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BOARD OF VISITORS LEGAL ISSUES ORIENTATION September 5, 2012
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  1. BOARD OF VISITORS LEGAL ISSUES ORIENTATION September 5, 2012

  2. POWERS OF BOARD • HOLD PROPERTY OF UNIVERSITY • ACCEPT GIFTS, GRANTS AND BEQUESTS • CONTROL AND EXPEND UNIVERSITY FUNDS • SET POLICY, TUITION AND FEES • BUY AND SELL PROPERTY

  3. POWERS OF BOARD • HIRE AND FIRE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT • CONFER DEGREES • JOINTLY CONTROL VIRGINIA BEACH HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER WITH NOFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY

  4. DUTIES - FIDUCIARY • COMMON SENSE - OVERSIGHT • GOOD BUSINESS JUDGMENT • NO PERSONAL PROFIT - CONTRACTS & GIFTS - COIA • AVOID DEFICITS - PERSONAL LIABILITY • FOLLOW MEETINGS LAW - FOIA - CLOSED SESSIONS - PERSONAL LIABILITY

  5. LIABILITIES • NONE IF ACTING IN GOOD FAITH • NO PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR UNIVERSITY’S CONTRACTS • IF SUED, ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY DEFEND; COMMONWEALTH PAYS

  6. FOIA • § 2.2-3700. Short title; policy. • This chapter may be cited as "The Virginia Freedom of Information Act." • B. By enacting this chapter, the General Assembly ensures the people of the Commonwealth ready access to public records in the custody of a public body or its officers and employees, and free entry to meetings of public bodies wherein the business of the people is being conducted. The affairs of government are not intended to be conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy since at all times the public is to be the beneficiary of any action taken at any level of government. Unless a public body or its officers or employees specifically elect to exercise an exemption provided by this chapter or any other statute, every meeting shall be open to the public and all public records shall be available for inspection and copying upon request. All public records and meetings shall be presumed open, unless an exemption is properly invoked. • The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities and afford every opportunity to citizens to witness the operations of government. Any exemption from public access to records or meetings shall be narrowly construed and no record shall be withheld or meeting closed to the public unless specifically made exempt pursuant to this chapter or other specific provision of law. This chapter shall not be construed to discourage the free discussion by government officials or employees of public matters with the citizens of the Commonwealth. • All public bodies and their officers and employees shall make reasonable efforts to reach an agreement with a requester concerning the production of the records requested. • Any ordinance adopted by a local governing body that conflicts with the provisions of this chapter shall be void. • (1968, c. 479, § 2.1-340; 1976, c. 467, § 2.1-340.1; 1989, c. 358; 1990, c. 538; 1999, cc. 703, 726; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 393.)

  7. FOIA ISSUES & RESPONSIBILITIES • AFFIRMATIVE DUTY TO READ AND BE FAMILIAR WITH FOIA • PUBLIC MEETINGS PRESUMED OPEN, UNLESS EXEMPTION PROPERLY INVOKED • “MEETING” = 3 OR MORE MEMBERS CONDUCTING PUBLIC BUSINESS • “EXECUTIVE SESSION” = OBSOLETE; NOW “CLOSED MEETING”

  8. FOIA • PROCEDURES TO PROPERLY CONVENE A CLOSED MEETING: • Motion in a public meeting • Identifies subject matter and purpose • States specific statutory exception • Minutes must reflect motion • During closed meeting: • Only discuss matters identified • No votes nor decisions • Minutes are not open for public inspection • Board must reconvene in open session and record votes with individual certification • Decisions only effective if Board votes upon them in open meeting

  9. FOIA • CLOSED SESSION AUTHORIZED TO DISCUSS: • Personnel matters • Admission or discipline of identifiable student; or disclosure of scholastic record information • Acquisition or disposition of real property • Personal matters unrelated to business • Investing public funds where competition or bargaining is involved • Matters in consultation with legal counsel • Fund-raising activities, and service contracts • Honorary degrees or special awards

  10. FOIA • 3 DAYS NOTICE REQUIRED FOR DATE, TIME & LOCATION OF MEETING • EMERGENCY MEETINGS - UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES • MINUTES REQUIRED FOR OPEN MEETINGS

  11. FOIA • BOARD CANNOT VOTE BY WRITTEN OR SECRET BALLOT • PUBLIC MAY MAKE THEIR OWN RECORD OF OPEN MEETINGS IF NOT DISRUPTIVE • THOSE WHO INTENTIONALLY VIOLATE FOIA WILL BE INDIVIDUALLY LIABLE

  12. COIA POLICY § 2.2-3100. Policy; application; construction. The General Assembly, recognizing that our system of representative government is dependent in part upon (i) citizen legislative members representing fully the public in the legislative process and (ii) its citizens maintaining the highest trust in their public officers and employees, finds and declares that the citizens are entitled to be assured that the judgment of public officers and employees will be guided by a law that defines and prohibits inappropriate conflicts and requires disclosure of economic interests. To that end and for the purpose of establishing a single body of law applicable to all state and local government officers and employees on the subject of conflict of interests, the General Assembly enacts this State and Local Government Conflict of Interests Act so that the standards of conduct for such officers and employees may be uniform throughout the Commonwealth. This chapter shall supersede all general and special acts and charter provisions which purport to deal with matters covered by this chapter except that the provisions of §§ 15.2-852, 15.2-2287, 15.2-2287.1, and 15.2-2289 and ordinances adopted pursuant thereto shall remain in force and effect. The provisions of this chapter shall be supplemented but not superseded by the provisions on ethics in public contracting in Article 6 (§ 2.2-4367 et seq.) of Chapter 43 of this title and ordinances adopted pursuant to § 2.2-3104.2 regulating receipt of gifts. This chapter shall be liberally construed to accomplish its purpose. (1987, Sp. Sess., c. 1, § 2.1-639.1; 1990, c. 672; 2001, c. 844; 2003, c. 694; 2008, c. 532.)

  13. COIA RESPONSIBILITIES • TRAINING IS REQUIRED EVERY 2 YEARS • APPLIES TO BOV MEMBERS • OFFICERS GENERALLY MAY NOT HAVE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN A CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSITY • OFFICERS GENERALLY MAY NOT HAVE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN A UNIVERSITY TRANSACTION

  14. ASSISTANCE • PRESIDENT & OTHER ADMINISTRATORS • GENERAL COUNSEL • UNIVERSITY AUDITOR