VCU is committed to preserving an environment that encourages academic and research collaboration through the responsible use of information technology resources. With the integration of technology into our everyday lives, we are faced with new threats against the security and privacy of our information. To prevent the loss and theft of our information, we must realize a shared responsibility, and collectively protect sensitive information. Protection may be governed by regulation, law, legal contracts, policies or other university considerations.

General Privacy Considerations

  • Sensitive information is generally health-related; social security numbers; financial (account numbers, etc); and information included in student records.
  • Electronic communications and data on a university-owned computer, or on VCU’s network resources, may be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act and university, state and federal laws and regulations as necessary.

How to Protect Information:
Being observant and reporting privacy breaches assist with maintaining privacy. A privacy breach may be a result of the following, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Sharing of personal passwords
  • Possible theft of electronic or paper data
  • Theft or loss of devices
  • Phishing emails and scams
  • Severe malicious software infections that lead to possible data theft
  • Unauthorized access to email or files
  • Unauthorized access to physical space or computing resources

Student Educational Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs the privacy of educational records of our students. It grants specific rights to students and sets restrictions on how schools may handle educational records. FERPA requires that schools obtain written permission from students before releasing educational records; however, in certain well-defined circumstances, some information may be released without written permission from the student. Parent and student consent and request forms, as well as training materials, are available through the Registrar’s Office.

Health Information

University Student Health, Employee Health Services, and Equity and Access Services keep the information of individuals utilizing their services strictly confidential in accordance with privacy regulations.

Occasionally, research or patient care documentation may contain Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) covered information and additional requirements apply to this protected health information.

Web Privacy
VCU discloses the information gathering and dissemination practices of official Virginia Commonwealth University Web pages in its Web Privacy Statement.