Commitment to Privacy

James Madison University values individuals' privacy and actively seeks to preserve the privacy rights of those who share information with us. Your trust is important to us and we believe you have the right to know how information submitted to the university, including through any website, is handled.

As explanation of JMU's information policy and practices and to assist you in better protecting your privacy, we provide the following privacy notice, which supplements other JMU Policies.

Privacy Notice

The following information explains the Internet privacy policy and practices the university has adopted for its official websites. It also explains the practices that the University follows with regard to SMS/MMS (text) and email messaging. However,it shall not be construed as a contractual promise, and the university reserves the right to amend it at any time without notice. Privacy and public records obligations of the university are governed by applicable laws, including, but not limited to, the Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976, the Virginia Freedom Of Information Act.

Site Definitions

University Web space includes hundreds of sites with varying levels of university involvement and commitment as outlined below.

Official University Websites

Web pages of university colleges, schools, departments, divisions, or other units, and any other sites specifically designated as official by a vice president, dean, department head or director. Official pages are generally recognizable by a standard page footer carrying the university logo, contact information and reference to this privacy statement. Click here to see a sample of this footer on the JMU home page.

Unofficial Websites

Within the James Madison University web domain – signified by the address "" or within the range of Internet protocol addresses assigned to James Madison University – you may find websites over which the university has no editorial responsibility or control. Such sites are considered unofficial and include, but are not limited to, the Web pages of individual faculty members or students and the Web pages of student organizations and other entities not formally a part of the university. While JMU encourages compliance with this Privacy Statement at such sites, in order to better understand the policies and practices under which they operate, please consult the privacy statements of individual sites or seek information directly from the persons responsible for those sites.

Electronic Messages

Electronic messaging is defined as communication services which use technologies such as email, social media postings, SMS (text message) or MMS (Multimedia message).

The Information We Collect

The Privacy Statement speaks generally to the information collected by or submitted to official James Madison University websites (see the definition above) or through other collection or submission mechanisms. Still the amount and type of information collected may vary somewhat from site to site. Therefore, in addition to this general explanation of policy and practice, the university the inclusion of more specific privacy notices to official university websites that collect and use any personal information associated exclusively with those pages. Thus it is wise for you to read page-specific notices to ensure you understand the privacy policies and practices applicable to a particular site.

When you access official JMU Web pages, certain client information and essential and nonessential technical information (collectively referred to as access information) listed below is automatically collected. No other information is collected through our official websites except when you deliberately send it to us (for example, by clicking a link to send us an email). Examples of the information you might choose to send us are listed below as "optional information."

Access Information (automatically collected)

  • Client information: the Internet domain and Internet address of the computer you are using.
  • Essential technical information: identification of the page or service you are requesting, type of browser and operating system you are using; and the date and time of access.
  • Nonessential technical information: the Internet address of the website from which you linked directly to our website, and the "cookie information" used to direct and tailor information based on your entry path to the site.

Optional information (deliberately collected)

  • When you send us an email: your name, email address, and the content of your email.
  • When you complete online forms: all the data you choose to fill in or confirm. This may include user names and passwords or any other data you choose to type into a form on the JMU site as well as links you create from third-party sites to JMU web pages (such as clicking a Facebook 'like' button).

The Way We Use Information

As a general rule, JMU does not track individual visitor profiles. We do, however, analyze aggregate traffic/access information for resource management and site planning purposes. JMU reserves the right to use log detail to investigate resource management or security concerns.

Access Information:

Client information is used to route the requested Web page to your computer for viewing. In theory, the requested Web page and the routing information could be discerned by other entities involved in transmitting the requested page to you. We do not control the privacy practices of those entities.

We may keep client information from our systems indefinitely after the Web page is transmitted, but we do not cross-reference it to the individuals who browse our website. However, on rare occasions when a "hacker" attempts to breach computer security, logs of access information are retained to permit a security investigation. In such cases the logs may be further analyzed or forwarded together with any other relevant information in our possession to law enforcement agencies.

Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, records in our possession at the time of a Freedom of Information Request might be subject to inspection by or disclosure to members of the public. As indicated above, client information may be retained after transmission of the requested Web page and might be available for inspection.

Essential and nonessential technical information lets us respond to your request in an appropriate format [or in a personalized manner] and helps us plan website improvements. To expedite this process, some official James Madison University websites use "cookies." Usually a cookie enables the university website to tailor what you see according to the way you entered the site (i.e., if you entered by pushing a button identifying yourself as a student, your subsequent views of information might be tailored for student audiences).

We also use non-identifying and aggregate information to better design our website. For example, we may determine that X number of individuals visited a certain area on our website, or that Y number of men and Z number of women filled out a particular registration form. But we do not disclose information that could identify those specific individuals.

Many JMU sites use Google Analytics or other similar services to analyze web traffic for design purposes. In such cases, the access information described above may be shared with the vendor(s) providing the analytical service. JMU does not control the privacy policies of these vendors.

Optional Information:

Optional information enables us to provide services or information tailored more specifically to your needs, to forward your message or inquiry to another entity that is better able to do so, and to plan website improvements. We use the information you provide about yourself or about someone else when placing a request for service only to complete that order or request. We do not share this information with outside parties, except to the extent necessary to complete that order or request.

By providing your mobile phone number, you agree to receive text (SMS/MMS) messages from JMU. Message frequency varies and message or data rates may apply. JMU will not share or sell end user information to third parties or affiliates, You may opt-out of text messaging at any time by replying to any message with STOP. This will end the communications from that particular phone number.

Finally, we never use or share the optional information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the purpose described without a clear notice on the particular site and without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Providing Information is Your Choice

There is no legal requirement for you to provide any information at our website. However, our website will not work without routing information and the essential technical information. Failure of your browser to provide nonessential technical information will not prevent your use of our website but may prevent certain features from working.

For any optional information that is requested at the website, failure to provide the requested information will mean that the particular feature or service associated with that request may not be available to you.

Our Commitment To Data Security

James Madison University is dedicated to preventing unauthorized data access, maintaining data accuracy, and ensuring the appropriate use of information. We strive to put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial safeguards to secure the information we collect online. These security practices are consistent with the policies of the university and with the laws and regulatory practices of the Commonwealth of Virginia as they are appropriate to JMU.

How To Contact Us

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies and practices, please call us at (540) 568-5606 or send us an email at If you wish to review or change information gathered about you via an official James Madison University website but you do not know how, the university webmaster will assist in locating the persons responsible for that site so that you may make your request directly to them.

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