Pursuant to a federal statute enacted to protect the privacy rights of students (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 [FERPA], as amended, enacted as Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act), eligible students of Virginia Commonwealth University are permitted to inspect and review education records of which the student is the subject. A statement of university policy concerning inspection and disclosure of education records has been formulated in compliance with the federal statute. Copies of the policy also are available from the Office of Records and Registration or on the Web at www.enrollment.vcu.edu/rar/registration/ferpa.html.
Generally, the act provides that no personally identifiable information will be disclosed without the student’s consent, except for directory information and information to other school officials with a legitimate educational interest. When personally identifiable information, other than directory information, is disclosed, a record will be maintained of these disclosures. This record also is available for inspection and review by the student.
If an eligible student feels that his or her education record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights, the student may request an amendment to the record.
Should the university fail to comply with the requirements of the act, the student has the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-5901.
Amendments to FERPA signed into federal law in fall 1998 specifically allow notification to the parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 who violate any law or university rule regarding use or possession of alcohol or other controlled substance. The Virginia Attorney General’s Task Force on Drinking by College Students also recommended such notification in its 1998 report.
In accordance with these documents, a parental notification procedure has been included in the VCU Drug Free Schools and Workplace Policy.