Depends. Foundations that do not receive public funds and whose voting members do not consist of any members of the school board may not constitute local or state agencies within the meaning of the CPRA. See Cal. Gov’t Code § 6252(a) & (f); see, e.g., Cal. State Univ. (Fresno) v. Superior Court, 90 Cal. App. 4th 810, 829, 108 Cal. Rptr. 2d 870 (2001) (holding that nongovernmental, nonprofit auxiliary corporation affiliated with a state university, and which operated multi-purpose arena being built on university campus, was not a state agency under the CPRA).
Fundraising and donor information prepared, owned, used, or retained by a public agency, however, is public. See id. at 835 (holding individuals who purchased luxury suites in an arena being built on university campus entered into “public sphere” and by doing so “voluntarily diminished their own privacy interest” such that their names and license agreements retained by the university were not exempt from disclosure under the CPRA).
Public school foundation records are generally subject to the Act’s disclosure requirements. However, the Act exempts records maintained by public postsecondary educational institutions and associated foundations of such institutions that contain personal information concerning donors or potential donors to such institutions or foundations—“provided, however, that the name of any donor and the amount of donation made by such donor shall be subject to disclosure if such donor or any entity in which such donor has a substantial interest transacts business with the public postsecondary educational institution to which the donation is made within three years of the date of such donation.” O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(29). The term “transact business” is defined to mean, “to sell or lease any personal property, real property, or services on behalf of oneself or on behalf of any third party as an agent, broker, dealer, or representative in an amount in excess of $10,000.00 in the aggregate in a calendar year”; and the term “substantial interest” to mean “the direct or indirect ownership of more than 25 percent of the assets or stock of an entity.” Id.
The Vermont Supreme Court has held that the legislature has sufficient authority over the University of Vermont to render it a public body subject to Vermont’s Public Records Act, as well as the Vermont Open Meeting Law. State v. Curley-Egan, 2006 VT 95, ¶ 15, 180 Vt. 305, 311-12 (Vt. 2006); see alsoSprague v. Univ. of Vt., 661 F. Supp. 1132, 1138 (D. Vt. 1987); Animal Legal Defense Fund Inc. v Univ. of Vt., 159 Vt. 133, 137-38, 616 A.2d 224 (Vt. 1992). Indeed, the Vermont legislature made explicit that UVM “shall be recognized and utilized as an instrumentality of the State for providing public higher education” and provided that the state “shall, from time to time, appropriate such sums as it deems necessary for the support and maintenance of [UVM].” See 16A V.S.A. § 1-1.
The University of Vermont Foundation, a public benefit corporation, was established in 2011 to secure and manage private support for the benefit of the University of Vermont. The board and meeting minutes for the Foundation’s Board of Directors and related committees contain information regarding general fundraising and donor issues. Likewise, the Foundation’s tax forms and audited financial statements provide detailed information. Both the minutes and the financial documents are available online at: https://www.uvmfoundation.org/s/1690/19/interior.aspx?sid=1690&gid=2&pgid=480