Foundation Board of Trustees Winter 2020 Meeting

February 21, 2020


Highlights from the February 21, 2020 Board Meeting

Board of Trustees Winter Board Meeting

The JMU Foundation committee and board meetings were held on February 21, 2020 in the newly renovation Wilson Hall. We enjoyed a tour of the building, including the auditorium where many of the Trustees remembered attending concerts, and held our meeting in their conference room overlooking the Quad.

The Meeting began with a report from the student led Madison Investment Fund. The MIF officers reported a 29.81% return for the 2019 calendar year, and the team announced its 1st place finish in the 2019 GAME Forum in the overall core portfolio category. The officers reported on many new goals, internships and networking opportunities for the upcoming year.

Administration and Finance Committee – The committee reviewed interim financial statements, the unrestricted budget and licensing to better understand the Foundation’s financial position. The committee was updated on the Hotel Madison by Paul Gladd and it was noted that the hotel was on track for very good years in 2020 and 2021.

Development Committee – The committee was updated on the current Unleashed Campaign and sites for the upcoming Unleashed events in 2020. Mr. Sean Clifford, Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement, reported that the University had approximately 120 Boards and Advisory Committees serving the various schools and colleges within JMU. He shared the giving and participation requirement of these boards and noted that some required a minimum gift and others operated with a “inspire” vs. “require” approach. The committee was also reminded that March 24 was “Giving Day.”

Audit Committee – The committee accepted the 990 tax returns for the JMU Foundation and JMU Real Estate Foundation. The committee also discussed risk management key takeaways and will share these with the Strategic Planning Committee.

Governance Committee – The committee asked that each member be given a report card of their giving to date as a reminder of our 100% participation goal. The committee also requested that Board Chair or CEO have a discussion with each member whose three year term was ending to ensure they work schedule and passion for the Foundation would allow them to continue serving. The Committee also made a motion to have the by-laws changed to require at least a majority of the members be alums or family of alums vs. the current requirement that there is a minimum of four (4) be in this category. The motion was approved.

Real Estate Committee – Announced that a contract had been signed for the sale of 1071 Port Republic Road with a closing date of no later than 12/2020. Other properties were discussed regarding potential purchases or sales but not action was taken during the meeting. The committee will ask the Strategic Planning Committee to address new ways to raise funds via real estate purchases or investments.

Investment Committee – The committee reported that the portfolio was up 18.4% in the last calendar year and ended just under $120M for the year. After reviewing the recent results of each manager, the investment in three managers was decreased and one new manager was added to the portfolio.

Enrollment and Scholarships – Dr. Nick Langridge reported that the campaign is doing well but the donor goal is harder to achieve. He lead a very thought provoking discussion on the “cliff” (decrease in college-age applicants) forecast for 2025 and the immediate need for scholarships to attract students. We are still receiving a large number of applications but the conversion rate is lower in general, especially with out of state students. Dr. Langridge highlighted new ideas that are being implemented by admissions and financial aid to hopefully increase this conversion rate and hold steady the percentage split of Virginia students and out of state students who currently live in 48 different states and 66 countries. Dr. Langridge also shared the University’s shift from a “regional” classification to a “national” classification. While this will not change our culture, it will move us into the proper classification as students review and select the University they want to attend.

Strategic Planning Committee- The committee held its first meeting on Thursday, February 20, prior to the board meeting. The committee reviewed feedback from the board assessment, recent surveys to donors and university staff and our force field analysis. The next planned meeting is April 27.

The Meeting adjourned at 3:27 pm. The Spring meeting is scheduled for June 5, 2020.



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Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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