Board of Visitors summary of actions and discussions

JMU News

The James Madison University Board of Visitors met Friday, Nov. 10, in the 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 Sept. 15, 2023 Board of Visitors meeting minutes; 

Accepted committee reports from the Academic Excellence; Advancement and Engagement; Athletics, Audit/Risk and Compliance; Governance; Finance and Physical Development; and Student Affairs; 

Approved the discontinuation of the Community Health Education, BS and Speech Pathology, BA/BS contingent on the approval of pending SCHEV proposals for new degree programs; 

Approved the new Environmental Earth Sciences BA, BS stand-alone degree program; 

Approved the proposed name change of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures to the Department of World Languages and Cultures; 

Approved the bond resolution for the Village Housing Phase 1; 

Approved revisions to the Board Manual: clarified the term of office for the student representative to the board; removed the approval of the Faculty Senate bylaws by the board; and clarified the nomination of the secretary to the board; 

Malika Carter-Hoyt, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, presented on inclusive excellence and how to attract the students of tomorrow; 

Sharon Lovell, dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Studies, and Mark L’Esperance, dean of the College of Education, discussed how they are meeting the workforce needs from within their colleges; and 

Caitlyn Read, assistant vice president of state government relations, presented an update on current government relations. 

President Alger shared during his President’s Report:

  • An enrollment update was provided with the following information: the total enrollment is 22,760 (102% of target), new freshmen enrollment is 4,930, graduate students are 1,752, there are 15,338 and other degree-seeking undergraduates;
  • The university has celebrated some recent major university events including Family Weekend, Homecoming Week and the Holland Yates dedication, which derived from the largest cash gift in JMU history;
  • The professor-in-residence program was highlighted, which reaches students in underserved areas, and the Reddix Center has provided programming for first-generation students;
  • JMU Research and Scholarship is now named Research, Economic Development and Innovation (REDI) as this properly reflects an expanded role by adding economic development and workforce development;
  • In the spring, JMU opened the Innovation Center for Youth Justice, a collaboration to develop solutions for vulnerable youth;
  • The College of Business sponsored a sales competition with 17 companies and 23 total competitors. Matthew Dunda, senior marketing major, brought First Place back to JMU;
  • JMU was recognized at the annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS);
  • An update about Reengineering Madison was provided to include: Phase One of My Madison Connect went live last month and the next phase is still in process and will expand access to all advisers, students and orientation;
  • JMU Parking and Transportation was recognized at a silver level for being a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists;
  • JMU Dining continues to improve concessions, leading to a 56% increase in transactions and other dining facilities have received certification levels;
  • JMU Police is in its 12th year as a Virginia Accredited Law Enforcement Agency and is currently working to elevate its prominence to earn national accreditation;
  • JMU participated in the Democracy 360 Conference at the University of Virginia and the Madison Center for Civic Engagement is hosting traveling town halls, deliberative forums, Next Gen Service Corps and activities surrounding Election Day;
  • A large cohort from JMU joined discussions about innovative collaborations with businesses and other higher education leaders from across the Commonwealth;
  • The AI task force is in progress with working groups to focus on different areas with 74 participants from across different sectors of the university;
  • The committee has been formed for the search for the university’s next athletic director;
  • JMU Athletics continue to gain momentum in the national arena. JMU is 9-0 and ranked in the top 25 for football; men’s basketball had a historic win against Michigan State to open the season; women’s soccer made the Sun Belt championship game and was selected for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament; men’s soccer defeated No. 1 UCF last week and volleyball will be one of the top seeds in the Sun Belt tournament;
  • JMU received the only university-wide academic award this year for the graduation rate and over the past two years, JMU has won all four major university academic awards; and
  • It was announced that Donna Harper, vice president for Access and Enrollment Management, will retire at the end of the academic year. She was recognized for her 47 years of service to JMU.

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Published: Friday, November 10, 2023

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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