1004.28 Direct-support organizations; use of property; board of directors; activities; audit; facilities.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—For the purposes of this section:
(a) “University direct-support organization” means an organization which is:
1. A Florida corporation not for profit incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
2. Organized and operated exclusively to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of a state university in Florida or for the benefit of a research and development park or research and development authority affiliated with a state university and organized under part V of chapter 159.
3. An organization that a state university board of trustees, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the goals of the university and in the best interest of the state. Any organization that is denied certification by the board of trustees shall not use the name of the university that it serves.
(b) “Personal services” includes full-time or part-time personnel as well as payroll processing.
(c) “Property” does not include student fee revenues collected pursuant to s. 1009.24.
(2) USE OF PROPERTY.—
(a) Each state university board of trustees is authorized to permit the use of property, facilities, and personal services at any state university by any university direct-support organization, and, subject to the provisions of this section, direct-support organizations may establish accounts with the State Board of Administration for investment of funds pursuant to part IV of chapter 218.
(b) The board of trustees, in accordance with rules and guidelines of the Board of Governors, shall prescribe by rule conditions with which a university direct-support organization must comply in order to use property, facilities, or personal services at any state university. Such rules shall provide for budget and audit review and oversight by the board of trustees.
(c) The board of trustees shall not permit the use of property, facilities, or personal services at any state university by any university direct-support organization that does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, or national origin.
(3) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The chair of the university board of trustees may appoint a representative to the board of directors and the executive committee of any direct-support organization established under this section. The president of the university for which the direct-support organization is established, or his or her designee, shall also serve on the board of directors and the executive committee of any direct-support organization established to benefit that university.
(4) ACTIVITIES; RESTRICTION.—A university direct-support organization is prohibited from giving, either directly or indirectly, any gift to a political committee as defined in s. 106.011 for any purpose other than those certified by a majority roll call vote of the governing board of the direct-support organization at a regularly scheduled meeting as being directly related to the educational mission of the university.
(5) ANNUAL AUDIT; PUBLIC RECORDS EXEMPTION; PUBLIC MEETINGS EXEMPTION.—
(a) Each direct-support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit of its accounts and records to be conducted by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General pursuant to s. 11.45(8) and by the university board of trustees. The annual audit report shall be submitted, within 9 months after the end of the fiscal year, to the Auditor General and the Board of Governors for review. The Board of Governors, the university board of trustees, the Auditor General, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall have the authority to require and receive from the organization or from its independent auditor any records relative to the operation of the organization. The identity of donors who desire to remain anonymous shall be protected, and that anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.
(b) All records of the organization other than the auditor’s report, management letter, and any supplemental data requested by the Board of Governors, the university board of trustees, the Auditor General, and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall be confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1).
(c) Any portion of a meeting of the board of directors of the organization, or of the executive committee or other committees of such board, at which any proposal seeking research funding from the organization or a plan or program for either initiating or supporting research is discussed is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
(6) FACILITIES.—Each direct-support organization is authorized to enter into agreements to finance, design and construct, lease, lease-purchase, purchase, or operate facilities necessary and desirable to serve the needs and purposes of the university, as determined by the systemwide strategic plan adopted by the Board of Governors. Such agreements are subject to the provisions of ss. 1010.62 and 1013.171.
(7) ANNUAL BUDGETS AND REPORTS.—Each direct-support organization shall submit to the university president and the Board of Governors its federal Internal Revenue Service Application for Recognition of Exemption form (Form 1023) and its federal Internal Revenue Service Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax form (Form 990).
History.—s. 172, ch. 2002-387; s. 173, ch. 2007-5; s. 89, ch. 2007-217; s. 31, ch. 2013-37; s. 1, ch. 2014-27.