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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

April 23, 2014

New Video Helps Public Board Members Understand FOIA

RICHMOND — More than 4,000 people serve as members of public boards and commissions in Virginia.  Their commitment to open government is an essential element of their service. That’s why the State Council of Higher Education, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council collaborated on an eight-minute training video for board members.

“What we often find is that professionals in the private sector are not always familiar with the laws about meetings and records that must be followed when they become public servants,” said the Executive Director of the Virginia FOIA Council, Maria Everett. “This video gives those board members FOIA basics and explains where to go for additional guidance.”

The FOIA Video debuted at last October’s Boards of Visitors Orientation for newly appointed members of Virginia’s public institutions of higher education. “While the video was designed for board members at Virginia’s public colleges and universities, the information really applies to any member of a public board,” said Ron Forehand, Senior Assistant Attorney General.  “It’s an extremely useful training tool.”

The video was produced by Park Group in Richmond, Virginia. “It was an honor to participate in this project and contribute to the advancement of open government,” said Park Founder and CEO, Dave Trownsell. “Quite frankly, we learned a lot on the subject matter in the process.” 

A link to the FOIA video is available from the SCHEV website at and on YouTube at . Its use for the training of newly appointed members to public boards is encouraged.  “This video is a good example of a joint effort among several state agencies to create a product that helps serve the Commonwealth,” said SCHEV Executive Director, Peter Blake. 
SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on higher education issues.

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Communications, at  or (804) 225-2627.