Virginia Plan Offers Fiscal Stability, but the Attached Strings Worry Colleges

6-year contracts could provide more funds and more government scrutiny

A unique plan to require Virginia's public colleges to sign performance contracts with the state government, in return for their public financing, isn't bowling over the traditionally autonomous campuses. But advocates of the idea are urging a closer look, saying it could allay the historic concerns of higher-education leaders about money.

In 18 months of discussions with lawmakers,