FERPA, Virginia’s FOIA at odds when it comes to sex crimes, violence on campus

Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act prevents universities from disclosing information about students found responsible for sex crimes and violence even though the federal law meant to protect student privacy explicitly tells schools to make that information public.
The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, says the name of a student found responsible for a crime of violence or nonforcible sex offense is a public record along with the violation and the sanction.


Effort to make state-related universities in PA more transparent clears key hurdle

The open records law has been viewed by most as a step toward transparency and accountability. But it has its problems. That’s why state Sen. Lloyd Smucker and other lawmakers in the Senate State Government Committee are proposing some changes.

The first area to be updated deals with how the law applied to the four state-related universities — Penn State, Temple, Pittsburgh and Lincoln. The committee unanimously agreed Wednesday that those schools will be required to create searchable and downloadable databases on their freely accessible public websites.


Delaware bill eyes universities’ FOIA exemption

A bill making the University of Delaware and Delaware State University subject to more public scrutiny has been released from a House committee, but with an amendment that guts the intent of the bill and may even weaken existing open-government provisions.

The bill discussed Thursday revises Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act to remove an exemption for the two schools, which receive millions of dollars in taxpayer money each year but are mostly exempt from open records and open meetings laws.