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Policy on Higher Education Act (HEA) Sec 117 Compliance: Foreign Source Funds Reporting

This policy implements Section 117 of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1011f), which requires the University to disclose conditional/nonconditional gifts, restricted and non-restricted gifts, and contracts with foreign sources, as well as foreign ownership and control of any University assets. Section 117 of the HEA mandates that higher education institutions that receive Title IV federal student aid bi-annually disclose to the Secretary of Education any gifts received from any foreign source; contracts with any foreign entity; and any ownership interest in, or control over, the higher education institution by a foreign entity of which the aggregate value is two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more within a calendar year. A reporting institution is any public or private entity that is legally authorized to provide a program of education beyond secondary school and that receives support from the extension of federal financial assistance to any of the entity’s subunits. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in a civil action brought against the institution by the Attorney General.

West Virginia University’s compliance with Section 117 requirements supports its overall compliance with the institution’s Program Participation Agreement (PPA) for administering Title IV federal student financial aid. Accordingly, the Vice President of University Relations and Enrollment Management (responsible for Student Financial Services), with the support of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Research, designates the WVU Office of Global Affairs (OGA) with the responsibility to support the University’s requirements with Section 117 disclosure reporting. This policy is intended to vest OGA with the institutional authority necessary to obtain and compile University records necessary to submit complete, accurate, and timely disclosures of foreign control, gifts, or contracts in accordance with Section 117 and/or any substantially similar disclosure requirement.

Colleges, units, and departments (hereafter "units") at the University who receive gifts from, or enter into contracts with, foreign sources must provide relevant information to OGA twice each year when requested for the applicable reporting period. Each unit is responsible for identifying and reporting such items which fall under their purview. OGA—specifically, the Associate Vice President for Global Affairs—is responsible for the reporting of disclosures meeting the proper criteria to the Department of Education (DoEd) through the method(s) established by federal guidance.

Since aggregate thresholds for disclosure ($250,000) may be triggered by a combination of gifts or contracts from a single foreign source, units must report ALL such gifts and contracts for the reporting period. OGA will then review the submissions and report any sources that exceed the aggregate threshold.

For purposes of this policy, OGA has identified the following units under WVU control or management that will be subject to information requests at the appropriate reporting intervals. This list is not exhaustive, and may be modified as organizational changes require.

  •  Each academic college and school, including divisional campuses
  • General Counsel
  • Office of Strategic Initiatives, including Corporate Relations
  • Research Office, including WVU Research Corporation, Office of Sponsored Programs, Export Control Office, Office of Technology Transfer, and Office of Student and Faculty Innovation
  • Health Sciences Center, including administration and Office of Global Engagement
  • Division of Finance
  • Brand and Trademark Licensing
  • Student Financial Services
  • Business and Auxiliary Services including Procurement, Contracting, and Payment Services (PCPS) and Facilities Management
  • Department of Athletics
  • Alumni Association    

WVU Foundation, Inc. (WVUF) is a separate legal entity not under the control or management of the University, whose purpose is to secure and administer private gift funds to support University programs. For purposes of this policy and the DoEd Section 117 guidance pertaining to intermediary parties who receive gifts or contract for the benefit of the institution, OGA will also submit information requests to WVUF at the appropriate reporting intervals to identify foreign-source gifts for disclosure compliance.

HEA Section 117 reports are due twice each calendar year: January 31 and July 31, with each report covering the previous twelve-month period. OGA will make a request to reporting offices on or about December 15 and June 15 of each year requesting submission of all foreign gifts and contracts received. Submissions will be due to OGA on or about January 15 and July 15 of each year. Records will be retained in accordance with the University’s standard retention schedule.

When submitting sources of foreign funding, the following definitions will be used:

1)     Contract: any agreement for the acquisition of property or services by purchase, lease, or barter, for the direct benefit of or use by any of the parties

2)     Foreign source:

         a.     A foreign government, including an agency of such government.

         b.     A legal entity, governmental or otherwise, created solely under the laws of a foreign state or states.

         c.      An individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States or a trust or territory or protectorate thereof.

         d.     An agent, including a subsidiary or affiliate of a foreign legal entity, acting on behalf of a foreign source.

3)     Gift: any gift of money, both actual and in-kind, or property

4)     Restricted or Conditional Gift or Contract: any endowment, gift, grant, contract, award, present, or property of any kind which includes provisions regarding:

         a.     The employment, assignment, or termination of faculty or staff.

         b.     The establishment of departments, centers, research or lecture programs, or new faculty or staff positions.

         c.      The selection or admission of students.

         d.     The award of grants, loans, scholarships, fellowships, or other financial aid restricted to students of a specified country, religion, sex, ethnic origin, or political opinion.

Units should adopt procedures to determine if the other party is a foreign source prior to signing contract or accepting a gift. This can be done in either of the following ways:

  • The unit can make its own determination based on the address and information supplied by the party, or with information otherwise available to the unit; or
  • The unit can request the other party to certify whether they are a foreign source.

If the country of incorporation/place of business or residence is foreign, this address can be used to determine whether to include the transaction in the report. If the country of incorporation/place of business or residence is U.S.-based, the unit would need to determine whether the other party if an agent, subsidiary, or affiliate of a foreign source.



Section 117 of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1011f