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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 50

    Document Title
    Christopher Newport University 2015 Annual Executive Summary of Interim Activity

    Christopher Newport University

    Enabling Authority

    Executive Summary
    Christopher Newport University is a public institution of higher education, created by 23-49.23 through 49.33 and governed by the General Assembly of Virginia. In 2013, the General Assembly passed House Bill 1952, amending several sections of the Code of Virginia to direct certain actions be taken by the Boards of Visitors of all public institutions of higher education in Virginia. Generally, those actions are related to openness and transparency in the conduct of the institutions' business, pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and other of the Boards' activities and responsibilities. The requirements are reflected in Chapter 577 of the Acts of the General Assembly and went into effect July 1, 2013 and include submission of this annual executive summary of each Board's interim activity to the General Assembly and the Governor.

    Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 577, Christopher Newport University filed its first summary of activity on January 7, 2014. Since the filing of that report, the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University has continued to move forward with the actions identified as necessary to come into compliance with the provisions of Chapter 577. As required by 23-2.05, this report will summarize the actions taken by the Board to comply with the provisions of HB1952.

    As now expressly required by law, in 2014 Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors continued to conduct its business as a "state public body" for purposes of the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and only conducts closed meetings in conformance with the provisions of that law.

    The provisions reflected in Virginia Code 23-2.02 require Boards of Visitors to adopt bylaws that include certain requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. As reported in CNU's 2014 Annual Executive Summary of Interim Activity, amendments to the Board of Visitors bylaws necessary to conform them with the 2013 statutory provisions were developed, discussed and presented to the Board at its meeting on October 3, 2013. The Board's bylaws require that proposed amendments to its bylaws be read at one meeting of the Board and voted on at a subsequent meeting. Therefore, the proposed amendments to CNU's Board of Visitors' bylaws, presented in October of 2013, were presented for a vote at the Board's next meeting on February 28, 2014. The amendments were adopted by a unanimous vote of the Board.

    Virginia's law now also requires Boards of Visitors annually to conduct a separate meeting in addition to those already required by law, with the President of their institution for the purpose of delivering an evaluation of the President's performance. As a personnel matter, that evaluation must be delivered in a closed session of the meeting called for that purpose. In conformance with these provisions of the Code, the CNU Board of visitors called, convened and conducted such a meeting on May 2, 2014. The Board met, voted to enter closed session pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and approximately one hour later returned to open session and conducted a roll call vote to certify that only the performance evaluation of the President, as identified in the motion to enter closed session, was discussed during that session. This meeting was in addition to the four other meetings of the Board that took place in 2014 as required by CNU's enabling legislation.

    The provisions of Virginia Code 23-2.04, adopted by enactment of Chapter 577 of the Acts of the General Assembly require Virginia Boards of Visitors to establish an executive committee and enumerate certain duties and responsibilities to be assigned to and accomplished by that committee. The recent amendments to the bylaws of CNU's Board of Visitors, in addition to incorporating the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act as directed by recent statutory amendments, continue the existence of the Board's executive committee and add the duties and responsibilities now required by statute to the provisions concerning the activities of that committee. Pursuant to these provisions, and at the direction of the chair of the executive committee, CNU's senior staff conducted an orientation of the Board's new members on August 28, 2014, including a summary of their responsibilities under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The Committee has taken a draft statement of governance and a draft code of ethics under consideration, and discussion of those documents continues. When the executive committee has concluded its revisions of those drafts it will present them for adoption to the full Board of Visitors.

    This Summary of Interim Activity is submitted this January 14, 2015, in conformance with Virginia Code 23-2.05 . As set forth above, all necessary changes and operational efforts directed by Chapter 577 have been incorporated into the operations and activities of the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University.