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Privacy of Student Education Records

The University policy for the administration of student educational records is in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA. This policy provides that the student has a right of access to student educational records maintained by the University or any department or unit within the University. The policy also protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in student records. Except to the extent allowed by applicable law, personally identifiable information contained in a student educational record will not be disclosed. A copy of the University policy dealing with the privacy of student educational records is maintained by the University Registrar. Each member of the faculty should be thoroughly familiar with this policy and comply with its provisions.

Access to Student Educational Records
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, it is the policy of the university that students have the following rights in regard to official educational records maintained by the University.
  1. Each student has the right to inspect and review official educational records, files, and data maintained by the University and directly related to the student and not related to other students. Some exceptions to this include: sole possession notes, law enforcement or campus security records, employment records (unless employment is contingent upon student status), records relating to treatment by physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.
  2. The University will comply with the request from a student to review his or her records within a reasonable time, but in any event not more than forty-five days after the request is made. Any inquiry pertaining to student records should be directed to the Office of the Registrar. 
  3. Students may request a hearing to challenge the content of his or her education record on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. Any complaint pertaining to student records should be made directly to the Office of the University Registrar, telephone 252-328-6747.
  4. Legitimate educational interest is a demonstrated "need to know" by those officials of an institution who act in the student's educational interest. They include: faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, student workers, and other persons who need student record information for the effective functioning of their office or position. The following criteria shall be taken into account in determining the legitimacy of a University official's access to student's records:
    1. The official must seek the information within the context of the responsibilities that he or she has been assigned, and
    2. The information sought must be used within the context of official University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official's area of responsibility to the University.
  1. The University will not release any information from student records to anyone (except those agencies noted in item 6 below, as permitted by the Act - 34 CFR § 99.31) without the prior written consent of the student. The consent must specify the records or information to be released, the reasons for the release, and the identity of the recipient of the records.
  2. Information from the student's records may be released without the written consent of the student in the following situations:
    1. in compliance with a court order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    2. requests from school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information (a school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, as determined by the Office of the University Registrar, including student workers);
    3. requests from other departments or educational agencies who have legitimate educational interest in the information, including persons or companies with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, Higher One or The National Student Clearinghouse);
    4. requests from officials of other colleges or universities at which the student intends to enroll or has enrolled, provided the student is furnished with a copy, if he or she so requests, so that he or she may have an opportunity to challenge the contents of the record;
    5. requests in connection with a student's financial aid;
    6. requests from parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
    7. requests from appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
    8. Additional circumstances may exist to permit the release without student consent within the applicable regulations.
A student has the right to file a complaint at any time with the US Department of Education. However, it is expected that the student normally would exhaust the available administrative remedies for relief according to the university grievance procedures before filing such a complaint.
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