Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
Chapter 1. Definitions and General Provisions
7/15/2024

Article 2. General Provisions.

§ 23.1-101. Endowment funds of public institutions of higher education.

It is the public policy of the Commonwealth that:

1. Each public institution of higher education, the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, Gunston Hall, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Science Museum of Virginia, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts shall be encouraged in their attempts to increase their endowment funds and unrestricted gifts from private sources and reduce the hesitation of prospective donors to make contributions and unrestricted gifts; and

2. Consistent with § 10 of Chapter 33 of the Acts of Assembly of 1927, in measuring the extent to which the Commonwealth shall finance higher education in the Commonwealth, the availability of the endowment funds and unrestricted gifts from private sources received by public institutions of higher education, the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, Gunston Hall, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Science Museum of Virginia, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts shall neither be taken into consideration in nor used to reduce state appropriations or payments and shall be used in accordance with the wishes of the donors of such funds to strengthen the services rendered by these institutions to the people of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 9-65.14, § 23-252; 1952, c. 707, § 23-9.2; 1956, c. 390; 1970, c. 466; 1972, c. 524; 1974, c. 124; 1977, c. 597; 1981, c. 505; 1997, c. 367, § 23-253.7; 1998, cc. 589, 786, § 23-287; 2000, cc. 104, 125; 2003, c. 879; 2004, c. 650; 2005, c. 758; 2013, c. 480; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-102. Chief executive officer of each public institution of higher education; duties.

The chief executive officer of each public institution of higher education shall:

1. Maintain a register that contains a description of all of the property of the Commonwealth at the institution for the information of the governing board of the institution and any other interested party.

2. Include in its six-year plan adopted pursuant to § 23.1-306 the following for the most recently ended fiscal year: (i) the assignment during the year of any intellectual property interests to a person or nongovernmental entity by the institution, any foundation supporting the intellectual property research performed by the institution, or any entity affiliated with the institution; (ii) the value of externally sponsored research funds received during the year from a person or nongovernmental entity by the institution, any foundation supporting the intellectual property research performed by the institution, or any entity affiliated with the institution; and (iii) the number and types of patents awarded during the year to the institution, any foundation supporting the intellectual property research funded by the institution, or any entity affiliated with the institution that were developed in whole or part from externally sponsored research provided by a person or nongovernmental entity. The plan shall report separate aggregate data on (a) those persons or nongovernmental entities that have a principal place of business in the Commonwealth as reflected in the assignment agreement or awarding documents and (b) those persons or nongovernmental entities that do not have a principal place of business in the Commonwealth as reflected in the assignment agreement or awarding documents.

3. For any institution that maintains an intercollegiate athletics program, cause to be made out by the proper officer of such institution and forwarded to the Comptroller annually by December 31 a detailed statement of all athletics receipts and disbursements of such institution and of any affiliated committee, group, corporation, or association charged with administering the intercollegiate athletics program. Such report shall include all receipts from admission tickets, programs, refreshment concessions, radio, television, and newsreel or movie rights and all other receipts relating to any athletics contest or event. The report of disbursements shall include the name of each person, firm, or corporation to whom such disbursement was made and the amount of the disbursement. The report shall be kept on file by the Comptroller and shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.

Code 1919, § 999, § 23-4; 1952, c. 172, § 23-1.1; 1979, c. 630; 1986, c. 358, § 23-4.4; 2003, c. 708; 2006, cc. 77, 899; 2009, cc. 325, 810; 2015, cc. 579, 580; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-102.1. Executive officers; salaries.

The governing board of each public institution of higher education shall report by September 1 of each year to the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriations and on Education and Health the salary by position of any executive officer of such institution that exceeds for the previous fiscal year the salary limit for the chief executive officer for such institution set forth in the general appropriation act.

2019, c. 408.

§ 23.1-103. Localities; conveyance of property and appropriation of funds to Commonwealth for certain educational purposes.

A. The governing body of any locality may, subject to written advice from the Governor that the gift is acceptable, convey to the Commonwealth by deed of gift any land that is not required for the purposes of such locality, provided such land is to be used for the establishment, operation, or maintenance of a branch or division of a public institution of higher education, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Science Museum of Virginia, or the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. For the purpose of acquiring such land, the governing body of the locality may appropriate a portion of the general funds of the locality.

B. The governing body of any locality may appropriate a portion of the locality's public funds for capital outlays in connection with the operation or maintenance of any public institution of higher education or branch or division of such institution, the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Science Museum of Virginia, or the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

1995, c. 250, § 23-3.1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-104. Disposition of lost or abandoned property.

A. The governing board of each public institution of higher education and each accredited nonprofit private institution of higher education may provide by regulation or institution policy for the care, restitution, sale, destruction, or disposal of unclaimed personal property, whether lost or abandoned, in the possession of the institution. Whenever procedures in accordance with such regulations or institution policies and this section are followed and ownership cannot be established with respect to certain property, neither the institution nor any of its agents or employees is liable to any person claiming any interest in the property.

B. In the case of tangible personal property, other than registered motor vehicles, lost or abandoned at a public institution of higher education or accredited nonprofit private institution of higher education:

1. The institution, upon receipt of such property, shall make reasonable efforts to give notice that the property has been found to any person that the institution determines to reasonably appear to be the owner. The institution shall hold such property for at least 120 days. The institution shall allow a claim upon satisfactory proof of such claim and payment of the institution's reasonable charges for storage or other services necessary to preserve the property.

2. After the 120-day period, the institution may sell the property to the highest bidder at public auction or by sealed bid at whatever location that the institution reasonably determines to afford the most favorable market for the property. The institution may decline the highest bid and reoffer the property for sale if it considers the price bid insufficient. The net proceeds of any such sale shall be held for at least 90 days and if no claim is made on the property within that time, such funds shall be credited to the institution's operating fund. If the institution determines that the probable cost of sale of property will exceed the sale proceeds, the property is inherently dangerous, or the property may not lawfully be sold or used, the institution may provide for any such property, as appropriate under the circumstances, to be destroyed or discarded at an appropriate location, retained for use by the institution, or donated to an appropriate charitable organization.

3. Any sale pursuant to this subsection shall be preceded by reasonable notice of the sale, taking into consideration the type and value of property. Such notice shall include at minimum the posting on a student bulletin board and publication in a school newspaper. The institution, by the same time, shall mail notice of the sale to the last known address of any person that the institution determines to reasonably appear to be the owner.

C. Whenever a motor vehicle is lost or abandoned on the campus of any public institution of higher education or accredited nonprofit private institution of higher education that is located in a locality that has adopted an ordinance as provided in Chapter 12 (§ 46.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 46.2, such motor vehicle shall be disposed of as provided in that ordinance. Notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 46.2, the proceeds of any sale of a motor vehicle lost or abandoned on institutional property shall be credited to the institution's operating fund after the 90-day holding period. The governing board of a public institution of higher education that has a campus or part of a campus in a locality that has not adopted such an ordinance may adopt regulations dealing with motor vehicles abandoned on such campus or such part of the campus. Such regulations shall comply with all provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 46.2 and have the same legal effect as though the institution is a political subdivision as defined in that chapter and the regulation is an ordinance. The proceeds from any sale resulting from such regulations shall be held for at least 90 days and if no claim to the motor vehicle is made within that time, such funds shall be credited to the institution's operating fund.

D. Whenever any intangible personal property is believed to be lost or abandoned on the campus of a public institution of higher education, it shall be administered as provided in Article 3 (§ 55.1-2524 et seq.) of Chapter 25 of Title 55.1.

E. Whenever any personal property, tangible or intangible, has been accepted for safekeeping during a patient's stay by any hospital operated by a public institution of higher education and such property is believed by the appropriately designated official to be lost or abandoned, it shall be administered as provided in Article 3 (§ 55.1-2524 et seq.) of Chapter 25 of Title 55.1.

1981, c. 517, § 23-4.2; 1982, c. 210; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-105. Contracts with certain nonprofit private institutions of higher education.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Private college" means a nonprofit private institution of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide collegiate or graduate education and not to provide religious training or theological education.

"Services" includes a program or course of study offered or approved to be offered by a public institution of higher education or private college; use of professional personnel; use of any real or personal property owned, controlled, or leased for educational or related purposes by a public institution of higher education or private college; study, research, or investigation or similar activity by employees or students, or both, of a public institution of higher education or private college; or any other activity (i) dealing with scientific, technological, humanistic, or other educational or related subjects or (ii) providing public service or student service activities.

B. The Commonwealth and any of its political subdivisions may contract to obtain from or furnish to private colleges educational or related services.

C. No contract for services between private colleges and public institutions of higher education or educational agencies of the Commonwealth, including the Board of Education, is valid unless approved by the Council.

D. Except as provided in subsection C, contracts for services between private colleges and the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions may be entered into in any circumstance in which the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions would, by virtue of law, have authority to contract with private contractors for educational or related services and public institutions of higher education. Private colleges shall report such contracts to the Council.

E. The Council shall provide continuing evaluation of the effectiveness of and make recommendations regarding contracts made pursuant to this section.

F. The authority to contract for educational or related services includes the authority to accept gifts, donations, and matching funds to facilitate or advance programs.

G. Unless an appropriation act specifically provides otherwise, all appropriations shall be construed to authorize contracts with private colleges for the provision of educational or related services that may be the subject of or included in the appropriation.

H. Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict or prohibit the use of any federal, state, or local funds made available under any federal, state, or local appropriation or grant.

1975, c. 399, § 23-9.10:3; 1991, c. 590; 2015, c. 709; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-106. Formation of not-for-profit benefits consortium.

A. As used in this section:

"Benefits consortium" means a nonstock corporation formed pursuant to subsection B.

"Benefits plan" means plans adopted by the board of directors of a benefits consortium to provide health and welfare benefits to employees of private educational institutions that are members of the benefits consortium, employees of the sponsoring association of the benefits consortium, employees of the benefits consortium, and their dependents.

"Employee welfare benefit plan" has the meaning set forth in § 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1).

"Private educational institution" means a nonprofit private institution of higher education that is accredited by a nationally recognized regional accreditation body or by the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and:

1. Has its primary campus located within the Commonwealth;

2. Is owned and operated by a corporation, trust, association, or religious institution or any subsidiary or affiliate of any such entity;

3. Has been in existence as a private educational institution in the Commonwealth for at least 10 years;

4. Is a member in good standing of the sponsoring association; and

5. Otherwise qualifies as an institution of higher education as defined in § 23.1-213.

"Sponsoring association" means an association of private educational institutions that is incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth, has been in existence for at least 20 years, and exists for purposes other than arranging for or providing health and welfare benefits to members.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, five or more private educational institutions may form a not-for-profit benefits consortium for the purpose of establishing a self-funded employee welfare benefit plan by acting as incorporators of a nonstock corporation pursuant to the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-801 et seq.). In addition to provisions required or permitted by the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, the organizational documents of the benefits consortium shall:

1. Limit membership in the benefits consortium to private educational institutions, the sponsoring association of the benefits consortium, and the benefits consortium;

2. Set forth the name and address of each of the initial members of the corporation;

3. Set forth requirements for the admission of additional private educational institutions to the corporation and the procedure for admission of additional members;

4. Require that each initial member of the corporation and each additional private educational institution admitted to membership agrees to remain a member of the benefits consortium for a period of at least five years from the date the consortium begins operations or the date of its admission to membership;

5. Provide that the number of directors of the corporation is equal to the number of members and includes one person employed by each member and may provide for an additional director who shall be an employee of the sponsoring association; however, two individuals affiliated with the same member shall not serve on the board of directors at the same time;

6. Provide that the board of directors has exclusive fiscal control over and be responsible for the operation of the benefits plan and shall govern the benefits consortium in accordance with the fiduciary duties defined in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974;

7. Vest in the board of directors the power to make and collect special assessments against members and, if any assessment is not timely paid, to enforce collection of such assessment in the name of the corporation;

8. State the purposes of the benefits consortium, including the types of risks to be shared by its members;

9. Provide that each member shall be liable for its allocated share of the liabilities of the benefits consortium as determined by the board of directors;

10. Require that the benefits consortium purchase and maintain (i) a bond that satisfies the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, (ii) fiduciary liability insurance, and (iii) a policy of excess insurance with a retention level determined in accordance with sound actuarial principles from an insurer licensed to transact the business of insurance in the Commonwealth;

11. Require that the benefits consortium be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant engaged by the board of directors;

12. Prohibit the payment of commissions or other remuneration to any person on account of the enrollment of persons in any benefit plan offered by the benefits consortium; and

13. Not include in the name of the corporation the words "insurance," "insurer," "underwriter," "mutual," or any other word or term or combination of words or terms that is uniquely descriptive of an insurance company or insurance business unless the context of the remaining words or terms clearly indicates that the corporation is not an insurance company and is not carrying on the business of insurance.

C. Each benefits consortium shall establish and maintain reserves determined in accordance with sound actuarial principles. Capital may be maintained in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit issued to the benefits consortium by a state or national bank authorized to engage in the banking business in the Commonwealth.

D. Except to the extent specifically provided in this section, each benefits consortium organized under and operated in conformity with this section that remains in good standing under the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) and otherwise meets the requirements set forth in this section is governed solely by and subject only to the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor, is exempt from all state taxation, and is not otherwise subject to the provisions of Title 38.2, including regulation as a multiple employer welfare arrangement.

2007, c. 136, § 23-4.2:1; 2014, c. 578; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-107. Private institutions of higher education; human research review committees.

The human research review committee at each private institution of higher education that conducts human research, as that term is defined in § 32.1-162.16, shall submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the president of the institution or his designee at least annually a report on the human research projects reviewed and approved by the committee and any significant deviations from approved proposals.

1992, c. 603, § 23-9.2:3.3; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-108. Foundations; annual reporting requirements.

A. Each public institution of higher education shall release an annual report regarding foundations associated with the institution setting forth foundation expenses. The annual report shall include:

1. The total annual expenditures by each foundation;

2. The percentage of expenditures used for scholarships or financial aid by each foundation;

3. The percentage of expenditures used for faculty compensation by each foundation;

4. The percentage of expenditures used for program costs by each foundation;

5. The percentage of expenditures used for equipment and technology by each foundation;

6. The percentage of expenditures used for administrative support by each foundation; and

7. The percentage of expenditures used for executive compensation by each foundation.

B. This section shall not apply to the Virginia Community College System.

2020, c. 511.

§ 23.1-109. Public-private partnerships; wind and solar power.

A. Each public institution of higher education may enter into a public-private partnership with any private entity whereby such entity is permitted to use at no cost property owned or controlled by such public institution of higher education for the generation of wind or solar power in exchange for offering educational immersion programs that provide hands-on education and training in the construction, operations, and maintenance of its wind or solar power generators. Such educational immersion programs shall be open to high school students and students at public institutions of higher education on the basis of admissions criteria established by the partner public institution of higher education.

B. Any energy produced by solar or wind power generators as a result of a public-private partnership established pursuant to this section shall be (i) used to provide power for the partner public institution of higher education or (ii) introduced to applicable power grids and sold at market rates, with profits split as agreed upon by the private entity and the partner public institution of higher education. Any such profits gained by the partner public institution of higher education shall be used to further research, expand clean energy education programs, or lower student tuition rates.

2020, c. 775.

§ 23.1-110. Medical schools to report information concerning fourth-year medical students to the Department of Health; Eligible Health Care Provider Reserve Directory.

All medical schools in the Commonwealth shall report information prescribed in subsection B of § 32.1-23.3 for fourth-year medical students who are in good standing and scheduled to graduate early or on time to the Department of Health for inclusion in the Eligible Health Care Provider Reserve Directory (the Directory) when such students register for inclusion in the Directory and consent to the release of their education records required for inclusion in the Directory in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 530.