2019 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1700 (Floor Approved)

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GMU - Online Initiative (language only)

Item 162 #2h

Item 162 #2h

Education: Higher Education
George Mason University


Page 202, strike lines 8 through 26 and insert:

"J. In furtherance of the objectives and purposes described in § 23.1-301, the Board of Visitors may establish, acquire, control, and operate a nonstock corporation under Chapter 10 (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) of Title 13.1, as an instrumentality of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of operating a not-for-profit degree-granting distance learning and technology-based institution.  Any such corporation, and any institution operated by such corporation, shall be under the supervision, management, and control of the Board of Visitors and shall report to the Board of Visitors or the president of the University in such a manner as prescribed by the Board of Visitors. The Board of Visitors shall designate and fix the title of the chief executive officer of any such institution.  Any such institution shall (i) be fully accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or progressing toward such accreditation, (ii) meet or exceed all other standards established by the Council pursuant to Article 3 (§ 23.1-213 et seq.) of Chapter 2 but shall not be required to be certified by the Council, and (iii) shall be eligible to participate in the Online Virginia Network established under Article 9 (§ 23.1-3135 et seq.) of Chapter 31 to the same extent as the University.  No part of the assets or net earnings of any such corporation or institution shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, any private individual, except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for such institution in furtherance of its public purposes, and benefits may be conferred that are in conformity with its public purposes.  The provisions of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (§ 2.2-2005 et seq.), the Information Technology Advisory Council (§ 2.2-2699.5 et seq.), the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.), and the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall not apply to any institution created pursuant to this section. In addition, the provisions of §§ 2.2-1124, 2.2-1131.1, 2.2-1136, 2.2-1149, 2.2-1150, and 2.2-1153 through 2.2-1156 shall not apply to any such institution, provided that (i) such institution adopts and the Board of Visitors approves policies or regulations governing the acquisition, lease, or sale of surplus and real property consistent with the provisions of the above-referenced sections and (ii) any acquisition, lease, or sale of real property valued in excess of $20 million shall be approved by the Governor.  No employee of an institution created pursuant to this section shall be considered a state employee for any purpose including, without limitation, eligibility for any benefits under Title 51.1.  Any such institution shall be considered, for purposes of U.S. Department of Education regulations, a public institution of higher education and subject to the administrative supervision and control of the executive branch by virtue of appointment by the Governor of all or a majority of the members of the Board of Visitors. The Secretary of Education may issue a confirmation of the status of such institution as a public institution of higher education for purposes of U.S. Department of Education regulations.  Prior to the establishment or acquisition of any such institution, George Mason University shall seek and receive approval from the majority of members of the Joint Subcommittee on the Future Competitiveness of Virginia Higher Education."


(This amendment modifies current budget allowing George Mason University to continue evaluating possible options for an online initiative while maintaining required approvals from the Joint Subcommittee on the Future Competitiveness of Virginia Higher Education.)