Dismissal and Other Penalties
In the interest of good order and discipline, the Institute reserves the right to dismiss, suspend, or otherwise penalize any cadet who does not properly adapt to the life and work of the college. Among the offenses that are considered seriously subversive of high standards of character and conduct and, which may result in dismissal, are disobedience of orders, combinations against authority, hazing, uncivil or disorderly conduct, use or possession of alcoholic beverages within the limits of the Institute or in a way to bring discredit to the Corps, absence without leave, habitual neglect of academic or military duty, and unauthorized use of explosives. Any use or possession of unauthorized illegal drugs or unauthorized possession, distribution, or use of prescribed drugs is a dismissal offense. Any conviction of an honor violation is a dismissal offense.
Demerits, restriction to post limits, and penalty tours are assigned for infractions not so serious as to merit dismissal or suspension, and demerits alone are assigned for minor offenses. An excessive accumulation of demerits is regarded as failure or inability to adjust satisfactorily to the military requirements and may result in suspension or dismissal.
Transcripts of cadets dismissed for disciplinary reasons and transcripts of cadets dismissed for honor violations are correspondingly annotated.
Cadets dismissed for disciplinary reasons may petition to be readmitted after being absent from the Institute for one year.
Jeanne Clery Act
(Student Right to Know Information)
The Jeanne Clery Act requires all institutions of higher education to publicly disclose 3 years of campus crime statistics and basic security policies. In addition, federal regulations require disclosure of graduation rates for each institution (overall and for athletes). VMI has chosen to include its sexual harassment and sexual assault policies with this information.
Your personal safety and the security of the community are of vital concern to the Virginia Military Institute. A copy of the Institute’s annual security report is available upon request. This report includes statistics for the most recent three-year period concerning reported crimes that occurred on post, in certain offpost buildings or property owned or controlled by VMI, and on the public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the post. The report also includes information regarding the law enforcement authority of the post police, policies concerning campus security, such as crime prevention, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and reporting of any crimes which may occur on campus. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Office of Communications and Marketing (540-464-7207), Smith Hall, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304.
An annual fee, included among the fixed fees listed elsewhere in this catalogue, provides for routine medical and psychological care. The Post Hospital houses the Office of Cadet Counseling and the VMI Infirmary. Counselors are available by appointment for a wide range of issues that college students confront. A physician and a nurse practitioner are available to attend to the medical needs of cadets. The infirmary is staffed by nurses who are on duty all the time while cadets are present during the fall and spring semesters. The infirmary allows for observation, isolation and treatment of routine illnesses and injuries. In case of serious illness, serious injury, or when surgery is required, arrangements are made for the necessary treatment off Post. Diagnostic tests or treatment which cannot be done at the VMI infirmary are not included in the annual fee and are the responsibility of the cadet. The Institute does not assume responsibility for the expense of caring for injuries sustained by students while training for or participating in intramural or club athletic events, the military program, clubs, or similar activities. VMI does provide accident insurance for cadets which will cover up to $5,000 for injuries incurred while participating in VMI sponsored and sanctioned activities. This insurance policy will be secondary to any medical coverage provided by families. VMI strongly recommends that cadets be covered by a primary insurance policy provided through their families or purchased from an insurance company independent of the Institute.
Loss of Personal Property
The Institute is not responsible for losses of uniforms, equipment, or personal property of cadets, either for items stored during furlough periods or lost during the regular session. The Institute recommends that a cadet’s personal property be insured through extended coverage of the parent’s or guardian’s homeowners/tenant coverage.
Marriage and Parenthood
All VMI cadets must live in Barracks and participate in a demanding and rigorous military program that does not permit attention to the duties implied by marriage or parenthood. Pursuant to resolution by the Board of Visitors 25-January-2014, and General Order No. 7, dated 30-April-2014, any cadet who marries or incurs the responsibilities of parenthood is expected to resign from the Corps. Absent voluntary resignation, should the Institute, in its reasonable judgment, conclude that a cadet is married or has incurred the responsibilities of parenthood; such cadet shall be separated from the Corps, for failure of eligibility. For the purpose of this policy, the responsibilities of parenthood are deemed to begin upon the birth of a cadet’s biological child for whom the cadet has custody, childcare responsibilities, or legal support obligations. A cadet who becomes pregnant can continue as a cadet until it is medically determined that she cannot fulfill the duties and meet the standards expected of a cadet. The cadet is then put on medical leave until fit to return to duty. Any cadet, male or female, who has incurred the responsibilities of parenthood must make legally sufficient arrangements for another individual to have temporary custody and legal guardianship of the child to qualify for readmission.
Cadets are prohibited from owning, maintaining or operating motor vehicles in Lexington and Rockbridge County until the first class year. This regulation, like all others, was adopted for the good of the cadets, and parents must assist in its enforcement by not providing automobiles. Violation of this rule may result in penalty as prescribed by the Blue Book.
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.
- 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;
- Directory information.
“Directory information” is defined by VMI to include a cadet’s name, home address, VMI box number, VMI email address, telephone number, photograph, date and place of birth, honors and awards, participation in VMI recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, major field of study, ROTC unit affiliation and dates of attendance.
Other than cadet address, telephone number, and email address, directory information may be released by VMI unless a cadet specifically requests to “opt out” of directory information release before the end of the first week of the fall semester. Opt out requests must be made in writing to the Director of Communications and Marketing and remain in effect until rescinded by the cadet, including after graduation.
In accordance with Virginia Code § 23.1-405(C), VMI will not release pursuant to the FERPA directory information exception, 34 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(11), cadet address, telephone number, or email address unless the cadet has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure. VMI will obtain written consent to include cadet address, telephone number, and email address in any directory searchable by the public or any VMI internal directory.
In accordance with Virginia Code § 2.2-3705.4(B), VMI will not release cadet address, phone number, or email address in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request without written consent of the cadet. VMI reserves the right to deny requests for cadet directory information from any individual or entity external to the VMI community.
See General Order #9, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Student Records Policy, for more detailed information on VMI’s FERPA policies.
Cadets are responsible for keeping their personal records updated while enrolled. Cadet and parent home address changes and changes for emergency contacts must be reported immediately by the cadet to the VMI Registrar’s Office. Address changes may not be made by telephone. Changes in health insurance should be reported to the VMI Hospital.