to the above by roll call: Ms. Regina P. Brayboy, Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith, Mr. William Ermatinger, Rector Robert Hatten, Mr. Steve Kast, Vice Rector Brad Hunter, Secretary Terri McKnight, Mr. Sean Miller, Ms. Lee Vreeland, Dr. Ella Ward and Ms. Judy Ford Wason.

    Rector Hatten called for a motion to approve Resolution 2: Award of Emeritus Status to President Trible. Dr. Ward provided the motion, seconded by Ms. Wason and Resolution 2 was unanimously approved.

    Rector Hatten then called for a motion delegating to Ms. Lindsey Carney Smith the authority to finalize the negotiations with Ms. Adelia Thompson with respect to the parameters of her employment contract as interim President as discussed in closed session and to the Rector to execute the final contract. Secretary Terri McKnight provided the motion; it was seconded by Dr. Ella Ward and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

    Rector Hatten called for a motion to amend and supersede the December 15, 2008 faculty contract for President Trible as presented in closed session. Ms. Carney Smith provided the motion, it was seconded by Vice Rector Hunter and the motion was passed by unanimous vote of the Board.

    Finally, Rector Hatten offered a status report on the Presidential Search. He updated the Board that since the last meeting with Martin Baker, our approved Profile was posted on the CNU website and ads have been placed in the Chronicle of Higher Education,, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and Women in Higher Education. Since then, Mr. Martin has been in touch with over 500 nominees, potential candidates and sources, and he reports positive conversations are happening. Mr. Martin also shared with us that the pool is diverse in individuals but also with respect to professional careers. The application and nomination process will continue for the balance of the summer with a preferred application deadline of August 15th. The Search Committee will meet in late August to review the initial candidate pool with Mr. Martin, and an update will be provided at the September Board meeting.

    There being no further business the meeting was adjourned. Ms. Judy Wason called for a motion to adjourn, and it was seconded by Dr. Ward.

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