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April 2016 Board of Visitors Summary of Actions and Discussions

by Bill Wyatt


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The James Madison University Board of Visitors met Friday, April 8, 2016, in the Board Room of Madison’s Festival Conference and Student Center. 

The following is a summary of actions taken by the board and key areas of discussion at the board meeting;

  • Approved the January 15, 2016 Board of Visitors meeting minutes;

  • Approved committee reports from the Advancement, Athletics, Audit, Education & Student Life, and Finance & Physical Development committees;

  • Received a report on online instruction at JMU presented by Dr. Linda Halpern, Vice Provost for University Programs, Dr. Adam Murray, Dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies, and Dr. Doug Hearrington, Online Learning Coordinator;

  • Received a General Assembly update presented by Mr. Charles King, Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance;

  • Approved 2016 – 2017 undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees:

2015 -2016

2016 -2017

$ Chg


Tuition & Fees




Comprehensive Fee








Room & Board















Tuition & Fees




Comprehensive Fee








Room & Board











GRADUATE  (per credit hour)




Virginia student




Non-Virginia student




  • Approved easements to the City of Harrisonburg, Comcast Cable Communications, Shenandoah Telephone Company, and Columbia Gas of Virginia for utilities;

  • Met in closed session;

  • Approved the following real estate purchases:

    • 20 E. Fairview Avenue for $400,000

    • 1170 South Main Street for $130,000

Was told by President Alger during his President’s Report:

  • There were 21,986 first-year applications (13,296 in state, 8,690 out of state) and 2,289 transfer applications for the Class of 2020. Under-represented applications made up 35% of the applicant pool, and there were 32% of under-represented admits.  The Early Action pool has improved academically;

  • Mr. Alger met with Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton in February to discuss Expanding Access;

  • Future Admissions goals include increasing the number of applications, offers and yield from under-represented populations and geographic areas (including Pell-eligible students);

  • New and evolving strategies include increasing outreach through partnerships with particular regions and schools in Virginia, pathways via embedded community college counselors, for example, and increased financial aid through programs such as Valley Scholars, Centennial Scholars and other need-based aid;

  • The President’s Office is participating in ongoing conversations with the Center for Multicultural Student Services and student organizations regarding campus climate;

  • Diane Nash, a pioneer of the Civil Rights movement, was the speaker for JMU’s MLK week celebrations, which also included the annual Campus March;

  • Sylvia Hurtado was the keynote speaker for the Diversity Conference last month as well as a Madison Vision Series speaker;

  • The senior staff met with the U.S. Secretary of Education to discuss racial harassment and campus climate issues in January; ongoing conversations will take place on campus and JMU will participate in the national dialogue;

  • Mr. Alger met with the American Council on Education/National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education in March to discuss JMU’s diversity efforts and how programs such as Valley Scholars and Centennial Scholars can serve as models;

  • The School of Music held a concert and reception at the National Presbyterian Church in the District of Columbia in February;

  • The grand opening of JMU’s new Washington Center was held in March, along with subsequent events such as the MetroDukes panel discussion on the 2016 election;

  • The Year of Service Summit was held in February, and a new voting precinct opened on campus and served 1,076 voters, the third-highest count in the city;

  • JMU is ranked 16th among large schools on the 2016 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities for service in the Peace Corps;

  • In a report focused on engagement and the well-being of student-athletes after they graduate, Mr. Alger highlighted JMU’s efforts in areas such as mentoring and leadership development as part of his NCAA/Gallup presentation in February;

  • Mr. Alger participated in the hiring of CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio;

  • Recent coaching searches have emphasized the student-athlete experience, preparation for life after sport and community engagement;

  • JMU alumnus and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Charles Haley was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly in February;

  • JMU’s overall winning percentage of 67% for the 2015-16 academic year leads the CAA by 6%. The mark is the best in Virginia since 2010 and the best in JMU history in over 30 years;

  • JMU won CAA titles in football, women’s basketball and women’s soccer;

  • JMU advanced to NCAA postseason competition in football, women’s basketball, cross country, women’s soccer and swimming and diving;

  • Five JMU athletes were named CAA Players of the Year: Vad Lee in football, Taylor West in field hockey, Janey Goodman in volleyball, Olivia Lehman in diving and Jazmon Gwathmey in women’s basketball.  No other league school has had more than three;

  • Students Kathleen Stewart (cross country) and Camilla Czulada (swimming and diving) were honored with the CAA Scholar-Athlete award;

  • The inaugural Giving Day (March 15) was a tremendous success.  Although this is just one appeal in a year-long effort, we already have surpassed 18,000 donors for the year;

  • The Stewardship Luncheon served as a great example of engaged learning, and included powerful stories from students and alumni;

  • A new scholarship program that emphasizes collective responsibility, Dukes Pay It Forward, has been made possible through a personal gift of $350,000 from Mike and Kathy Thomas, who also have made a campaign commitment of over $2 million;

  • Cynthia Bauerle, currently the Assistant Director, Undergraduate and Graduate Programs at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been named the new Dean for the College of Science and Mathematics.  We have hired seven new deans and two vice provosts since July 2012;

  • JMU has been included each year in the Princeton Review’s Colleges that Pay You Back rankings;

  • Our Audiology program is ranked #17 of 72 programs nationally, and Speech-Language Pathology is now #39 of 242 programs;

  • The Master of Public Administration program moved from #104 last year to #86 in the 2016 rankings;

  • The Occupational Therapy program is up to #58 from #116 in US News and World Report’s rankings;

  • In Accounting, the class of 2015 masters’ students continue to excel on the CPA Exam.  JMU had a much higher pass rate than many other top business programs;

  • The Speech team earned first place in Limited Team Sweepstakes, and added six qualifications for the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament;

  • The Debate team was named the top Public Debate Team by the Cross Examination Debate Association; they have won this award seven of the past 10 years;

  • Art History professor Dr. Maureen Shanahan and ISAT professor Dr. Louise Temple have been named as Fulbright Scholars; two additional professors are finalists in consideration for Fulbright awards;

  • Business professor Paul Copley was selected as the recipient of the Washington DC Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants 2016 Education Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the education and training of government financial managers;

  • English professor Matt Rebhorn received a rare summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities to use for his ongoing work on a project in antebellum American literature;

  • Student Renzo Olivari was selected for one of only 20 spots nationwide for the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute sponsored by the American Political Science Association. This is the fourth time in the past six years that a JMU student has been chosen for this program;

  • Curt Carlson, the former head of SRI, is scheduled to speak at the May commencement;

  • JMU has a great team of people who are committed to excellence; often their hard work is behind the scenes, such as was the case for the preparations for ESPN’s College GameDay.


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Published: Friday, April 8, 2016

Last Updated: Friday, April 19, 2019

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