2016 Session

Budget Bill - HB29 (Introduced)

Item 4-9.04

Item 4-9.04


a. The Boards of Visitors at each Virginia public four-year higher education institution, to the extent practicable, shall:

1. require their institutions to clearly list the amount of the athletic fee on their website's tuition and fees information page. The page should include a link to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia's tuition and fee information. The boards should consider requiring institutions to list the major components of all mandatory fees, including the portion attributable to athletics, on a separate page attached to student invoices;

2. assess the feasibility and impact of raising additional revenue through campus recreation and fitness enterprises to reduce reliance on mandatory student fees. The assessments should address the feasibility and impact of raising additional revenue through charging for specialized programs and services, expanding membership, and/or charging all users of recreation facilities;

3. direct staff to perform a comprehensive review of the institution's organizational structure, including an analysis of spans of control and a review of staff activities and workload, and identify opportunities to streamline the organizational structure. Boards should further direct staff to implement the recommendations of the review to streamline their organizational structures where possible;

4. require periodic reports on average and median spans of control and the number of supervisors with six or fewer direct reports;

5. direct staff to revise human resource policies to eliminate unnecessary supervisory positions by developing standards that establish and promote broader spans of control. The new policies and standards should (i) set an overall target span of control for the institution, (ii) set a minimum number of direct reports per supervisor, with guidelines for exceptions, (iii) define the circumstances that necessitate the use of a supervisory position, (iv) prohibit the establishment of supervisory positions for the purpose of recruiting or retaining employees, and (v) establish a periodic review of departments where spans of control are unusually narrow; and,

6. direct institution staff to set and enforce policies to maximize standardization of purchases of commonly procured goods, including use of institution-wide contracts;

7. consider directing institution staff to provide an annual report on all institutional purchases, including small purchases, that are exceptions to the institutional policies for standardizing purchases.

b. The State Council on Higher Education for Virginia, to the extent practicable, shall:

1. convene a working group of institution financial officers, with input from the Department of Accounts, the Department of Planning and Budget, and the Auditor of Public Accounts, to create a standard way of calculating and publishing mandatory non-E&G fees, including for intercollegiate athletics;

2. update the state's Chart of Accounts for higher education in order to improve comparability and transparency of mandatory non-E&G fees, with input from the Department of Accounts, the Department of Planning and Budget, the Auditor of Public Accounts, and institutional staff. This process should be coordinated with the standardization of tuition and fee reporting;

3. convene a working group of institutional staff to develop instructional and research space guidelines that adequately measure current use of space and plans for future use of space at Virginia's public higher education institutions;

4. coordinate a committee of institutional representatives, such as the previously authorized Learning Technology Advisory Committee. In addition to the objectives set out in the Appropriation Act for the Learning Technology Advisory Committee, the committee should identify instructional technology initiatives and best practices for directly or indirectly lowering institutions' instructional expenditures per student while maintaining or enhancing student learning.

c. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 23-9.14:1, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia shall annually train boards of visitors members on the types of information members should request from institutions to inform decision making, such as performance measures, benchmarking data, the impact of financial decisions on student costs, and past and projected cost trends. Boards of Visitors members serving on finance and facilities subcommittees should, at a minimum, participate in the training within their first year of membership on the subcommittee. SCHEV should obtain assistance in developing or delivering the training from relevant agencies such as the Department of General Services and past or present finance officers at Virginia's public four-year institutions, as appropriate.

d. The Department of Planning and Budget shall revise the formula used to make allocation recommendations for the state's maintenance reserve funding to account for higher maintenance needs resulting from poor facility condition, aging of facilities, and differences in facility use.  Beginning with fiscal year 2016, the Department of Planning and Budget shall submit these recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly no later than November 1 of each year.

e. The Six-Year Capital Outlay Plan Advisory Committee, the Department of Planning and Budget, and others as appropriate shall use the results of the prioritization process established by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in determining which capital projects should receive funding.

f. Beginning with fiscal year 2016, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall include in its audit plan for each public institution of higher education a review of progress in implementing the JLARC recommendations contained in paragraph § 4-9.04 a.