Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Freedom of Information Act

About FOIA

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located ß 2.2-3700 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees.

A public record is any writing or recording – regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording or any other format – that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.

The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

Make a Records Request
  • Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." 
  • Your request must ask for existing records or documents. 
  • You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by William & Mary in the regular course of business.
  • You may request records from the FOIA Officer by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person or over the phone.
FOIA Fee Policy

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits agencies to charge for the actual costs of responding to requests, such as time spent searching the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. Charges cannot include general overhead costs. Please see the William & Mary FOIA Fee Policy for more information about how fees are calculated and procedures when a fees are assessed to a records request.

William & Mary FOIA Officer

Pamela Mason
Chief Compliance Officer/FOIA Officer
Office of Compliance & Equity
109 James Blair Hall
Williamsburg, VA 23187