Privacy Policy

This website is owned and operated by Van Andel Institute and its supporting organizations (collectively, “VAI,” “we,” “our,” or “us”). This Privacy Policy explains how VAI collects, uses, shares and protects the personal information we collect through this website.

By using the VAI website, you agree to follow and be bound by this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with any of the terms of the Privacy Policy, please do not use the VAI website.


VAI values your privacy and, unless otherwise stated in this Privacy Policy, will not sell or share your personal information with third parties without your consent. This section gives a brief overview of our data collection and use policies. Please see below for a more detailed discussion of each topic.

We collect the following information:

  • Personal information that you provide us on a voluntary basis.
  • Information that your browser routinely shares with websites.

The website uses the following tracking technologies:

  • Cookies and other similar technology track movement across our website and keep track of our users and their preferences.

We use and disclose the information we collect for the following purposes:

  • To provide you information about our activities and educational offerings that you request or indicate you may be interested.
  • To help us improve our website, understand its users and their preferences, and to describe our activities and educational offerings.
  • To protect our interests or the rights of others, when required by law, to cooperate with law enforcement, or in connection with the divestiture or merger of all or part of our organization.

Third-Party Links:

This Privacy Policy applies only to your use of the VAI website. The website contains links to third party websites, including sites that may indicate a special relationship with us. VAI is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such third-party websites. We recommend that you review the privacy policies of those sites when you visit them.

Other details about our practices:

  • VAI uses your personal information only for the purposes for which it is collected and consistent with this Privacy Policy, and we retain your information only as long as permitted by applicable law.
  • Although the website may contain links to other websites, this Privacy Policy applies only to websites owned and operated by VAI.
  • We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time, but we will allow you to opt in to any material changes in how we use your previously collected personal information.

Information Collection

There are several kinds of information we collect when you visit the website. For all visitors to the website, we collect and log your IP address. An IP address is a number automatically assigned to your computer whenever you access the Internet. We collect IP address information to better administer our system and to gather aggregate information on visitors to our website, on how our website is being used, and on the pages visitors are viewing. For example, the information can be used to let us know what percentage of users come from North or South America. This aggregate information may be shared with other organizations. To maintain your anonymity, we do not associate IP addresses with records containing personal information. We may use IP address information, however, to personally identify you in order to enforce our legal rights or when required to do so by law enforcement authorities.

You may visit and browse the website without providing any personal information. However, we collect the personal information and content that you provide when you, for example, subscribe to a blog hosted on our website.

At times, you may be asked to complete survey questions that appear on the website. If you agree to participate in the survey, we will receive the information you provide in the survey, and you will be asked to review and accept certain additional terms and conditions relating to the use of the information you furnish, which may include personally identifiable information. Any survey terms and conditions are in addition to the Privacy Policies set forth in this agreement.

Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

This website uses cookies and other tracking technologies for your convenience and to facilitate our efficient service of content to you. For example, we may place small data files, called “cookies,” in the browser file of your computer’s hard drive. These cookies automatically identify your browser to our server when you interact with the website. We use data collected with cookies to enable certain features on our website, to help us understand how users interact with our website, and to monitor at an aggregate level website usage and web traffic routing. Most Internet browsers enable you to erase cookies from your computer hard drive, block all cookies, or receive a warning before a cookie is stored. Please be aware; however, that some of the website’s features or services may not function properly without cookies.

We may also use web beacons or similar technology to help us track the effectiveness of our communications. For example, we may use a web beacon to count the number of visits to the pages of our website. If you have signed up to receive any of our e-mail newsletters, we use similar technology to count how many recipients have opened the message and clicked on one of its links.

Use and Disclosure of Your Information

We will only use your information in a manner that is consistent with our Terms of Use and this Privacy Policy. We will generally use the information that we collect to provide our services, operate the website, to help us understand our users and their preferences, and to provide information to our website’s users that may be of interest to them.

Except as set forth in this Privacy Policy, we will not disclose to companies and people other than VAI any personal information we gather from you. We may provide information about you that does not allow you to be identified or contacted to third parties. Depending on the circumstances, we may or may not charge for this information. The following provides a more specific discussion of our uses and disclosures of the information that we collect.

To communicate with you about programs and events that you may be interested in: The VAI website provides you with the opportunity to receive communications from us. Once you have decided to receive such communications, we may use the personal information collected through the website to provide you information about our activities, events, and other information that we believe you may be interested in. To stop receiving communications, please follow the instructions within the communication you are receiving or contact our development team through our contact form. Please be aware that e-mail communications may not be secure and may be susceptible to interception by third parties.

Information for online transactions: Some areas of the website may allow you to make online donations or other transactions. In connection with such transactions, we collect data necessary to complete the donation or transaction and other information that is furnished by you. This information may be furnished to a third party in order to facilitate the transaction or donation.

Information shared with our business partners: We may use business partners to help us design and operate the website or to provide other services to support the website. For example, we may hire a company to run certain website applications, help us analyze our data, or send you information that you may be interested in on our behalf. Unless otherwise indicated on our website, if we allow our business partners to access the personal information we collect, it will be for limited purposes and in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

Statistical analyses of the information: We use general traffic, website usage, and length of stay information for statistical reporting, and we may share such reports with organizations with which we have a business relationship, such as Google Analytics, which helps us gather and analyze such information. This aggregate information does not personally identify you, and we will not associate this data with personally identifiable data unless required to do so to cooperate with law enforcement activity or other governmental request or to comply with law. We may use this information to gain a better understanding of the users of our website, to improve our website, and to improve our services and product offerings. Depending on the type of browser and device that you use, you may have the ability to control the type of information that Google Analytics uses. To understand how Google Analytics collects and processes data, please visit www.google.com/policies/privacy/partners. We reserve the right to license or sell aggregate information about the visitors to our website, but this information will not be individually identifiable.

Our operations, law enforcement and legal actions: We may release your information without prior notice when we believe it is appropriate to prevent fraud; to comply with law or to cooperate with law enforcement activity or other governmental request; to respond to subpoenas, court orders or administrative agency requests for information; to enforce our policies; to protect the rights, property and safety of our organization and of others; or when required or otherwise permitted by law. For example, we may share information with law enforcement to reduce the risk of fraud or if someone uses or attempts to use our website for illegal reasons. If there is a divestiture or merger of all or part of our organization that operates this website, we may also transfer the information we have collected in connection with such divestiture or merger.

Customized Experience: We may use the information that we have about you to provide and personalize some of the website’s features or services (including ads), including with the help of automated systems and inferences we make, so that the website can be more relevant and useful to you and others.

Data Retention

VAI retains your personal information even after you have closed your session if reasonably necessary to comply with our legal obligations (including law enforcement requests), meet regulatory requirements, resolve disputes, maintain security, prevent fraud and abuse, enforce our terms and conditions, or fulfill your request to “unsubscribe” from further messages from us. We will retain de-personalized information after your session has been closed, but will destroy your personal information when it is no longer needed for the foregoing purposes, or we remove your personal information to render it anonymous.

Transfer of Information

Any information you provide to us through the use of the website may be stored, processed, transferred among, and accessed from the United States and other countries which may not guarantee the same level of protection of personal information as the one in which you reside. However, we will handle your personal information in accordance with this Privacy Policy regardless of where your personal information is kept.

Security of Your Personal Information

We want your personal information to remain as secure as reasonably possible. That is why our system combines technical safeguards and employee access restrictions. On the technical side, we use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption technology for any forms in which you provide credit card information to protect the integrity and privacy of the personal information you provide to us through the Internet. To take advantage of these technical safeguards, your computer must meet the minimum browser requirements for the website, which is Internet Explorer 5.0 (or an equivalent browser level) or higher.


This website is intended for adults aged 18 and older, and is not intended for or directed to persons under age 18. VAI does not collect personal information through the website from any person known to be under the age of 18. If you are a parent who believes that we have collected information about a child under age 13, please contact us at [email protected] or (616) 234-5000 with your child’s name and address, and we will be happy to delete the information we have about your child from our records and provide information in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Verifying, Changing, and Deleting Your Information

If you have registered for an account, you can access, review and manage many changes yourself via your account, including updating your profile information and changing your communication preferences. If you have not registered for an account, or the information you are seeking is not available within your account, you can contact us at [email protected] or through our contact form and ask us to change, update or fix your information in certain cases, particularly if it is inaccurate. You can also request that we erase or delete all or some of your personal information or otherwise object to, limit, or restrict the use of such information (if we have no legal right or legitimate organizational interest in retaining such information).

Changes to this Privacy Policy

VAI reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If we do, we will post the revised version on this website. If we propose to change our Privacy Policy in a way that would permit us to make additional uses of the personal information that we had previously collected about you, we will obtain your affirmative, express consent before using your information in a materially different way. Your use of the VAI website following the posting of any changes to the Privacy Policy constitutes acceptance of those changes.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about our policies and practices, please contact us at [email protected] or through our contact form. You may also ask to review any of the information that we have retained about you, how we have used it, and to whom we have disclosed it at any time by contacting us.

Last updated: March 30, 2022