Vol. 35 Iss. 21 - June 10, 2019



Transfer of the Museum of Natural History to the Secretary of Education

Importance of the Issue

The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to some of the finest state-owned museums in the nation. These museums are vital educational resources for citizens and visitors of the Commonwealth. Through these institutions, the public can study and enjoy history, science and the arts.

The Secretary of Education is responsible for coordinating among and supporting public education institutions throughout the Commonwealth. The secretariat provides guidance to the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Community College System and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and Virginia's 16 public colleges and universities, 23 community colleges and five higher education and research centers, seven state-funded arts and cultural institutions, and the Library of Virginia.

Pursuant to the Code of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Natural History investigates, preserves, and exhibits the various elements of natural history found in Virginia and other parts of the United States and the world. It encourages and promotes research in the varied natural heritage of Virginia and other parts of the world. It encourages individuals and scholars to study our natural history and to apply this understanding of the past to the challenges of the future. The museum coordinates an efficient network in Virginia where researchers and the public can readily access the museum's materials and its branches.

The mission and purpose of the Virginia Museum of Natural History can be achieved best if it is integrated into the network of Virginia's other museums, colleges, and universities. This requires transferring management and oversight responsibilities from the Secretary of Natural Resources to the Secretary of Education.

The Museum of Natural History will continue performing all existing functions and duties in accordance with Virginia law.

Transfer of the Museum

By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under ยงยง 2.2-208 and 2.2-215 of the Code of Virginia, I hereby authorize the transfer of administrative authority of the Virginia Museum of Natural History from the Secretary of Natural Resources to the Secretary of Education.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in force and effect unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.


Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 14th day of May, 2019.

/s/ Ralph S. Northam