RD11 - Christopher Newport University 2017 Annual Executive Summary of Interim Activity
Christopher Newport University is a public institution of higher education, created by §§ 23.1-1400 through 1403 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 in January 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 § 23.1-1303, this report will summarize the actions taken by the Board to comply with the provisions of HB 1952.
As now expressly required by law, in 2016 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 § 23.1-1303 require Boards of Visitors to adopt bylaws that include certain requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Amendments to the Board of Visitors bylaws necessary to conform them with the 2013 statutory provisions were adopted by a unanimous vote of the Board on February 28, 2014.
The provisions of Virginia Code § 23.1-1303, adopted by enactment of Chapter 577 of the Acts of the General Assembly require Virginia Boards of Visitors to establish an executive committee and enumerates certain duties and responsibilities to be assigned to and accomplished by that committee. 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, the executive committee of the Board of Visitors recommended and the Board of Visitors approved on June 19, 2015, a statement of governance, a code of ethics, and a statement of qualifications for membership on the Board.
Virginia’s law 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. In conformance with these provisions of the Code, the Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors called, convened and conducted such a meeting on June 10, 2016. This meeting was in addition to the four other meetings of the Board as required by Christopher Newport’s enabling legislation.
Pursuant to these provisions, Christopher Newport’s senior staff conducted an orientation of new members on October 18 and 25, 2016, including a summary of their responsibilities under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
At the direction of Virginia Code § 23.1-1303, this Summary of Interim Activity is submitted this January 6, 2016. 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.