Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 23.1. Institutions of Higher Education; Other Educational and Cultural Institutions
9/23/2018

Subtitle I. General Provisions.

Chapter 1. Definitions and General Provisions.

Article 1. Definitions.

§ 23.1-100. Definitions.

As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Associate-degree-granting" means that an associate degree is the most advanced degree that is granted.

"Associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education" includes Richard Bland College and each comprehensive community college.

"Baccalaureate" means that bachelor's degrees or more advanced degrees, or both, are granted.

"Baccalaureate public institution of higher education" includes Christopher Newport University, George Mason University, James Madison University, Longwood University, the University of Mary Washington, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, the University of Virginia, the University of Virginia's College at Wise as a division of the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and The College of William and Mary in Virginia.

"Chief executive officer" includes the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, the Chancellor of the University of Virginia's College at Wise, the Superintendent of Virginia Military Institute, and the president of each other public institution of higher education.

"Comprehensive community college" means an associate-degree-granting public institution of higher education governed by the State Board that offers instruction in one or more of the following fields:

1. Freshman and sophomore courses in arts and sciences acceptable for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs;

2. Diversified technical curricula, including programs leading to an associate degree;

3. Career and technical education leading directly to employment;

4. Courses in general and continuing education for adults in the fields set out in subdivisions 1, 2, and 3; or

5. Noncredit training and retraining courses and programs of varying lengths to meet the needs of business and industry in the Commonwealth.

"Council" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Governing board" includes the State Board and the board of visitors of each baccalaureate public institution of higher education. "Governing board" does not include local community college boards.

"Local community college board" means the board established to act in an advisory capacity to the State Board and perform such duties with respect to the operation of a single comprehensive community college as may be delegated to it by the State Board.

"Nonprofit private institution of higher education" means any postsecondary school, as that term is defined in § 23.1-213, in the Commonwealth that is exempt from paying federal income taxes under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is certified by the Council to offer degrees or exempt from such certification pursuant to Article 3 (§ 23.1-213 et seq.) of Chapter 2.

"Non-Virginia student" means any student who has not established domicile in the Commonwealth pursuant to § 23.1-502.

"Private institution of higher education" includes each nonprofit private institution of higher education and proprietary private institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.

"Proprietary private institution of higher education" means any postsecondary school, as that term is defined in § 23.1-213, in the Commonwealth that is privately owned, privately managed, and obligated to pay federal income taxes in the Commonwealth and is certified by the Council to offer degrees or exempt from such certification pursuant to Article 3 (§ 23.1-213 et seq.) of Chapter 2.

"Public institution of higher education" includes the System as a whole and each associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.

"State Board" means the State Board for Community Colleges.

"System" means the Virginia Community College System.

"Virginia student" means any student who has established domicile in the Commonwealth pursuant to § 23.1-502.

2016, c. 588.

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.

§ 23.1-103. 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 4 (§ 55-210.12 et seq.) of Chapter 11.1 of Title 55.

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 4 (§ 55-210.12 et seq.) of Chapter 11.1 of Title 55.

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.

Chapter 2. State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Article 1. Membership and Organization.

§ 23.1-200. State Council of Higher Education for Virginia established; purpose; membership; terms; officers.

A. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is established to advocate for and promote the development and operation of an educationally and economically sound, vigorous, progressive, and coordinated system of higher education in the Commonwealth and lead state-level strategic planning and policy development and implementation based on research and analysis and in accordance with § 23.1-301 and subsection A of § 23.1-1002. The Council shall seek to facilitate collaboration among institutions of higher education that will enhance quality and create operational efficiencies and work with institutions of higher education and their governing boards on board development.

B. The Council shall be composed of individuals selected from the Commonwealth at large without regard to political affiliation but with due consideration of geographical representation. Nonlegislative citizen members shall have demonstrated experience, knowledge, and understanding of higher education and workforce needs. Nonlegislative citizen members shall be selected for their ability and all appointments shall be of such nature as to aid the work of the Council and inspire the highest degree of cooperation and confidence. No officer, employee, trustee, or member of the governing board of any institution of higher education, employee of the Commonwealth, member of the General Assembly, or member of the Board of Education is eligible for appointment to the Council except as specified in this section. All members of the Council are members at large who shall serve the best interests of the whole Commonwealth. No member shall act as the representative of any particular region or of any particular institution of higher education.

C. The Council shall consist of 13 members: 12 nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Governor and one ex officio member. At least one nonlegislative citizen member shall have served as a chief executive officer of a public institution of higher education. At least one nonlegislative citizen member shall be a division superintendent or the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The President of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority shall serve ex officio with voting privileges.

D. All terms shall begin July 1.

E. Nonlegislative citizen members shall serve for terms of four years. Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. No nonlegislative citizen member shall serve for more than two consecutive terms; however, a nonlegislative citizen member appointed to serve an unexpired term is eligible to serve two consecutive four-year terms. No nonlegislative citizen member who has served two consecutive four-year terms is eligible to serve on the Council until at least two years have passed since the end of his second consecutive four-year term. All appointments are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Nonlegislative citizen members shall continue to hold office until their successors have been appointed and qualified. Ex officio members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office.

F. The Council shall elect a chairman and a vice-chairman from its membership. The Council shall appoint a secretary and such other officers as it deems necessary and prescribe their duties and terms of office.

G. At each meeting, the Council shall involve the chief executive officer of each public institution of higher education in its agenda. The chief executive officers shall present information and comment on issues of common interest and choose presenters to the Council from among themselves who reflect the diversity of the institutions.

H. At each meeting, the Council may involve other groups, including the presidents of private institutions of higher education, in its agenda.

1956, c. 311, § 23-9.3; 1964, c. 597; 1970, c. 117; 1972, c. 210; 1974, c. 544; 1980, c. 728; 1991, c. 590; 2013, c. 605; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314; 2018, c. 202.

§ 23.1-201. Student advisory committee.

A. The Council shall appoint a student advisory committee consisting of students enrolled in public institutions of higher education and accredited private institutions of higher education whose primary purpose is to provide collegiate or graduate education and not to provide religious training. Appointments shall be made in a manner to ensure broad student representation from among such institutions.

B. Members shall serve for terms of one year. Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. Members may be reappointed to serve subsequent or consecutive terms.

C. The Council shall ensure that at least one member of the student advisory committee is reappointed each year. The student advisory committee shall elect a chairman from among its members.

D. The student advisory committee shall meet at least twice annually and advise the Council regarding such matters as may come before it.

2003, c. 710, § 23-9.3:1; 2006, c. 92; 2009, c. 434; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-202. Employment of director and other personnel.

The Council shall appoint and employ a director who shall be the chief executive officer of the Council and employ such other personnel as may be required to assist it in the exercise of its powers and duties.

1956, c. 311, § 23-9.4; 1974, c. 544; 1997, cc. 803, 888, 891; 2002, cc. 591, 612; 2016, c. 588.

Article 2. Powers and Duties.

§ 23.1-203. Duties of Council.

The Council shall:

1. Develop a statewide strategic plan that (i) reflects the goals set forth in subsection A of § 23.1-1002 or (ii) once adopted, reflects the goals and objectives developed pursuant to subdivision B 5 of § 23.1-309 for higher education in the Commonwealth, identifies a coordinated approach to such state and regional goals, and emphasizes the future needs for higher education in the Commonwealth at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels and the mission, programs, facilities, and location of each of the existing institutions of higher education, each public institution's six-year plan, and such other matters as the Council deems appropriate. The Council shall revise such plan at least once every six years and shall submit such recommendations as are necessary for the implementation of the plan to the Governor and the General Assembly.

2. Review and approve or disapprove any proposed change in the statement of mission of any public institution of higher education and define the mission of all newly created public institutions of higher education. The Council shall report such approvals, disapprovals, and definitions to the Governor and the General Assembly at least once every six years. No such actions shall become effective until 30 days after adjournment of the session of the General Assembly next following the filing of such a report. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize the Council to modify any mission statement adopted by the General Assembly or empower the Council to affect, either directly or indirectly, the selection of faculty or the standards and criteria for admission of any public institution of higher education, whether relating to academic standards, residence, or other criteria. Faculty selection and student admission policies shall remain a function of the individual public institutions of higher education.

3. Study any proposed escalation of any public institution of higher education to a degree-granting level higher than that level to which it is presently restricted and submit a report and recommendation to the Governor and the General Assembly relating to the proposal. The study shall include the need for and benefits or detriments to be derived from the escalation. No such institution shall implement any such proposed escalation until the Council's report and recommendation have been submitted to the General Assembly and the General Assembly approves the institution's proposal.

4. Review and approve or disapprove all enrollment projections proposed by each public institution of higher education. The Council's projections shall be organized numerically by level of enrollment and shall be used solely for budgetary, fiscal, and strategic planning purposes. The Council shall develop estimates of the number of degrees to be awarded by each public institution of higher education and include those estimates in its reports of enrollment projections. The student admissions policies for such institutions and their specific programs shall remain the sole responsibility of the individual governing boards but all baccalaureate public institutions of higher education shall adopt dual admissions policies with comprehensive community colleges as required by § 23.1-907.

5. Review and approve or disapprove all new undergraduate or graduate academic programs that any public institution of higher education proposes.

6. Review and require the discontinuance of any undergraduate or graduate academic program that is presently offered by any public institution of higher education when the Council determines that such academic program is (i) nonproductive in terms of the number of degrees granted, the number of students served by the program, the program's effectiveness, and budgetary considerations or (ii) supported by state funds and unnecessarily duplicative of academic programs offered at other public institutions of higher education. The Council shall make a report to the Governor and the General Assembly with respect to the discontinuance of any such academic program. No such discontinuance shall become effective until 30 days after the adjournment of the session of the General Assembly next following the filing of such report.

7. Review and approve or disapprove the establishment of any department, school, college, branch, division, or extension of any public institution of higher education that such institution proposes to establish, whether located on or off the main campus of such institution. If any organizational change is determined by the Council to be proposed solely for the purpose of internal management and the institution's curricular offerings remain constant, the Council shall approve the proposed change. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to authorize the Council to disapprove the establishment of any such department, school, college, branch, division, or extension established by the General Assembly.

8. Review the proposed closure of any academic program in a high demand or critical shortage area, as defined by the Council, by any public institution of higher education and assist in the development of an orderly closure plan, when needed.

9. Develop a uniform, comprehensive data information system designed to gather all information necessary to the performance of the Council's duties. The system shall include information on admissions, enrollment, self-identified students with documented disabilities, personnel, programs, financing, space inventory, facilities, and such other areas as the Council deems appropriate. When consistent with the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.), the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act (§ 60.2-100 et seq.), and applicable federal law, the Council, acting solely or in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education or the Virginia Employment Commission, may contract with private entities to create de-identified student records in which all personally identifiable information has been removed for the purpose of assessing the performance of institutions and specific programs relative to the workforce needs of the Commonwealth.

10. In cooperation with public institutions of higher education, develop guidelines for the assessment of student achievement. Each such institution shall use an approved program that complies with the guidelines of the Council and is consistent with the institution's mission and educational objectives in the development of such assessment. The Council shall report each institution's assessment of student achievement in the revisions to the Commonwealth's statewide strategic plan for higher education.

11. In cooperation with the appropriate state financial and accounting officials, develop and establish uniform standards and systems of accounting, recordkeeping, and statistical reporting for public institutions of higher education.

12. Review biennially and approve or disapprove all changes in the inventory of educational and general space that any public institution of higher education proposes and report such approvals and disapprovals to the Governor and the General Assembly. No such change shall become effective until 30 days after the adjournment of the session of the General Assembly next following the filing of such report.

13. Visit and study the operations of each public institution of higher education at such times as the Council deems appropriate and conduct such other studies in the field of higher education as the Council deems appropriate or as may be requested by the Governor or the General Assembly.

14. Provide advisory services to each accredited 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 on academic, administrative, financial, and space utilization matters. The Council may review and advise on joint activities, including contracts for services between public institutions of higher education and such private institutions of higher education or between such private institutions of higher education and any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth.

15. Adopt such policies and regulations as the Council deems necessary to implement its duties established by state law. Each public institution of higher education shall comply with such policies and regulations.

16. Issue guidelines consistent with the provisions of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g), requiring public institutions of higher education to release a student's academic and disciplinary record to a student's parent.

17. Require each institution of higher education formed, chartered, or established in the Commonwealth after July 1, 1980, to ensure the preservation of student transcripts in the event of institutional closure or revocation of approval to operate in the Commonwealth. An institution may ensure the preservation of student transcripts by binding agreement with another institution of higher education with which it is not corporately connected or in such other way as the Council may authorize by regulation. In the event that an institution closes or has its approval to operate in the Commonwealth revoked, the Council, through its director, may take such action as is necessary to secure and preserve the student transcripts until such time as an appropriate institution accepts all or some of the transcripts. Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to interfere with the right of a student to his own transcripts or authorize disclosure of student records except as may otherwise be authorized by law.

18. Require the development and submission of articulation, dual admissions, and guaranteed admissions agreements between associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate public institutions of higher education.

19. Provide periodic updates of base adequacy funding guidelines adopted by the Joint Subcommittee Studying Higher Education Funding Policies for each public institution of higher education.

20. Develop, pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-907, guidelines for articulation, dual admissions, and guaranteed admissions agreements, including guidelines related to a one-year Uniform Certificate of General Studies Program and a one-semester Passport Program to be offered at each comprehensive community college. The guidelines developed pursuant to this subdivision shall be developed in consultation with all public institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth, the Department of Education, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and shall ensure standardization, quality, and transparency in the implementation of the programs and agreements. At the discretion of the Council, private institutions of higher education eligible for tuition assistance grants may also be consulted.

21. Cooperate with the Board of Education in matters of interest to both public elementary and secondary schools and public institutions of higher education, particularly in connection with coordination of the college admission requirements, coordination of teacher training programs with the public school programs, and the Board of Education's Six-Year Educational Technology Plan for Virginia. The Council shall encourage public institutions of higher education to design programs that include the skills necessary for the successful implementation of such Plan.

22. Advise and provide technical assistance to the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee in the implementation and administration of the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Program pursuant to Chapter 34.1 (§ 30-231.01 et seq.) of Title 30.

23. Insofar as possible, seek the cooperation and utilize the facilities of existing state departments, institutions, and agencies in carrying out its duties.

24. Serve as the coordinating council for public institutions of higher education.

25. Serve as the planning and coordinating agency for all postsecondary educational programs for all health professions and occupations and make recommendations, including those relating to financing, for providing adequate and coordinated educational programs to produce an appropriate supply of properly trained personnel. The Council may conduct such studies as it deems appropriate in furtherance of the requirements of this subdivision. All state departments and agencies shall cooperate with the Council in the execution of its responsibilities under this subdivision.

26. Carry out such duties as the Governor may assign to it in response to agency designations requested by the federal government.

27. Insofar as practicable, preserve the individuality, traditions, and sense of responsibility of each public institution of higher education in carrying out its duties.

28. Insofar as practicable, seek the assistance and advice of each public institution of higher education in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities.

29. Develop the Commonwealth Research and Technology Strategic Roadmap pursuant to the provisions of § 23.1-3134 to be submitted to the Virginia Research Investment Committee for approval, and otherwise assist the Virginia Research Investment Committee with the administration of the Virginia Research Investment Fund consistent with the provisions of Article 8 (§ 23.1-3130 et seq.) of Chapter 31.

30. Administer the Virginia Longitudinal Data System as a multiagency partnership for the purposes of developing educational, health, social service, and employment outcome data; improving the efficacy of state services; and aiding decision making.

1956, c. 311, §§ 23-9.5, 23-9.8, 23-9.13; 1970, c. 294, § 23-9.10:1; 1974, c. 544, § 23-9.6:1; 1977, cc. 319, 413, 676, § 23-261; 1979, cc. 2, 28, 136, 145, 619; 1980, c. 728; 1985, c. 448; 1989, c. 105; 1991, cc. 454, 590; 1992, c. 103; 1996, c. 215; 1997, c. 827; 1999, cc. 451, 460; 2001, c. 841; 2002, cc. 95, 158, 257; 2003, cc. 715, 725; 2004, cc. 176, 195, 502; 2005, cc. 753, 818, 834, 933, 945, § 23-9.8 :1; 2006, c. 379; 2009, cc. 55, 56; 2010, cc. 68, 527; 2011, cc. 828, 869; 2012, c. 142; 2014, c. 628; 2016, c. 588, 775; 2017, cc. 314, 376, 796, 816; 2018, cc. 832, 845.

§ 23.1-204. Expired.

Expired by the terms of Acts 2012, c. 694, cl. 2, on June 30, 2017.

§ 23.1-204.1. Postgraduation employment rates.

A. The Council shall annually collect and publish on its website data on the proportion of graduates of each public institution of higher education and each nonprofit private institution of higher education eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program (§ 23.1-628 et seq.) who are employed (i) 18 months after the date of graduation and (ii) five years after the date of graduation. The data shall include the program and the program level, as recognized by the Council, for each degree awarded by each institution; the percentage of graduates known to be employed in the Commonwealth, by degree program and level; the average salary, hours worked, as available, occupation or occupation code, as available, and the average higher education-related debt for the graduates on which the data is based, by degree program and level; rates of enrollment in remedial coursework for each institution; individual student credit accumulation for each institution; rates of postsecondary degree completion; and any other information that the Council determines is necessary to address adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education, alignment between secondary and postsecondary education, and alignment between postsecondary education and workforce preparation. The published data shall be consistent with the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

B. The Council shall disseminate to each public high school and each public institution of higher education and private institution of higher education for which the Council has student-level data a link on its website to the published data.

C. The Council shall provide a notification template that each public high school may use to annually notify students and their parents about the availability of such data.

D. Each public institution of higher education and each nonprofit private institution of higher education eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program (§ 23.1-628 et seq.) shall provide a link on its website to the postsecondary education and employment data published pursuant to subsection A and shall make such link available to each admitted student.

2017, c. 376; 2018, cc. 387, 590.

§ 23.1-205. Authority to carry out federal requirements.

The Council may prepare plans, administer federal programs, and receive and disburse any federal funds in accordance with the responsibilities assigned to it by federal statutes or regulations.

1977, c. 676, § 23-261; 1991, c. 590; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-206. Assessments of the performance of public institutions of higher education.

A. 1. The Council shall develop and revise as appropriate, in consultation with the respective Chairmen of the House Committees on Education and Appropriations and the Senate Committees on Finance and Education and Health or their designees, representatives of public institutions of higher education, and such other state officials as may be designated by the Governor, objective measures of educational-related performance and institutional performance benchmarks for such objective measures for each public institution of higher education. At a minimum, the Council shall develop objective measures and institutional performance benchmarks for the goals and objectives set forth in subsection A of § 23.1-1002.

2. The Governor shall develop and revise as appropriate objective measures of financial and administrative management performance and related institutional performance benchmarks for the goals and objectives set forth in subdivision A 11 of § 23.1-1002.

B. The Governor shall include objective measures of financial and administrative management and educational-related performance and related institutional performance benchmarks as described in subsection A in "The Budget Bill" submitted as required by subsection A of § 2.2-1509 or in his proposed gubernatorial amendments to the general appropriation act pursuant to subsection E of § 2.2-1509.

C. The Council shall annually assess the degree to which each public institution of higher education has met the financial and administrative management and educational-related performance benchmarks set forth in the current general appropriation act. Such annual assessment shall be based upon the objective measures and institutional performance benchmarks included in the current general appropriation act. The Council shall request assistance from the Secretaries of Finance and Administration who shall provide such assistance for the purpose of assessing whether public institutions of higher education have met the financial and administrative management performance benchmarks.

No later than June 1 of every fiscal year, the Council shall provide a certified written report of the results of such annual assessment to the Governor and the respective Chairmen of the House Committees on Education and Appropriations and the Senate Committees on Finance and Education and Health.

Each public institution of higher education that is certified by the Council as having met the financial and administrative management and educational-related performance benchmarks in effect for the fiscal year as set forth in the general appropriation act is entitled to the financial benefits set forth in subsection C of § 23.1-1002. Such benefits shall first be provided as determined under such subsection.

1977, c. 676, § 23-261; 1991, c. 590; 2005, cc. 933, 945, § 23-9.6:1.01; 2011, cc. 828, 869; 2013, c. 482; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-207. Tuition relief and refunds and reinstatement for certain students in the Armed Forces.

A. The Council shall issue and revise guidelines for tuition relief, refunds, and reinstatement for students whose service in the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment in a public institution of higher education and shall provide for the required reenrollment of such students by the relevant institution. These guidelines shall be excluded from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act pursuant to § 2.2-4002.

B. The Council shall appoint an advisory committee of at least 10 representatives of the public institutions of higher education to assist in the development and subsequent revision of such guidelines. The Council shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General and provide opportunity for public comment prior to issuing such guidelines or revisions.

C. Such guidelines shall include procedures for the required reenrollment of students whose service in the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth precluded their completion of a semester or equivalent term and policies for the required reenrollment of such students in such armed forces.

1991, c. 80, § 23-9.6:2; 2004, c. 740; 2011, c. 27; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-208. Budget requests and recommendations.

A. The Council shall develop policies, formulae, and guidelines for the fair and equitable distribution and use of public funds among the public institutions of higher education, taking into account enrollment projections and recognizing differences and similarities in institutional missions. Such policies, formulae, and guidelines shall include provisions for operating expenses and capital outlay programs and shall be utilized by all public institutions of higher education in preparing requests for appropriations. The Council shall consult with the Department of Planning and Budget in the development of such policies, formulae, and guidelines to ensure that they are consistent with the requirements of the Department of Planning and Budget.

B. Not less than 30 days prior to submitting its biennial budget request to the Governor, the governing board of each public institution of higher education shall transmit to the Council such selected budgetary information relating to its budget request for maintenance and operation and for capital outlay as the Council shall reasonably require. The Council shall analyze such information in light of the Council's plans, policies, formulae, and guidelines and shall submit to the Governor recommendations for approval or modification of each institution's request together with a rationale for each such recommendation. The Council shall make available to the General Assembly its analyses and recommendations concerning institutional budget requests.

C. Nothing in this section shall prevent any institution of higher education from appearing through its representatives or otherwise before the Governor, the Governor's advisory committee on the budget, the General Assembly, or any committee of the General Assembly at any time.

D. Funds for any consortium created by The College of William and Mary in Virginia, Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for the purpose of promoting graduate marine science education may be included in the budget request of and the appropriations to the Council.

1956, c. 311, § 23-9.9; 1974, c. 544; 1979, c. 294, § 23-9.9:1; 1991, c. 590; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-209. Reports of expenditures of state funds.

The governing board of each public institution of higher education shall provide the Council annual data indicating the apportionment and amounts of expenditures that the relevant institution expends by category, including academic costs, administration, research, and public service, as defined by the Council. The Council shall compile and submit a report of such data annually to the Governor and the General Assembly.

2003, c. 184, § 23-9.9:01; 2007, c. 630; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-210. Advisory services to accredited nonprofit private institutions of higher education; Private College Advisory Board.

A. The Council shall provide advisory services to accredited nonprofit private institutions of higher education on academic and administrative matters. The Council may review and advise on joint activities, including contracts for services, between nonprofit private institutions of higher education and public institutions of higher education and between nonprofit private institutions of higher education and any agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The Council may collect and analyze such data as may be pertinent to such activities.

B. The Council shall seek the advice of the Private College Advisory Board, and the Advisory Board shall assist the Council in the performance of its duties as required by subsection A. The Private College Advisory Board shall be composed of representatives of nonprofit private institutions of higher education and such other members as the Council may select and shall be broadly representative of nonprofit private institutions of higher education.

C. The Private College Advisory Board shall meet at least once each year.

1974, c. 40, § 23-9.10:2; 1980, c. 728; 1985, c. 448; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-211. Distance learning reciprocity agreements; participation; Distance Learning Reciprocity Advisory Council.

A. The Council may enter into interstate reciprocity agreements that authorize accredited associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate (i) public institutions of higher education and (ii) private institutions of higher education to offer postsecondary distance education. The Council shall administer such agreements and shall approve or disapprove participation in such agreements by accredited associate-degree-granting and baccalaureate (a) public institutions of higher education and (b) private institutions of higher education. Participation in the agreements is voluntary.

B. The Council shall establish the Distance Learning Reciprocity Advisory Council, which shall include representatives from each institution that offers postsecondary distance education pursuant to an interstate reciprocity agreement as set forth in subsection A. The Advisory Council shall advise the Council on the development of policies governing the terms of participation by eligible institutions, including the establishment of fees to be paid by participating institutions to cover direct and indirect administrative costs incurred by the Council.

2014, c. 323, § 23-9.14:3; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-212. Effect upon powers of governing boards of public institutions of higher education; endowment funds.

A. The powers of the governing boards of public institutions of higher education over the affairs of such institutions are not impaired by the provisions of this chapter except to the extent that powers and duties are specifically conferred upon the Council in this chapter.

B. The Council shall have no authority over the solicitation, investment, or expenditure of endowment funds now held or in the future received by any public institution of higher education.

1956, c. 311, § 23-9.14; 1974, c. 544; 2016, c. 588.

Article 3. Regulation of Certain Private and Out-of State Institutions of Higher Education.

§ 23.1-213. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Academic-vocational non-college degree school" means a non-college degree school that offers degree and nondegree credit courses.

"Agent" means a person who is employed by any institution of higher education or non-college degree school, whether such institution or school is located within or outside the Commonwealth, to act as an agent, solicitor, procurer, broker, or independent contractor to procure students or enrollees for any such institution or school by solicitation in any form at any place in the Commonwealth other than the office or principal location of such institution or school.

"Certificate" means an award that is given by (i) institutions of higher education and academic-vocational non-college degree schools for successful completion of a curriculum consisting of courses that may also be taken for degree credit or (ii) vocational non-college degree schools for successful completion of a curriculum. "Certificate" includes a diploma.

"College" means any associate-degree-granting institution of higher education or institution of higher education at which a bachelor's degree is the most advanced degree that is granted.

"Continuing or professional education" means those classes, courses, and programs designed specifically for individuals who have completed a degree in a professional field that (i) are intended to fulfill the continuing education requirements for licensure or certification in such professional field, (ii) have been approved by a legislatively or judicially established board or agency responsible for regulating the practice of the profession, and (iii) are offered exclusively to an individual practicing in such professional field.

"Degree" means any earned award at the associate, baccalaureate, graduate, first professional, or specialist levels that represents satisfactory completion of the requirements of a program or course of study or instruction beyond the secondary school level.

"Degree credit" means any earned credits awarded for successful completion of the requirements of a course of study or instruction beyond the secondary school level that may be used toward completion of a certificate or degree.

"Fraudulent academic credential" means a certificate, academic transcript, or other document issued by a person or other entity that is not an institution of higher education that provides evidence of or demonstrates completion of coursework or academic credit that results in the issuance of a degree.

"Institution of higher education" or "institution" means any person or other entity, other than a public institution of higher education or any other entity authorized to issue bonds pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 23.1-1100 et seq.), that has received approval from the Council to (i) use the term "college" or "university, " or words of like meaning, in its name or in any manner in connection with its academic affairs or business; (ii) enroll students; and (iii) offer approved courses for degree credit or programs of study leading to a degree or offer degrees either at a site or via telecommunications equipment located in the Commonwealth.

"Multistate compact" means any agreement involving two or more states to jointly offer postsecondary educational opportunities pursuant to policies and procedures established in such agreement and approved by the Council.

"Non-college degree school" means any person or other entity that offers courses or programs of study that do not lead to a degree. "Non-college degree school" includes academic-vocational non-college degree schools and vocational non-college degree schools.

"Nondegree credit" means any earned credits awarded for successful completion of the requirements of a course of study or instruction beyond the secondary school level that may be used toward completion of a certificate but may not be used to earn a degree.

"Out-of-state" means formed, chartered, established, or incorporated outside of the Commonwealth.

"Postsecondary school" means any institution of higher education or non-college degree school offering formal instructional programs with a curriculum designed primarily for students who have completed the requirements for a high school diploma or its equivalent. "Postsecondary school" includes programs of academic, vocational, and continuing professional education, except courses or programs of continuing professional education set forth in subdivision B 4 of § 23.1-226. "Postsecondary school" does not include avocational and adult basic education programs.

"Program" means a curriculum or course of study in a discipline or interdisciplinary area that leads to a degree or certificate.

"Program area" means a general group of disciplines in which one or more programs may be offered.

"Proprietary" means privately owned, privately managed, and corporately structured as a for-profit entity.

"Site" means a location in the Commonwealth where a postsecondary school (i) offers at least one course on an established schedule and (ii) enrolls at least two individuals who are not members of the same household, regardless of the presence or absence of administrative capability at such location.

"Teachout plan" means a written agreement between or among postsecondary schools that provides for the equitable treatment of students if one party to the agreement ceases to offer an educational program before all students enrolled in that program complete the program.

"University" means any baccalaureate institution of higher education.

"Vocational non-college degree school" means a non-college degree school that offers only courses for nondegree credit. "Vocational non-college degree school" does not include instructional programs that are intended solely for recreation, enjoyment, or personal interest or as a hobby or courses or instructional programs that prepare individuals to teach such pursuits.

Code 1950, § 23-265; 1980, c. 658; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 1999, cc. 458, 499; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.1; 2004, cc. 671, 991; 2005, c. 447; 2007, cc. 82, 115; 2008, c. 856; 2010, cc. 67, 263; 2013, c. 229; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-214. Certified mail; subsequent mail or notices may be sent by regular mail.

Whenever the Council is required to send any mail or notice by certified mail pursuant to this article and such mail or notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested, the Council may send any subsequent, identical mail or notice by regular mail.

2011, c. 566, § 23-276.1:1; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-215. Authority of the Council; regulations; standards for postsecondary schools; delegation of authority to director.

A. The Council shall adopt, pursuant to the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), such regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this article, including (i) procedures by which a postsecondary school may apply for Council approval to confer degrees in the Commonwealth; (ii) measures designed to ensure that all postsecondary schools that are subject to the provisions of this article meet the minimal standards established pursuant to subsection B; (iii) protections for students pursuing postsecondary education opportunities in postsecondary schools subject to the provisions of this article; and (iv) information to assist persons who rely on postsecondary degrees or certificates to judge the competence of individuals in receipt of such degrees or certificates.

B. The Council shall establish minimal standards for postsecondary schools that include standards for faculty preparation and experience, educational programs, physical plants, additional locations, finances, guaranty instruments, advertising and publications, maintenance of student records, personnel qualifications, student services, the method for collecting and refunding tuition and fees, library resources and services, organization and administration, changes of ownership or control, procedures for student admission and graduation, agent or solicitor requirements, consistency of a postsecondary school's stated purpose with the proposed offerings, reporting requirements, and any other relevant standards or requirements adopted by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

C. The Council shall prescribe the manner, conditions, and language to be used by a postsecondary school or agent of such school to disclose or advertise that the postsecondary school has received certification from the Council to offer postsecondary programs in the Commonwealth.

D. The Council may establish separate certification criteria for various postsecondary school classifications.

E. The Council may grant to its director the authority to take specific actions on its behalf in furtherance of the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 23-268; 1980, c. 658; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.3; 2004, c. 991; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-216. Career College Advisory Board established.

A. The Council shall establish and seek the advice of the Career College Advisory Board, which shall assist the Council in the performance of its duties and provide advisory services in academic and administrative matters relating to proprietary private postsecondary schools, excluding vocational non-college degree schools. The Career College Advisory Board shall be composed of college and university representatives and such other members as the Council may select and shall be broadly representative of proprietary private postsecondary schools, excluding vocational non-college degree schools.

B. The Career College Advisory Board shall meet at least twice each year and advise the Council and proprietary private postsecondary schools, excluding vocational non-college degree schools, regarding such matters as may come before the Career College Advisory Board. The Council may employ such qualified personnel as may be required to assist the Career College Advisory Board in the performance of its duties.

2004, c. 991, § 23-276.13; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-217. Certification required.

A. No person shall open, operate, or conduct any postsecondary school in the Commonwealth without certification to operate such postsecondary school issued by the Council. The Council shall certify those postsecondary schools in compliance with Council regulations issued pursuant to this article.

B. Postsecondary schools shall seek such certification from the Council immediately after receipt of a valid business license issued by the relevant official of the locality in which it seeks to operate.

2004, c. 991, § 23-276.14; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-218. List of postsecondary schools holding valid certification.

A. The Council shall maintain a list of postsecondary schools holding valid certification under the provisions of this article and shall make such list available to the public.

B. Upon confirmation of any notification or discovery of any postsecondary school operating without its certification or approval, the Council shall notify in writing the relevant local Commissioner of the Revenue or other official serving such equivalent functions of the postsecondary school's violation of such certification or approval requirement and shall recommend revocation of the postsecondary school's business license.

2004, c. 991, § 23-276.15; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-219. Council certification; requirements and prohibitions.

A. Without obtaining the certification of the Council or a determination that the activity or program is exempt from such certification requirements, no postsecondary school subject to the provisions of this article shall:

1. Use the term "college" or "university" or abbreviations or words of similar meaning in its name or in any manner in connection with its academic affairs or business;

2. Enroll students;

3. Offer degrees, courses for degree credit, programs of study leading to a degree, or courses for nondegree credit, either at a site or via telecommunications equipment located within the Commonwealth; or

4. Initiate other programs for degree credit or award degrees or certificates at a new or additional level.

B. All institutions of higher education and academic-vocational non-college degree schools subject to the provisions of this article shall be fully accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

C. All out-of-state academic-vocational non-college degree schools subject to the provisions of this article shall disclose their accreditation status in all written materials advertising or describing such school that are distributed to prospective or enrolled students or the general public.

D. No postsecondary school shall be required to obtain another certification from the Council to operate in the Commonwealth if it (i) was formed, chartered, or established in the Commonwealth or chartered by an Act of Congress; (ii) has maintained its main campus continuously in the Commonwealth for at least 20 calendar years under its current ownership; (iii) was continuously approved or authorized to confer or grant academic or professional degrees by the Council, the Board of Education, or an act of the General Assembly during those 20 years; and (iv) is fully accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by and has met the criteria for Title IV eligibility of the U.S. Department of Education. If the Council revokes an institution's authorization to confer or grant academic or professional degrees, the institution is required to seek recertification annually until it meets the criteria of this subsection.

E. In addition to such other requirements as are established in this article or the regulations of the Council, any out-of-state institution of higher education or academic-vocational non-college degree school shall provide verification that:

1. The institution or school is fully accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education;

2. All courses, degrees, or certificates offered at any site are also offered at an out-of-state campus of the institution or school;

3. All credits earned at any site are transferable to an out-of-state campus of the institution or school; and

4. The institution or school has complied with the requirements of either Article 17 (§ 13.1-757 et seq.) of Chapter 9 of Title 13.1 or Article 14 (§ 13.1-919 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 13.1.

F. Any postsecondary school that seeks to conduct telecommunications activities from a site shall apply for Council approval to conduct such activity and shall comply with this article and the Council's regulations in the same manner as any other postsecondary school subject to this article.

Code 1950, § 23-267; 1980, c. 658; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.4; 2004, c. 991; 2005, c. 447; 2006, c. 814; 2014, c. 629; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-220. Approval procedures.

A. Prior to Council approval for a postsecondary school to use the term "college" or "university" or abbreviations or words of similar meaning in its name or in any manner in connection with its academic affairs or business, offer courses or programs for degree credit, enroll students in any courses or programs, or confer or award degrees, each postsecondary school shall be evaluated by the Council in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to § 23.1-215.

B. Upon finding that the applicant has fully complied with the regulations adopted pursuant to § 23.1-215, the Council shall approve the application.

C. The Council may defer a decision on an application upon determining that additional information is needed.

D. The Council shall not take into account duplication of effort by public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education or other questions of need when considering an application.

Code 1950, § 23-269; 1980, c. 658; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.5; 2003, c. 461; 2004, c. 991; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-221. Refusal, suspension, and revocation of approval or certification.

A. The Council may refuse to grant a certification, may revoke or suspend a prior approval or certification, including any approval or authorization issued prior to July 1, 1980, and may add conditions to any approval or certification on such grounds as may be provided in its regulations or if the postsecondary school:

1. Submits or has submitted any false or misleading information to the Council in connection with its approval;

2. Fails to meet or to maintain compliance with the Council's regulations at any of its locations;

3. Publicly makes or causes to be made any false or misleading representation that it has complied with any requirement of this article or the Council's regulations;

4. Violates any provision of this article or the Council's regulations; or

5. Fails or refuses to furnish the Council with any requested information or records required by this article or the Council's regulations.

B. The Council may refuse to grant an approval or may place conditions on an approval for a request to use a name that incorporates terms deemed by the Council to be misleading to consumers, students, or the general public regarding the postsecondary school's affiliation or association with any public institution of higher education but shall not add conditions to, revoke, or suspend a prior approval of a name. The Council shall, by regulation, designate the terms deemed to be misleading, which shall include "public university, " "public college, " and "community college."

C. The Council shall notify a postsecondary school by certified mail, return receipt requested, of its intention to deny an application, suspend or revoke a prior approval or certification, or add conditions to an approval or certification and state in writing the reasons for the denial, suspension, revocation, or conditions. The postsecondary school may, within 10 days of receipt of the certified mail notice, submit a written request for a proceeding before the Council pursuant to Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2.

D. The Council may issue orders to comply with its regulations or the provisions of this article; unless an emergency exists, such orders shall only be issued after a proceeding pursuant to Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2.

E. In accordance with Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2, any postsecondary school aggrieved by (i) a decision of the Council to deny an application, suspend or revoke a prior approval or certification, or add conditions to an approval or certification or (ii) any order to comply with this article or the Council's regulations may appeal such decision. The Council shall make a final administrative decision on such appeal in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

F. In order to regain approval, a postsecondary school that has had its approval or certification revoked or suspended by the Council shall file a new application for certification and provide clear and convincing evidence that the conditions resulting in the suspension or revocation have been remedied and the postsecondary school is in compliance with this article and the Council's regulations.

Code 1950, § 23-271; 1980, c. 658; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.6; 2003, c. 461; 2004, c. 991; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-222. Emergency actions.

A. The Council may, by regulation, authorize its director to take immediate action on its behalf in any instance in which a postsecondary school holding certification to operate in the Commonwealth is the subject of an adverse action by the U.S. Department of Education or the postsecondary school's accrediting agency. When such adverse action threatens a disruption of the operation of the postsecondary school and exposes students to a loss of course or degree credit or financial loss, the director may:

1. Suspend new enrollment in specified programs or degree levels or all programs and degree levels that have been approved by the Council;

2. Require the postsecondary school to provide a guaranty instrument in the amount necessary to cover the refund of unearned tuition to all students enrolled at the time of the action; or

3. Take such other actions as may be necessary to protect the rights of currently enrolled or future students.

B. At its next regularly scheduled meeting, the Council shall either ratify the director's action or take such other actions as it deems necessary.

2002, c. 178, § 23-276.7; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-223. Preservation of students' records.

A. In the event of school closure or revocation of its approval or certification, the postsecondary school shall (i) make arrangements for the transfer of the academic and financial records of all students to the Council within 30 days of the closure or (ii) with the approval of the Council, ensure preservation of the academic and financial records of all students by entering into an agreement with another postsecondary school. An out-of-state postsecondary school that is public or corporately held may retain records at the postsecondary school's location outside of the Commonwealth but shall provide the Council with the contact information needed for each student to obtain copies of his academic and financial records.

B. This section shall not be deemed to interfere with students' rights to have access to and obtain copies of their own records or to authorize disclosure of student records except in compliance with applicable state and federal law, including the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232g).

2002, c. 178, § 23-276.8; 2005, c. 447; 2013, c. 229; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-224. Fees.

The Council may establish nonrefundable fees for services and methods for collecting such fees.

2002, c. 178, § 23-276.9; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-225. Prohibited acts.

A. Without prior Council approval, no person or other entity subject to the provisions of this article shall use in any manner within the Commonwealth the term "college" or "university" or abbreviations or words of similar meaning in its name, in connection with its academic affairs or business, or in any literature, catalog, pamphlet, or descriptive material.

This subsection shall not apply to any person or other entity that (i) used the term "college" or "university" openly and conspicuously in its title within the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1970; (ii) was granted authority to operate in the Commonwealth by the Council between July 1, 1970, and July 1, 2002, and maintains valid authority to so operate in the Commonwealth on or after July 1, 2002; (iii) was exempted from the provisions of former Chapter 21 (§ 23-265 et seq.) of Title 23, as such law was in effect prior to July 1, 2002; or (iv) was authorized by the Council to use a name while its request for approval to enroll students is pending before the Council.

B. No person or other entity shall sell, barter, or exchange for any consideration, or attempt to sell, barter, or exchange for any consideration, any degree credit, degree, or certificate.

C. No person or other entity shall:

1. Use or attempt to use, in connection with any business, trade, profession, or occupation, any degree credit, degree, or certificate, including any transcript of coursework that it knows or has reason to know has been fraudulently issued, obtained, forged, materially altered, or purchased;

2. Issue or manufacture a fraudulent academic credential;

3. Physically present a fraudulent academic credential, knowing it is fraudulent, in an attempt to obtain employment, promotion, licensure, or admission to an institution of higher education;

4. In any way represent that it is an institution of higher education that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or has the foreign equivalent of such accreditation if the person or entity is not so accredited; or

5. Represent that credits earned at or granted by any institution of higher education or academic-vocational non-college degree school may be applied for credit toward a degree unless such person is exempted from the provisions of this article or granted certification or approval by the Council in accordance with this article and the Council's regulations.

Code 1950, § 23-272; 1980, c. 658; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.10; 2004, c. 991; 2008, c. 856; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-226. Exemptions.

A. The provisions of this article shall not apply to any public institution of higher education as that term is defined in § 23.1-100 or any entity authorized to issue bonds pursuant to Chapter 11 (§ 23.1-1100 et seq.).

B. The following activities or programs offered by postsecondary schools that are otherwise subject to this article are exempt from its provisions:

1. The awarding of any honorary degree conferred that clearly states on its face that it is honorary in nature and is regarded as (i) commemorative in recognition of an individual's contributions to society and (ii) not representative of the satisfactory completion of any or all of the requirements of a program or course of study;

2. A nursing education program or curriculum regulated by the Board of Nursing;

3. A professional or occupational training program subject to the approval of (i) a regulatory board pursuant to Title 54.1 or (ii) another state or federal governmental agency;

4. Any course or program of instruction provided or approved by any professional body, fraternal organization, civic club, or benevolent order for which the principal purpose is continuing or professional education or a similar purpose and for which no degree credit is awarded;

5. Any course or program offered through approved multistate compacts, including the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus;

6. Any course offered and delivered by a postsecondary school solely on a contractual basis for which no individual is charged tuition and there is no advertising for open enrollment;

7. Any school, institute, or course of instruction offered by any trade association or any nonprofit affiliate of a trade association on subjects relating to the trade, business, or profession represented by such association;

8. Any public or private high school accredited or recognized by the Board of Education that has offered or may offer one or more courses as provided in this article, if the school collects any tuition, fees, or charges as permitted by Title 22.1 in the case of a public school or pursuant to regulations prescribed by the relevant governing body in the case of a private school; or

9. Tutorial instruction delivered and designed to supplement regular classes for students enrolled in any public or private school or prepare an individual for an examination for professional practice or higher education.

C. The Council shall exempt from the provisions of this article any postsecondary school whose primary purpose is to provide religious or theological education. Postsecondary schools shall apply for exemptions to confer certificates or degrees relating to religion and theology. Exemptions may be granted for a maximum of five years, unless the postsecondary school has been granted a standing exemption prior to July 1, 2002. Each postsecondary school seeking such an exemption or continuation of such an exemption shall file such information as may be required by the Council. If the Council does not grant a postsecondary school an exemption, the postsecondary school shall be notified in writing with the reasons for the exemption denial. The affected postsecondary school has the right to appeal the Council's decision pursuant to Article 3 (§ 2.2-4018 et seq.) of Chapter 40 of Title 2.2. The Council shall, in each instance, determine the applicability of the exemption as provided in this section.

D. Notwithstanding the exemptions provided in this section, exempted postsecondary schools are subject to the provisions of subsection B of § 23.1-221 and a postsecondary school may seek Council approval for an otherwise exempt activity or program.

Code 1950, § 23-266; 1980, c. 658; 1991, c. 590; 1996, cc. 691, 832; 1999, cc. 458, 499; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.2; 2003, c. 461; 2004, cc. 671, 991; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-227. Laws of the Commonwealth to apply to contracts.

The laws of the Commonwealth shall govern any agreement, contract, or instrument of indebtedness executed between a postsecondary school and any person who enrolls in any course or program offered or to be offered by such school in the Commonwealth or any person who is employed or offered employment by such school in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 23-276; 1980, c. 658; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.11; 2004, c. 991; 2005, c. 447; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-228. Violations; penalties; remedies.

A. Violations of this article or the Council's implementing regulations are punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each degree, certificate, program, academic transcript, or course of study offered, conferred, or used in violation of this article or the Council's regulations shall constitute a separate offense.

B. If no criminal prosecution is instituted against such postsecondary school pursuant to subsection A, the Council may recover a civil penalty of at least $200 but not more than $1,000 per separate offense set forth in subsection A. In no event shall the civil penalties against any one person, corporation, or other entity exceed $25,000 per year.

C. The Council may institute a proceeding in equity to enjoin any violation of this article or its implementing regulations and upon substantially prevailing on the merits of the case and unless special circumstances would render such an award unjust, the Council is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs in any such action.

Code 1950, § 23-273; 1980, c. 658; 2002, c. 178, § 23-276.12; 2006, c. 48; 2008, c. 856; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-229. Postsecondary school closure procedures.

A. Each postsecondary school shall notify the Council of its intention to close at least 30 days prior to the closure. The notice shall be accompanied by a comprehensive plan for closure and a teachout plan that makes provision for presently enrolled students to complete the program of instruction for which they have enrolled, either at such postsecondary school or at another postsecondary school certified by the Council or authorized to operate in the Commonwealth. Each closing postsecondary school shall obtain the Council's approval of the teachout plan prior to implementation.

B. Each closing postsecondary school shall notify the Council, in writing, if there is no comparable program for the purposes of developing a teachout plan within 50 miles of the closing postsecondary school or if the closing postsecondary school is unable to enter a teachout agreement with another postsecondary school. This information shall be provided at the time the closing postsecondary school notifies the Council of its intention to close.

C. Owners or senior administrators of a postsecondary school that closes without providing (i) an adequate teachout plan or refunds of unearned tuition and (ii) appropriate preservation of records shall be denied certification to operate another postsecondary school in the Commonwealth.

2013, c. 229, § 23-276.16; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-230. Enrollment agreements required.

No postsecondary school that is required to be certified by the Council shall enroll students without entering into an enrollment agreement with each student. Such enrollment agreement shall be signed by the student and an authorized representative of the school and shall contain all disclosures prescribed by the Council.

2017, c. 298.

Article 4. Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman.

§ 23.1-231. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Qualified education loan" means any qualified education loan obtained specifically to finance education or other school-related expenses. "Qualified education loan" does not include credit card debt, home equity loan, or revolving debt.

"Qualified education loan borrower" means (i) any current resident of the Commonwealth who has received or agreed to pay a qualified education loan or (ii) any person who shares responsibility with such resident for repaying the qualified education loan.

"Qualified education loan servicer" or "loan servicer" means any person, wherever located, responsible for the servicing of any qualified education loan to any qualified education loan borrower.

"Servicing" means (i) receiving any scheduled periodic payments from a qualified education loan borrower pursuant to the terms of a qualified education loan; (ii) applying the payments of principal and interest and such other payments, with respect to the amounts received from a qualified education loan borrower, as may be required pursuant to the terms of a qualified education loan; and (iii) performing other administrative services with respect to a qualified education loan.

2018, cc. 489, 755.

§ 23.1-232. Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman established; duties.

A. The Council shall create within the agency the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman. The Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman shall provide timely assistance to any qualified education loan borrower of any qualified education loan in the Commonwealth. All state agencies shall assist and cooperate with the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman in the performance of its duties under this article.

B. The Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman shall:

1. Receive, review, and attempt to resolve any complaints from qualified education loan borrowers, including attempts to resolve such complaints in collaboration with institutions of higher education, qualified education loan servicers, and any other participants in qualified education loan lending;

2. Compile and analyze data on qualified education loan borrower complaints as described in subdivision 1;

3. Assist qualified education loan borrowers to understand their rights and responsibilities under the terms of qualified education loans;

4. Provide information to the public, state agencies, legislators, and other persons regarding the problems and concerns of qualified education loan borrowers and make recommendations for resolving those problems and concerns;

5. Analyze and monitor the development and implementation of federal and state laws and policies relating to qualified education loan borrowers and recommend any changes the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman deems necessary;

6. Review the complete qualified education loan history of any qualified education loan borrower who has provided written consent for such review;

7. Disseminate information concerning the availability of the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman to assist qualified education loan borrowers and potential qualified education loan borrowers, as well as public institutions of higher education, qualified education loan servicers, and any other participant in qualified education loan lending, with any qualified education loan servicing concerns; and

8. Take any other actions necessary to fulfill the duties of the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman as set forth in this article.

2018, cc. 489, 755.

§ 23.1-233. Qualified education loan borrower education course.

On or before December 1, 2019, the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman, in consultation with the Council, shall establish and maintain a qualified education loan borrower education course that shall include educational presentations and materials regarding qualified education loans. Topics covered by the course shall include, but shall not be limited to, key loan terms, documentation requirements, monthly payment obligations, income-driven repayment options, loan forgiveness programs, and disclosure requirements. The course shall be web-based and available to the public at any time. The Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman may also establish in-person classes.

2018, cc. 489, 755.

§ 23.1-234. Reports.

On or before January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the Council shall submit a report to the House Committees on Commerce and Labor and Education and the Senate Committees on Commerce and Labor and Education and Health. The report shall address (i) the implementation of this article and (ii) the overall effectiveness of the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman.

2018, cc. 489, 755.

Chapter 3. The Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011.

§ 23.1-300. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"College degree" means an undergraduate degree from an accredited associate-degree-granting or baccalaureate (i) public institution of higher education or (ii) private institution of higher education.

"Cost of education" means the operating funds necessary during a fiscal year to provide educational and general services, other than research and public service, to students attending an institution in that fiscal year.

"Educational and general fees" means fees over and above tuition charged for certain educational and general services.

"Educational and general services" means services associated with instruction, academic support, student services, institutional support, research, public service, or operation and maintenance of physical plant, with adjustments based on particular state policies relating to specific institutional conditions. "Educational and general services" does not include services associated with programs and administrative services that are required to be self-supporting or are otherwise supported by funds other than general funds, such as food services, university-owned or university-leased dormitories or other living facilities, athletics programs, or other self-supporting programs.

"Enrollment" or "student enrollment" means the number of full-time equivalent students.

"Fiscal year" means the period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year.

"Peer institutions" means those institutions determined by the Council, in consultation with a public institution of higher education, the Secretary of Education or his designee, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget or his designee, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance or their designees, to be most similar to such public institution of higher education and provide a fair comparison in determining appropriate and competitive faculty salaries for such public institution of higher education.

"Public institution of higher education" does not include each comprehensive community college.

"STEM" means science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"Student" means a full-time or part-time undergraduate, graduate, or professional student attending a public institution of higher education and enrolled in a degree program.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:11; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-301. Short title; objective; purposes.

A. This chapter may be cited as the "Preparing for the Top Jobs of the 21st Century: The Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2011," the "Top Jobs Act," or "TJ21."

B. The objective of this chapter is to fuel strong economic growth in the Commonwealth and prepare Virginians for the top job opportunities in the knowledge-driven economy of the 21st century by establishing a long-term commitment, policy, and framework for sustained investment and innovation that will (i) enable the Commonwealth to build upon the strengths of its excellent higher education system and achieve national and international leadership in college degree attainment and personal income and (ii) ensure that these educational and economic opportunities are accessible and affordable for all capable and committed Virginia students.

C. In furtherance of the objective set forth in subsection B, the following purposes shall inform the development and implementation of funding policies, performance criteria, economic opportunity metrics, and recommendations required by this chapter:

1. To ensure an educated workforce in the Commonwealth through a public-private higher education system whose hallmarks are instructional excellence, affordable access, economic impact, institutional diversity and managerial autonomy, cost-efficient operation, technological and pedagogical innovation, and reform-based investment;

2. To take optimal advantage of the demonstrated correlation between higher education and economic growth by investing in higher education in a manner that will generate economic growth, job creation, personal income growth, and revenues generated for state and local government in the Commonwealth;

3. To (i) place the Commonwealth among the most highly educated states and countries by conferring approximately 100,000 cumulative additional undergraduate degrees on Virginians between 2011 and 2025, accompanied by a comparable percentage increase in privately conferred undergraduate degrees in the Commonwealth over the same period and (ii) achieve this purpose by expanding enrollment of Virginians at public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education, improving undergraduate graduation and retention rates in the higher education system in the Commonwealth, and increasing degree completion by Virginians with partial credit toward a college degree, including students with ongoing job and family commitments who require access to nontraditional college-level educational opportunities;

4. To enhance personal opportunity and earning power for individual Virginians by (i) increasing college degree attainment in the Commonwealth, especially in high-demand, high-income fields such as STEM and health care fields and (ii) providing information about the economic value and impact of individual degree programs by institution;

5. To promote university-based research that produces outside investment in the Commonwealth, fuels economic advances, triggers commercialization of new products and processes, fosters the formation of new businesses, leads businesses to bring their facilities and jobs to the Commonwealth, and in other ways helps place the Commonwealth on the cutting edge of the knowledge-driven economy;

6. To support the national effort to enhance the security and economic competitiveness of the United States and secure a leading economic position for the Commonwealth through increased research and instruction in STEM and related fields that require qualified faculty, appropriate research facilities and equipment, public-private and intergovernmental collaboration, and sustained state support;

7. To preserve and enhance the excellence and cost-efficiency of the Commonwealth's higher education system through reform-based investment that promotes innovative instructional models and pathways to degree attainment, including optimal use of physical facilities and instructional resources throughout the year, technology-enhanced instruction, sharing of instructional resources between colleges, universities, and other degree-granting entities in the Commonwealth, increased online learning opportunities for nontraditional students, improved rate and pace of degree completion, expanded availability of dual enrollment and advanced placement options and early college commitment programs, expanded comprehensive community college transfer options leading to bachelor's degree completion, and enhanced college readiness before matriculation;

8. To realize the potential for enhanced benefits from the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act (§ 23.1-1000 et seq.) through a sustained commitment to the principles of autonomy, accountability, affordable access, and mutual trust and obligation underlying the restructuring initiative;

9. To establish a higher education funding framework and policy that promotes stable, predictable, equitable, and adequate funding, facilitates effective planning at the institutional and state levels, provides incentives for increased enrollment of Virginia students at public institutions of higher education and nonprofit private institutions of higher education, provides need-based financial aid for low-income and middle-income students and families, relieves the upward pressure on tuition associated with loss of state support due to economic downturns or other causes, and provides financial incentives to promote innovation and enhanced economic opportunity in furtherance of the objective of this chapter set forth in subsection A; and

10. To recognize that the unique mission and contributions of each public institution of higher education and private institution of higher education is consistent with the desire to build upon the strengths of the Commonwealth's excellent system of higher education, afford these unique missions and contributions appropriate safeguards, and allow these attributes to inform the development and implementation of funding policies, performance criteria, economic opportunity metrics, and recommendations in the furtherance of the objective of this chapter set forth in subsection B.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:10; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-302. Public institutions of higher education; funding.

Each public institution of higher education shall receive funds from the state general fund or sources other than the state general fund, or both, for each fiscal year of each biennium for:

1. Basic operations and instruction, as provided in § 23.1-303;

2. Each Virginia undergraduate student actually enrolled at the institution, as provided in § 23.1-304;

3. Need-based financial aid, as provided in § 23.1-306; and

4. Support for targeted financial incentives that encourage and reward progress toward the policy objectives specified in this chapter, as provided in § 23.1-305.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:12; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-303. Calculation of state general fund share of an institution's basic operations and instruction funding need; cost of education.

A. Following consultation with each public institution of higher education and the Higher Education Advisory Committee described in § 23.1-309, the Council shall calculate the basic operations and instruction funding need of each public institution of higher education as provided in subsection B for each year of the next biennium and make such calculation available to the Governor, the General Assembly, and all public institutions of higher education. The Governor shall take into account each institution's basic operations and instruction funding need and the Commonwealth's funding split policy established in the general appropriation act by which 67 percent of an institution's cost of education for Virginia students is funded from the state general fund and 33 percent from funds other than the state general fund during the preparation of his proposed biennial budget bill for the next biennium, and the General Assembly shall take such items into account in enacting the general appropriation act for the next biennium. Between such biennial recalculations, the General Assembly may increase or decrease the appropriation of basic operations and instruction funding to a public institution of higher education to correspond with an increase or decrease in Virginia undergraduate student enrollment at the institution as provided in § 23.1-304, or the institution's meeting or not meeting targeted financial incentives listed in § 23.1-305, or for any other purpose deemed appropriate by the General Assembly.

B. The basic operations and instruction funding need of each public institution of higher education for each fiscal year of the biennium shall consist of the sum of (i) the institution's cost of education for the total enrollment in actual attendance during the fiscal year that ended on June 30 of each odd-numbered year, which shall be determined using a cost-based funding policy that consists of (a) a set of formulas for calculating (1) educational cost based on faculty-student ratios by discipline and level and (2) the educational and general programs of instruction, academic support, student services, institutional support, and operation and maintenance of physical plant and (b) adjustments based on particular state policies or specific institutional missions or conditions; (ii) the amount required to reach the Commonwealth's faculty salary goal of the 60th percentile of the most recently reported average faculty salaries paid by that institution's peer institutions as established in the general appropriation act; and (iii) such other funding for educational and general services as the General Assembly may appropriate.

C. State general funds shall be allocated and appropriated to public institutions of higher education in a fair and equitable manner such that, to the extent practicable, the percentage of the cost of education for Virginia students enrolled at an institution to be funded from state general funds is the same for each institution. To the extent that the percentages differ among institutions, that fact shall be taken into account as the Governor deems appropriate in his proposed biennial budget bill and by the General Assembly as it deems appropriate in the general appropriation act.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:13; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-304. Per student enrollment-based funding at public institutions of higher education.

A. To incentivize undergraduate Virginia student enrollment growth at the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education in furtherance of the increased degree conferral purpose of this chapter, the Governor shall recommend and the General Assembly shall determine and appropriate to such institutions a per student amount that follows each Virginia undergraduate student to the public institution of higher education in which the student enrolls. Recommendations regarding such Virginia undergraduate student enrollment growth incentive shall be developed and reviewed as provided in subdivision B 1 of § 23.1-309.

B. The Governor shall consider and may recommend and the General Assembly shall consider and may provide additional general fund appropriations to address the unfunded enrollment growth that occurred between the 2005-2006 fiscal year and July 1, 2011.

C. To assist the General Assembly in determining the per student amount provided for in subsection A and its relation to the per student amount provided to nonprofit private institutions of higher education pursuant to the Tuition Assistance Grant Act (§ 23.1-628 et seq.), each nonprofit private institution of higher education eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Grant Program shall submit to the Council its Virginia student enrollment projections for that fiscal year and its actual Virginia student enrollment for the prior fiscal year in a manner determined by the Council. The student admissions policies for such private institutions and their specific programs shall remain the sole responsibility of the governing boards of such individual institutions.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:14; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-305. Public institutions of higher education; targeted economic and innovation incentives.

A. The Governor shall consider and may recommend and the General Assembly shall consider and may fund targeted economic and innovation incentives to achieve the objective and purposes of this chapter. Such incentives may include incentives based on the economic opportunity metrics developed pursuant to subdivision B 4 of § 23.1-309 and incentives for:

1. Increased enrollment of Virginia students, in addition to the per student funding provided by § 23.1-304;

2. Increased degree completion for Virginia residents who have partial credit completion for a degree;

3. Increased degree completion in a timely or expedited manner;

4. Improved retention and graduation rates;

5. Increased degree production in STEM or other high-need areas such as the health care-related professions;

6. Increased research, including regional and public-private collaboration;

7. Optimal year-round utilization of resources and other efficiency reforms designed to reduce total institutional cost;

8. Technology-enhanced instruction, including course redesign, online instruction, and resource sharing among institutions; and

9. Enhanced comprehensive community college transfer programs and grants and other enhanced degree path programs.

B. The Governor and the General Assembly shall consider maintenance of effort initiatives for individual institutions with unique missions and demonstrable performance in specific incentive areas identified pursuant to subsection A.

C. The criteria for measuring whether the incentive areas in subsection A have been met, and the benefits or consequences for meeting or not meeting such incentive areas, shall be developed and reviewed as provided in subdivisions B 3 and 4 of § 23.1-309.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:16; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-306. Public institutions of higher education; six-year plans.

A. The governing board of each public institution of higher education shall (i) develop and adopt biennially in odd-numbered years and amend or affirm biennially in even-numbered years a six-year plan for the institution; (ii) submit a preliminary version of such plan to the Council, the General Assembly, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, and the Senate Committee on Finance no later than July 1 of each odd-numbered year; and (iii) submit preliminary amendments to or a preliminary affirmation of each such plan to the Council, the General Assembly, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, and the Senate Committee on Finance no later than July 1 of each even-numbered year. Each such preliminary plan and preliminary amendment to or preliminary affirmation of such plan shall include a report of the institution's active contributions to efforts to stimulate the economic development of the Commonwealth, the area in which the institution is located, and, for those institutions subject to a management agreement set forth in Article 4 (§ 23.1-1004 et seq.) of Chapter 10, the areas that lag behind the Commonwealth in terms of income, employment, and other factors. Each such preliminary plan and preliminary amendment to or preliminary affirmation of such plan shall be submitted as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports. No such preliminary plan, amendments, or affirmation shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

B. The Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget, the Director of the Council, the Staff Director of the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Finance, or their designees, shall review each institution's preliminary plan, amendments, or affirmation and provide comments to the institution on such plan, amendments, or affirmation by September 1 of the relevant year. Each institution shall respond to any such comments by October 1 of that year and submit a finalized version of such plan, amendments, or affirmation to the Council, the General Assembly, the Governor, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education and Health, and the Senate Committee on Finance no later than December 1 of that year. Each such finalized version shall be submitted as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.

C. Each plan shall be structured in accordance with, and be consistent with, the objective and purposes of this chapter set forth in § 23.1-301 and the criteria developed pursuant to § 23.1-309 and shall be in a form and manner prescribed by the Council, in consultation with the Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Department of Planning and Budget, the Director of the Council, the Staff Director of the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Staff Director of the Senate Committee on Finance, or their designees.

D. Each six-year plan shall (i) address the institution's academic, financial, and enrollment plans, including the number of Virginia and non-Virginia students, for the six-year period; (ii) indicate the planned use of any projected increase in general fund, tuition, or other nongeneral fund revenues; (iii) be based upon any assumptions provided by the Council, following consultation with the Department of Planning and Budget and the staffs of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance, for funding relating to state general fund support pursuant to §§ 23.1-303, 23.1-304, and 23.1-305 and subdivision 9; (iv) be aligned with the institution's six-year enrollment projections; and (v) include:

1. Financial planning reflecting the institution's anticipated level of general fund, tuition, and other nongeneral fund support for each year of the next biennium;

2. The institution's anticipated annual tuition and educational and general fee charges required by (i) degree level and (ii) domiciliary status, as provided in § 23.1-307;

3. Plans for providing financial aid to help mitigate the impact of tuition and fee increases on low-income and middle-income students and their families as described in subdivision 9, including the projected mix of grants and loans;

4. Degree conferral targets for undergraduate Virginia students;

5. Plans for optimal year-round use of the institution's facilities and instructional resources;

6. Plans for the development of an instructional resource-sharing program with other public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education;

7. Plans with regard to any other incentives set forth in § 23.1-305 or any other matters the institution deems appropriate;

8. The identification of (i) new programs or initiatives including quality improvements and (ii) institution-specific funding based on particular state policies or institution-specific programs, or both, as provided in subsection C of § 23.1-307; and

9. An institutional student financial aid commitment that, in conjunction with general funds appropriated for that purpose, provides assistance to students from both low-income and middle-income families and takes into account the information and recommendations resulting from the review of federal and state financial aid programs and institutional practices conducted pursuant to subdivisions B 2 and C 1 of § 23.1-309.

E. In developing such plans, each public institution of higher education shall consider potential future impacts of tuition increases on the Virginia College Savings Plan and ABLE Savings Trust Accounts (§ 23.1-700 et seq.) and shall discuss such potential impacts with the Virginia College Savings Plan. The chief executive officer of the Virginia College Savings Plan shall provide to each institution the Plan's assumptions underlying the contract pricing of the program.

2011, cc. 828, 869, §§ 23-38.87 :15, 23-38.87 :17; 2016, cc. 149, 588; 2018, c. 487.

§ 23.1-307. Public institutions of higher education; tuition and fees.

A. The governing board of each public institution of higher education shall continue to fix, revise, charge, and collect tuition, fees, rates, rentals, and other charges for the services, goods, or facilities furnished by or on behalf of such institution and may adopt policies regarding any such service rendered or the use, occupancy, or operation of any such facility.

B. Except to the extent included in the institution's six-year plan as provided in subsection C, if the total of an institution's tuition and educational and general fees for any fiscal year for Virginia students exceeds the difference for such fiscal year between (i) the institution's cost of education for all students, as calculated pursuant to clause (i) of subsection B of § 23.1-303 and (ii) the sum of the tuition and educational and general fees for non-Virginia students, the state general funds appropriated for its basic operations and instruction pursuant to subsection A of § 23.1-303, and its per student funding provided pursuant to § 23.1-304, the institution shall forgo new state funding at a level above the general funds received by the institution during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, at the discretion of the General Assembly, and shall be obligated to provide increased financial aid to maintain affordability for students from low-income and middle-income families. This limitation shall not apply to any portion of tuition and educational and general fees for Virginia students allocated to student financial aid, an institution's share of state-mandated salary or fringe benefit increases, increases in funds other than state general funds for the improvement of faculty salary competitiveness above the level included in the calculation in clause (i) of subsection B of § 23.1-303, the institution's progress towards achieving any financial incentive pursuant to § 23.1-305, unavoidable cost increases such as operation and maintenance for new facilities and utility rate increases, or other items directly attributable to an institution's unique mission and contributions.

C. Nothing in subsection B shall prohibit an institution from including in its six-year plan required by § 23.1-306 (i) new programs or initiatives including quality improvements or (ii) institution-specific funding based on particular state policies or institution-specific programs, or both, that will cause the total of the institution's tuition and educational and general fees for any fiscal year for Virginia students to exceed the difference for such fiscal year between (a) the institution's cost of education for all students, as calculated pursuant to clause (i) of subsection B of § 23.1-303, and (b) the sum of the tuition and educational and general fees for the institution's non-Virginia students, the state general funds appropriated for its basic operations and instruction pursuant to subsection A of § 23.1-303, and its per student funding provided pursuant to § 23.1-304.

D. No governing board of any public institution of higher education shall approve an increase in undergraduate tuition or mandatory fees without providing students and the public a projected range of the planned increase, an explanation of the need for the increase, and notice of the date and location of any vote on such increase at least 30 days prior to such vote.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:18; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 523.

§ 23.1-308. STEM public-private partnership established; duties.

A. To (i) increase the number of students completing degrees in the high-demand, high-impact STEM fields and other high-demand, anticipated-shortage fields such as the health care-related professions and (ii) help develop and guide the implementation of a comprehensive plan for higher degree attainment in these fields, the Secretaries of Education and Finance, in cooperation with the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health, shall form a public-private partnership comprised of private-sector leaders, distinguished representatives from the scientific community, including retired military personnel, government scientists, and researchers, educational experts, relevant state and local government officials, and such other individuals as they deem appropriate.

B. The partnership shall advise on, and may collaborate with public and private entities to develop and implement strategies to address, such priority issues as (i) determining the need for additional high-demand degree enrollment, capacity, and resources at public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education; (ii) incentivizing greater coordination, innovation, and private collaboration in kindergarten through secondary school STEM and other high-demand degree initiatives; (iii) determining and refining best practices in STEM instruction and leveraging those best practices to promote STEM education in both the Commonwealth's institutions of higher education and its elementary and secondary schools; (iv) enhancing teacher education and professional development in STEM disciplines; (v) strengthening mathematics readiness in secondary schools through earlier diagnosis and remediation of deficiencies; (vi) providing financial incentives to increase STEM enrollment and degree production at the Commonwealth's institutions of higher education; (vii) providing assistance to public institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education in the acquisition and improvement of STEM-related facilities and equipment; (viii) providing STEM incentives in early pathway programs at institutions of higher education and in the Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program; (ix) assessing degree programs using such economic opportunity metrics as marketplace demand, earning potential, and employer satisfaction and other indicators of the historical and projected economic value and impact of degrees to provide useful information on degrees to students as they make career choices and to state policy makers and university decision makers as they decide how to allocate scarce resources; (x) aligning state higher education efforts with marketplace demands; and (xi) determining such other issues as the partnership deems relevant to increasing the number of students completing degrees in STEM and other high-demand fields at institutions of higher education.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:19; 2016, c. 588; 2017, c. 314.

§ 23.1-309. Higher Education Advisory Committee established; duties.

A. The Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance, the Secretary of Finance, and each public institution of higher education, shall convene a Higher Education Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee) to provide advice and make recommendations on the matters set forth in subsections B, C, and D. The Advisory Committee shall consist of at least 11 members as follows: one representative of the Office of the Secretary of Education appointed by the Secretary of Education who shall serve as chair of the Advisory Committee; one representative of the Office of the Secretary of Finance appointed by the Secretary of Finance; one representative of the Council appointed by the Chairman of the Council; the staff directors of the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, or their designees; and the presidents or their designees of five public institutions of higher education, which shall include two doctoral institutions, two comprehensive institutions, and one comprehensive community college, appointed by the presidents of the public institutions of higher education, and a representative from a nonprofit private institution of higher education appointed by the Governor who shall not provide advice or make recommendations concerning policies that solely impact public institutions of higher education. Both the Governor and the Advisory Committee may designate other individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee, including representatives of academic and instructional faculty or fiscal officers of public institutions of higher education.

B. Consistent with the objective and purposes of this chapter identified in § 23.1-301, the Advisory Committee shall develop and subsequently review at least once every five years, in consultation with the staff of the Council and the respective Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health, or their designees, representatives of public institutions of higher education, and such other state officials as may be designated by the Governor, and with assistance from the staff of the Council and such other assistance as it may require:

1. The methodology established pursuant to subsection A of § 23.1-304 for determining how a significant increment of state funding shall follow the student to the associate-degree-granting or baccalaureate public institution of higher education in which the student enrolls, how the amount of such per student funding for baccalaureate public institutions of higher education will be made to correspond as nearly as practical to the per student allocation envisioned under the then-existing appropriation for the Tuition Assistance Grant Act (§ 23.1-628 et seq.) for students attending nonprofit private institutions of higher education, how and as of what date the student enrollment at each public institution of higher education shall be calculated, and how an increase or decrease in Virginia undergraduate student enrollment above or below the enrollment level used to calculate the institution's funding pursuant to § 23.1-303 shall be reflected in the institution's appropriation pursuant to subsection A of § 23.1-304, and the standards and process for determining whether an increase or decrease in Virginia undergraduate student enrollment qualifies for funding pursuant to § 23.1-304;

2. Criteria for determining which families qualify as "low-income" and "middle-income" for purposes of § 23.1-306 and how they relate to federal, state, and institutional policies governing the provision of financial assistance to students of such families;

3. Objective performance criteria for measuring the financial incentives set forth in § 23.1-305 and the benefits of meeting or consequences of not meeting the incentives included in an institution's six-year plan pursuant to § 23.1-306;

4. Economic opportunity metrics such as marketplace demand, earning potential, and employer satisfaction and other indicators of the historical and projected economic value of degrees that can be used to assess degree programs in order to provide useful information on the economic impact of degrees to students as they make career choices and state policy makers and university decision makers as they decide how to allocate scarce resources;

5. The additional authority that should be granted to all public institutions of higher education under the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act (§ 23.1-1000 et seq.), state goals and objectives each public institution of higher education should be expected to achieve, objective criteria for measuring educational-related performance with regard to those goals and objectives, and the benefits of meeting or consequences of not meeting those goals and objectives, including those set forth in subsection C of § 23.1-1002; and

6. The role of private institutions of higher education in addressing the goals set forth in this chapter and recommendations regarding such matters.

The Advisory Committee shall submit its recommendations to the Council, which shall review the recommendations and report its recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health.

C. Consistent with the objective and purposes of this chapter identified in § 23.1-301, the Advisory Committee shall review at least every five years, in consultation with the staff of the Council, the respective Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health, or their designees, representatives of public institutions of higher education, and such other state officials as may be designated by the Governor, and with assistance from the staff of the Council and such other assistance as it may require:

1. Federal and state financial aid programs and institutional practices to ensure that the appropriate level of financial assistance is being provided to both low-income and middle-income families, as required by § 23.1-306, including loan forgiveness programs targeted by purpose in furtherance of the objective of this chapter; and

2. The Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act (§ 23.1-1000 et seq.) to identify additional ways to reduce costs and enhance efficiency by increasing managerial autonomy with accountability at the institutional level.

The Advisory Committee shall submit its recommendations to the Council, which shall review the recommendations and report its recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health.

D. The Advisory Committee shall periodically assess, based upon the institutions' six-year plans and other relevant factors, the degree to which the Commonwealth's system of higher education is meeting the statewide objectives of economic impact, reform, affordability, and access reflected in this chapter and the strategic impact of new general fund investments on achieving those objectives. The Advisory Committee shall submit its assessment and recommendations to the Council, which shall review the assessment and recommendations and report its recommendations to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health.

E. In addition to providing advice and making recommendations on the matters set forth in subsections B, C, and D, the Advisory Committee shall perform such other duties and undertake such other responsibilities as requested by the Governor or the General Assembly.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:20; 2016, c. 588.

§ 23.1-310. Assessment and certification of institutions by the Council.

The Council shall annually assess the degree to which each institution has satisfied any goals or criteria developed by the Higher Education Advisory Committee pursuant to § 23.1-309 and no later than October 1 of each fiscal year provide a certified written report of the results of such annual assessment to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committees on Appropriations and Education and the Senate Committees on Finance and on Education and Health. In order to assist the Council in its assessment, each public institution of higher education, and each nonprofit private institution of higher education eligible for and seeking to qualify for state general funds, shall furnish periodic reports, including copies of institutional financial aid audit reports and audited financial statements, and such other pertinent information, including student-level data, as may be required by the Council.

2011, cc. 828, 869, § 23-38.87:21; 2016, c. 588.

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