Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 10.1. Conservation
Chapter 20. Virginia Museum of Natural History
4/22/2021

Chapter 20. Virginia Museum of Natural History.

§ 10.1-2000. Museum created; essential governmental function.

There is hereby created an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be known as "The Virginia Museum of Natural History," hereinafter referred to as the "Museum." The Museum is hereby declared to be a public body and instrumentality for the purpose of preserving and protecting Virginia's natural history. The exercise by the Museum of the powers conferred by this chapter shall be deemed an essential governmental function.

1988, cc. 707, 891.

§ 10.1-2001. Purposes.

The purposes of the Virginia Museum of Natural History are:

1. To investigate, preserve and exhibit the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world;

2. To foster an understanding and appreciation of how man and the earth have evolved;

3. To encourage and promote research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world;

4. To encourage individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenge of the future;

5. To establish a state museum of natural history in Virginia where specimens of natural history, especially those of Virginia origin, can be properly housed, cared for, cataloged and studied and to ensure a permanent repository of our natural heritage; and

6. To coordinate an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily use the natural history material of the Museum, its branches, Virginia's institutions of higher education and other museums. These purposes are hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination.

1988, cc. 707, 891.

§ 10.1-2002. Board of trustees; appointment of members.

The Museum shall be governed by a board of trustees consisting of 15 members appointed by the Governor. Two of the members appointed to the Board shall be members of the Virginia Academy of Science. The appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the General Assembly if in session and, if not, then at its next succeeding session. The Board of Trustees shall be referred to as the "Board."

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2012, c. 502.

§ 10.1-2003. Terms of members; vacancies.

The members of the Board shall be appointed for terms of five years each, except that the initial appointments to the Board shall be for such terms of less than five years as may be necessary to stagger the expiration of terms so that the terms of not more than seven members expire in any one year. Members of the Board may be suspended or removed by the Governor at his pleasure and the unexpired term of any member shall lapse upon his failure for any reason to attend four consecutive regular meetings of the Board. The initial appointments of members for terms of less than five years shall be deemed appointments to fill vacancies. No person shall be eligible to serve for or during more than two successive terms; however, any person appointed to fill a vacancy may be eligible for two additional successive terms after the term of the vacancy for which he was appointed has expired. The members of the Board shall receive no salaries.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2001, c. 163.

§ 10.1-2004. Annual meeting; Officers of Board; executive committee.

The Board shall designate one regular meeting to be held annually each fiscal year. At each regular annual meeting, the Board shall select a chairman and a vice-chairman from its membership, and appoint an executive committee to consist of not less than three nor more than five of its membership, including the chairman and vice-chairman for the transaction of business in the recess of the Board.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2001, c. 163.

§ 10.1-2005. Oath of members.

Before entering upon the discharge of his duties, each member of the Board shall take the usual oath of office.

1988, cc. 707, 891.

§ 10.1-2006. Bonds of members.

Each member of the Board shall give bond, with corporate surety, in such penalty as is fixed by the Governor, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties. The premium on the bonds shall be paid from funds available to the Museum.

1988, cc. 707, 891.

§ 10.1-2007. Meetings of Board.

The Board shall establish a regular meeting schedule and may meet at such other times as it deems appropriate or upon call of the chairman, when in his opinion a meeting is expedient or necessary.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2001, c. 163.

§ 10.1-2008. Quorum of Board.

A simple majority of the members of the Board then serving shall constitute a quorum. In absence of a quorum, and provided that the chairman or vice-chairman and at least two other members of the Board are present, a meeting may proceed to receive information, but not take any action upon, items listed on the meeting agenda distributed in advance to the full membership.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2001, c. 163.

§ 10.1-2009. Powers and duties of Board.

A. The Board is hereby authorized:

1. To manage, control, maintain and operate the Museum and to provide for the erection, care and preservation of all property belonging to the Museum;

2. To appoint the Director of the Museum, and prescribe his duties and salary and to employ such deputies and assistants as may be required;

3. To prescribe rules and regulations for the operation of the Museum, including, but not limited to, the kinds and types of research, instruction and exhibits, and the making of plans for expansion of the Museum;

4. To employ planning consultants and architects in relation to expansion of the Museum;

5. To acquire by purchase, gift, loan or otherwise land necessary for establishment and expansion of the Museum, and exhibits and displays;

6. To enter into agreements with institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth to work cooperatively on research projects of mutual interest and benefit;

7. To establish a foundation to assist in fund raising efforts to supplement the state funds provided to the Museum;

8. To enter into contracts for construction of physical facilities;

9. To enter into contracts approved by the Attorney General to further the purposes of the Museum;

10. To adopt a seal, flag or other emblems; and

11. To charge for admission to the Museum, if deemed appropriate.

B. With prior annual written approval of the Governor, the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History may supplement the salary of the Director of the Museum from nonstate funds. In approving a supplement, the Governor may be guided by criteria that provide a reasonable limit on the total additional income of the Director. The criteria may include, but need not be limited to, a consideration of the salaries paid to similar officials at comparable museums of other states. The Board shall report approved supplements to the Department of Human Resource Management for retention in its records.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2004, c. 870.

§ 10.1-2010. Agents and employees.

The Director may engage or authorize the engagement of agents and employees necessary to the operation and maintenance of the Museum, subject to the approval of the Board.

1988, cc. 707, 891.

§ 10.1-2011. Acceptance of gifts; expenditures; certain powers of educational institutions to apply.

A. The Board is authorized to receive and administer grants from agencies of the United States government, and gifts, bequests and devises of property, and to expend or authorize the expenditure of funds derived from such sources and funds appropriated by the General Assembly to the Museum.

B. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Museum shall be deemed to be an institution of higher education within the meaning of §§ 23.1-101 and 23.1-103.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2004, c. 870.

§ 10.1-2012. Annual report.

The Board of Trustees shall submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly on or before November 1 of each year. Such report shall contain, at a minimum, the annual financial statements of the Museum for the year ending the preceding June 30.

1988, cc. 707, 891; 2004, c. 650.