Foundation Board of Trustees Fall 2021 Meeting


Highlights from the October 8, 2021 Meeting

Board of Trustees Fall Meeting

The board was excited to have another in person meeting for their Fall meeting on October 8, 2021, at the Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center. The full board was able to meet our new Trustees, Heather Hedrick, and Owen Wilson, as well as our new Fellows, Alpha Kiflu, Michelle Nelson, and Nicole Williams.

After enjoying a lunch hour Q&A session with the JMU Women’s Softball Associate Head Coach Jennifer Herzig to hear firsthand the impact of the incredible World Series run on the players, coaches, and future recruits, the board opened the meeting with committee reports.

Major news from committees were:

Enterprise Risk Management/Audit: Another clean audit report for the 53rd consecutive year and the committee will focus on the strategic plan and enterprise risk at the next scheduled meeting.

Administration and Finance: Cash management discussion along with the need for the Investment Committee to consider these requirements in their investment plans. A licensing report was provided by Mr. Garrett King.  While royalties continue to slide in FY21 due to the pandemic, we performed much better than our peers and the First Quarter of FY22 is looking very positive.

Development: The Unleashed Campaign has exceeded $200 million, and the participation rate is very close to the goal of 60,000 supporters. Dr. Langridge led a difficult but insightful discussion on the recent negative media the school has received and its impact on fundraising. It is University Advancement’s hopes that the impact will lose its significance over time.

Real Estate: Discussion of the possible conference center loan refinance, several potential real estate deals, and a potential donation of property to the Foundation. The Committee granted CEO Coleman the authority to negotiate in good faith for the board.

Governance: Motion was approved by the committee and subsequently the full board to increase the number of terms an advisory council member could serve from two terms of three years to three terms of three years.  The Foundation is also working to update the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University.

Investment: Reported a record year in performance with a +32% return on investments. The committee also noted that we continue to exceed our short and long-term return percentage goals of 7.5-8.5%. A more detailed discussion on “new” mangers will be held during a special meeting in early November.

After concluding the Committee Reports, three important topics consumed the remainder of the meeting.

Dr. Mike Busing, the Dean of the College of Business, shared details and slides of the renovated Showker Hall, and the innovative, new “Hartman Hall,” which was named for a generous gift from Trustee Jim Hartman and family.  Two other Trustees and their families, Jarl Bliss and Enrico Gaglioti, also made generous contributions to Hartman Hall, and the Bliss Learning Concourse and Gaglioti Capital Markets Lab were named in their honor. The facilities are truly outstanding and the impact on the students will be just as outstanding. Dr. Busing also highlighted many of the recent awards regarding both undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as its graduates’ success in the job market.

Mr. Brad Barnett followed with a presentation on the critical need for scholarships as well as information on scholarships being offered early in the recruiting process. Mr. Barnett described how enrollment has declined in recent years and this trend is unfortunately expected to continue.  Based on this decline, the recruitment of students is more competitive, and the University needs to offer more scholarship dollars and be able to inform the students the amount they might receive from JMU as soon as possible. The Foundation is changing some of its current processes to accommodate this need for earlier scholarship award disclosure, but the need for financial aid will be the final deciding factor for most applicants.

Dr. Langridge ended our formal meeting agenda with comments regarding the difficult times facing the Advancement Division as the social media surrounding DEI training and other social movements has become a topic of discussion by a variety of members of the JMU Community and alums. He expressed that JMU is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and all demographic groups should be treated fairly and equitably. He also shared that the University is working with focus groups and consultants to address the appropriate responses to these events. Concluding his comments on a positive note, he shared the good news of several national rankings for JMU from Forbes, Niche, and that JMU received the top honor of being named the best college for employment in Virginia for the second year in a row.

The Trustees concluded the meeting by recognizing JMU Sr. VP of Administration and Finance Mr. Charlie King with a resolution honoring his upcoming retirement after 25 years of service. Mr. King has served on the JMU Foundation Board since 2013 and has been instrumental in the Foundation’s real estate ventures, among other notable accomplishments.

Chair Purcell reminded everyone of the Executive Committee’s recommendation to schedule all future Spring meetings in May prior to Memorial weekend to avoid conflicts in early June. The Spring Meeting in 2022 will be held May 19-20.

With no other business to discuss, Board Chair Mr. Purcell adjourned the meeting.

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Published: Monday, October 11, 2021

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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