RICHMOND, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University is seeking a firm to provide government relations services, according to an RFP released mid-September.
The selected agency will assist VCU with strategy and counsel around long-term government and communications planning, according to the RFP. The contract on the account is for one year.
The primary focus of the work is to "assess the resource needs of the university in conjunction with university staff, develop goals and objectives based on those needs, and then to assist the office of government relations in developing a long-range strategic plan for aligning the work of the office to meet those goals," according to the document.
Other services include offering strategic advice and public policy and communications counsel. Lobbying will not be one of the firm’s tasks.
Agencies bidding for the account should have knowledge of the Virginia state legislature and budget development processes, experience advising university, nonprofit and/or corporate clients in government relations, and experience working with members of the General Assembly, staff, employees, and officers of the executive branch. Firms should also have knowledge of budgets for higher education institutions, including medical schools.
Proposals are due by October 7. A budget was not stated in the RFP.
VCU is facing a $21 million budget cut over two years after the governor’s office told public universities to "submit strategies to cut their operating budgets by 5% this fiscal year and 7% next year," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Dispatch reported that the state needs to meet "an estimated $881 million revenue shortfall."
Representatives from VCU were not immediately available for comment.