Business / Education / Politics / Virginia

Council: UVA board’s closed meeting may have violated law

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — State officials say the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors might have violated the Freedom of Information Act when it held a closed-door meeting to discuss a new investment fund.

News outlets report that the state’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council issued an opinion Friday, Aug. 12,  saying the board may have been in conflict with open meetings law when it discussed the $2.3 billion Strategic Investment Fund in a closed-door meeting June 10.

The council was responding to a letter from attorney Kevin E. Martingayle, who made the inquiry on behalf of former board member Helen E. Dragas. Dragas has characterized the $2.3 billion fund as a “slush fund” in a Washington Post column.

The Daily Progress ( ) reports University of Virginia Rector William H. Goodwin Jr. denied Sunday that the university broke public meetings law.  Goodwin has appointed a committee to review the school’s disputed $2.2 billion Strategic Investment Fund.  Goodwin said Monday that he welcomed scrutiny of the fund, which he thinks has been unfairly criticized.

UVA says the fund is not connected to tuition or public funding.

Goodwin says if the state was to adopt the university’s approach and consolidated its reserves into an investment fund, it would generate $450 million annually in extra income.

The fund will get its first legislative hearing Aug. 26, when the joint subcommittee on the future of higher education is scheduled to meet.
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