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Resolution Calling Upon the University to Amend the “University of Virginia Policy EXT-008: Acceptance, Receipt and Acknowledgment of Gifts

Whereas: The University of Virginia Faculty at large derive many types of support from grants, contracts and gifts, and;
Whereas: The University of Virginia reserves the right to exercise its discretion and independent judgment regarding method and means of performing projects regarding the use of monies, therein holding Faculty to high standards of conduct especially with regard to undue extramural influence, and;

Whereas: The discretion and independent judgment is widely acknowledged as reducing the vulnerability of both the Faculty and the University of Virginia, and;

Whereas: The written constraints of gift policy with respect to influence do not conform to the same standards as for grants and contracts, then;

Resolved: The Faculty Senate calls upon the University to amend the “University of Virginia Policy EXT-008:  Acceptance, Receipt and Acknowledgment of Gifts” and any School, Departmental or other subsidiary gift acceptance policies such that:

1. The university shall accept no gift that:

  1. interferes with or constrains the academic freedom of the university, or the university’s full control of the management, operations, and direction of its affairs, including admission procedures, faculty selection and promotion, and academic programs and their integrity;
  2. presumes or requires a particular result or conclusion of scholarly work;
  3. impedes the free inquiry and scholarly activity of a faculty member, fellowship holder, or student;
  4. is offered for purposes inconsistent with the university’s missions of education, research, and service;
  5. affords the donor influence over the employment and selection of specific personnel, including academic unit and program administrators and faculty, or influence over curriculum or course offerings of academic units or programs; or
  6. impairs the University’s freedom to define and pursue its mission, requires illegal or unethical acts, hinders governance or administration, or compromises the university’s accreditation.

 

2. As provided for below, gift agreements, if accepted by the university, shall be matters of public record.

  1. When the university accepts a gift from a foundation, and the gift imposes one or more conditions on the university, the university shall, prior to transfer of any funds from the foundation to the university, inform the foundation in writing that the university accepts the conditions.  The written statement shall be entered into the minutes of the gift acceptance committee and thereby become a public record of the university, subject to routine public records request under the terms of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
  2. Except as otherwise provided by law or by policy (including this policy), the university shall afford donors those privacy protections permitted by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
  3. Anonymous gifts may be accepted, but in the case of accepted anonymous gifts of $100,000 or more the president and the provost must be informed of the donor’s identity and agree that the university accepts the gift on condition of anonymity.

 

Moreover:

Whereas: The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has clearly delineated the membership of the “Gift Policy Committee” in its action of November 7, 1997, and;

Whereas: The Gift Policy Committee is comprised of administrators who represent the breadth of the institutional administration, and;

Whereas: The University of Virginia Faculty are often the ultimate users of and are largely responsible for implementation of the use of gift funds, then:

Resolved: The Faculty Senate calls upon the University administration to petition the Board of Visitors to amend the composition of the university’s Gift Policy Committee.  The committee shall be modified to include multiple faculty representing the breadth of the institution’s education, research and service endeavors.  Specifically, the Faculty Senate recommends inclusion of three faculty representatives elected by the Faculty Senate from the University Faculty at large, with staggered 3-year appointments.