The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99, protects the privacy of student education records, defined broadly to include all records maintained by an institution of higher education or an agency acting for such institution that are directly related to a student.
Virginia Military Institute complies with the provisions of FERPA in maintaining cadet education records and responding to requests for disclosure of education records.
Students have certain rights concerning education records maintained by VMI, including the following:
- Students have the right to inspect and review their own education records maintained by the VMI. Copies of records will not be provided unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for students to review the records. A reasonable fee may be charged for copies.
- Students have the right to request that VMI amend records which are believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights. If VMI determines that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights then VMI shall amend the record and inform the student in writing of the amendment. If VMI decides not to amend the record, the student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if VMI still decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information or stating why he or she disagrees with VMI's determination or both.
- Students seeking to inspect or review education records or to seek amendment should contact the Registrar's Office.
- Students have a right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in the student's education record, subject to certain exemptions under FERPA authorizing disclosure without consent, as detailed below.
- 5.Cadets/students may obtain information regarding FERPA or may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning VMI's compliance with FERPA by contacting the Family Policy Compliance Office at:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
Disclosure of Educational Records
Education records may be disclosed if a student provides a written and specific release. A model format for such release may be obtained from the Registrar's Office. VMI also may disclose education records to the parents of students who have provided a specific release authorizing disclosure to parents.
VMI may disclose information from education records without the student's consent under certain circumstances detailed in FERPA including, but not limited to, the following:
•School officials with legitimate educational interest;
"School officials" for purposes of this policy include, but are not necessarily limited to, faculty, administrative and professional staff, clerical personnel, members of the ROTC units acting in discharge of official duties, contractors to whom VMI has outsourced certain Institute services or functions, the VMI Alumni Agencies, and cadets acting in an official capacity in support of the VMI mission including Honor Court and cadet government members.
"Legitimate educational interest" typically will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Generally, a legitimate educational interest will exist when the information is relevant and necessary for a VMI official to perform tasks within the scope of his or her job description in the context of official VMI business and the use is consistent with the purpose for which the information is maintained.
•Outside contracted or affiliated agencies performing functions in support of the VMI mission;
•Other post-secondary institutions to which a student is transferring or seeking transfer;
•Federal and state entities in connection with financial aid eligibility or awards, an audit or evaluation of federal or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements related to federal education programs;
•In accordance with a validly issued subpoena and after notice to the affected cadet;
•Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
•Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of VMI;
•Accrediting organizations, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges;
•In connection with a health or safety emergency, including release of information regarding an act of sexual violence to local law enforcement as required by Va. Code § 23.1-806;
•Disclosure of the final results of a disciplinary proceeding for an offense of violence or a non-forcible sex offense in violation of the cadet rules of conduct ("Blue Book") or other VMI policy, to the victim of such offense;
•Criminal investigation records disclosed by the VMI Police to local law enforcement or the Virginia State Police;
•In connection with the Virginia Longitudinal Data System;