Virginia bill looks to make donations to public universities more transparent


After sitting in a state house committee for a year, Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council has agreed to study the bill which would require universities to disclose agreements and conditions from private donors.

The House bill introduced by Virginia Delegate, David Bulova from Fairfax County, would create rules on donations and require public colleges or universities to keep a record of all terms or agreements attached to donations. There have been local examples of these agreements being needed in the past, such as the Koch foundation who played a big role in employment decisions in Fairfax’s George Mason University. This is one of the school’s big donors. Since that came out, George Mason University has made tighter policies on donations. Delegate Bulova says they serve as a model for this legislation.

“They’ve put together a task force, really worked hard to look at their policies, look at these old donations, and make some necessary changes moving forward, but it really caused us to look at what our existing Freedom of Information Act laws,” said David Bulova, Virginia Delegate of the 37th district. 

The council will study the bill for an entire year before it is brought back for a vote.

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