Student Records and Release Information
To: Members of University Community
From: Jeanine Arden Ornt, Vice President and General Counsel
Date: July 1, 2005
Subject: Student Records and Release Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), a federal law, governs the release of personally identifiable information about a student contained in his/her education records. In general, university personnel may not disclose to third parties information about a student, unless that student has given prior written consent. Third parties include: parents*, spouses, law enforcement or other government agencies, prospective employers and any other individual who is not a University employee with a legitimate educational interest in the record. For this reason, it also is not appropriate to have any conversations with, or disclose records to third parties about student academic performance, job qualifications or personal characteristics unless the student has authorized you to do so in writing.
An exception to FERPA's non-disclosure rule permits disclosure of information designated by the University as "Directory Information". Directory Information includes the following student information: name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, anticipated graduate date, enrollment status and dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized sports and activities; and weight and height for members of athletic teams. Since Directory Information also may be withheld at the request of a student, this information should not be disclosed until the University Registrar has verified that the student has not requested that directory information be withheld.
Please refer all law enforcement calls or inquiries regarding students directly to the University's Office of Counsel. (311 Adelbert Hall, 368-4286). Other government agencies seeking student information also should be referred to the Office of Counsel. If possible, please alert the Office of Counsel that a request is forthcoming.
Even when law enforcement agencies have obtained subpoenas for records or information, FERPA requires that the University make a reasonable effort to notify a student of the intent to comply before providing the subpoenaed information. Therefore, if presented with a subpoena, please send the original subpoena immediately to the Office of Counsel, along with a copy of the records or information sought. We will determine the validity of the subpoena, notify the student, and release the records, as appropriate, once all FERPA obligations have been fulfilled.
Thank you for your attention to this important information.
*The University is permitted to disclose personally identifiable information from student educational records to parents of dependent students. Determination of whether a student is dependent is made jointly by the Office of Counsel and the Office of Financial Aid.