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Restrictions on access of student contact information

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

The Commonwealth of Virginia has passed legislation that restricts access to student contact information by the public as well as by fellow students.

Effective July 1, Code of Virginia § 23.1-405(C) prohibits a university from disclosing a student’s email address, physical address or telephone number under the exception in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for directory information or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (§ 2.2-3700) unless the student has approved the disclosure in writing. This legislation covers students in all academic program levels: undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, first professional, certificate and non-degree seeking. Faculty will continue to have access to contact information for all students in their courses. However, that information may not be shared without the student’s written consent unless another FERPA exception permits the disclosure, such as disclosure to another university official with the need to know.

On June 5, to ensure compliance with the new law, VCU Technology Services will remove all student data from and the people search on the VCU website. Website owners throughout the university have already been asked to remove all student listings from school and departmental web pages.

For more details about this legislation and its impact on faculty, staff and students, visit, where you will find an extensive list of frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, please send them to the Office of Records and Registration at


Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs