FOIA Policy

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency.

About FOIA

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), at § 2.2-3700 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia, provides that:

  • Any citizen of the Commonwealth has access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees
  • All agencies of the U.S. Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them.
  • There are nine exemptions to the FOIA that protect certain records from disclosure.
  • FOIA Statutory Exclusions

Your FOIA Rights

  • You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
  • You have the right to request any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
  • If you believe your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.

Making a request for records

You may request records online at the button below or by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state you are requesting records under FOIA.

  • From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
  • Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records you are requesting; instead, it requires you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records you are seeking.
  • Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of Virginia Tech, nor does it require Virginia Tech to create a record that does not exist.
  • You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by Virginia Tech in the regular course of business.
  • For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via e-mail or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records
  • If we have questions about your request, please cooperate with staff's efforts to clarify the type of records you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
Request records

To facilitate records requests, Virginia Tech has established a web portal for the public to submit requests and to retrieve responsive documents. To submit your request, click here. You may also submit your request: via email to foia@vt.edu; by mail to: Bobbie Jean Norris, University FOIA Officer, University Gateway Center, 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA, 24061; or by phone: 540-231-1614. In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at foiacouncil@leg.state.va.us , or by phone at (804) 225-3056 or [toll free] 1-866-448-4100 .