WHEREAS, the Commonwealth's commitment to provide for the education of its citizens is evidenced in the quality of its system of higher education, comprised of 39 public and 40 private colleges and universities; and
WHEREAS, the multifaceted missions of these institutions embrace instruction, research, community service and outreach, and economic development; and
WHEREAS, as indicated by the Virginia Plan for Higher Education (1993), burgeoning enrollments, restructuring demands, and state budget constraints will significantly challenge these institutions as they seek to provide continued access to the highest quality education; and
WHEREAS, state funding for Virginia's institutions of higher education has traditionally been based upon consideration of a number of factors, including faculty, enrollments of full-time students, and curriculum offered by the particular institution; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to § 23-9.6:1 of the Code of Virginia, in preparing plans for a coordinated system of higher education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia ("SCHEV" or the "State Council") is to "consider the future needs for higher education in Virginia at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels, the mission, programs, facilities and location of each of the existing institutions of higher education," and, pursuant to § 23-9.9, is also directed to "develop policies, formulae and guidelines for the fair and equitable distribution and use of public funds among the public institutions of higher education, taking into account enrollment projections and recognizing differences as well as similarities in institutional missions"; and
WHEREAS, the missions of the public institutions reflect different characteristics, programmatic mixes, and strengths; and these differences cause (i) varying funding levels among the institutions, and (ii) institutions like George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and the Virginia Community College System having substantially increased enrollments without receiving additional state support over the past several years; and
WHEREAS, adequate and equitable funding for these institutions is essential to the continued success of their missions; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia be requested to study the funding of the Commonwealth's public institutions of higher education. In conducting its study, SCHEV shall consider, among other things, current funding levels and practices for doctoral, comprehensive, and two-year institutions in the Commonwealth and in other states; the individual missions of Virginia's institutions; recent institutional restructuring plans; and other issues as it deems appropriate.
All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the State Council, upon request.
The State Council shall report its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly by September 1, 1995, and shall complete its work in time to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 1996 Session of the General Assembly as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents.