Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) St. Bonaventure University (the “University”) adopts the following policy:
A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1. EDUCATION RECORDS. Education records are those records maintained by the University which directly relate to a student. Education records do not include records of instructional, administrative and educational personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker and not accessible to anyone other than a temporary substitute; records of campus security maintained solely for security purposes and accessible only to security personnel; alumni records; and student health records.
2. EXPLANATION OF RECORDS. The University will respond to reasonable requests for explanation or interpretation of education records.
3. FERPA COORDINATOR. The Registrar’s office has been designated to coordinate FERPA procedures.
4. RECORDS MAINTAINED BY THE UNIVERSITY. Education records covered by FERPA and maintained by the University are: admissions, personal, academic, and financial files; and academic and placement records.
5. ANNUAL NOTICE. On an annual basis the University will notify students currently in attendance at the University of their rights under FERPA. The content of this notice will be in compliance with all federal regulations enacted under FERPA.
B. REVIEW AND CHALLENGE TO CONTENT OF RECORDS
6. RIGHT TO INSPECT. Except as limited below, students have the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge their content, to have a hearing if the outcome of that challenge is unsatisfactory to them, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their education records if the decision of the hearing is against them. Student health records, while not considered education records under this policy, may be reviewed at the student’s request by a physician of the student’s choosing.
7. LIMITATIONS ON RIGHT TO INSPECT. Education records excepted from the right to inspect and review outlined in paragraph 6 are:
- Education records containing information about more than one student, (in which case the University will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student);
- Financial records;
- Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the student’s file prior to Jan. 1, 1975, that are used solely for the purpose for which they were intended; or
- Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the student’s file after January 1, 1975, to which the student has freely waived his or her rights of inspection and review in a signed statement, and which are associated with admissions, application for employment, or receipt of honors. If a student has waived the right of inspection under this section, the University will, upon request, give the student names of persons providing confidential letters of recommendation. A student may prospectively revoke such waiver with a signed statement.
- A student in default on any student loan may receive only an “unofficial” transcript until the default status is cleared.
8. PROCEDURES TO REQUEST INSPECTION. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the office of the Registrar listing the item or items of interest. Records covered by FERPA will be made available to a student within 45 days of request. Students may have copies of their records made by the University at the students’ expense and at the price of 10 cents per page. The University will not destroy an education record if there is an outstanding request to inspect it.
9. RIGHT TO CHALLENGE CONTENT OF RECORDS. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may request the University to amend the records through written application to the Registrar. The Registrar will decide within a reasonable period of time whether or not to amend the record as requested. If the University decides not to amend the record, it will inform the student of this decision and of the student’s right to a hearing.
10. RIGHT TO A HEARING. A student’s request for the hearing provided for in Paragraph 9 must be made in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such request, will inform the student of the date, place and time of the hearing. The student may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of the student’s choice, including an attorney, at the student’s expense. The panel which will decide such hearings will be composed of three administrators who have no direct interest in the outcome of the hearing (the “Panel”) appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Decisions of the Panel will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the Panel if the decision is in favor of the student, and the student will be so informed in writing. If the decision is against the student, the student may place a statement in the education records commenting on the information in the records, or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the Panel. This statement will be maintained as part of the education records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.
C. DISCLOSURE OF PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION
11. DISCLOSURE. Personally Identifiable Information is any information which would make the student’s identity easily traceable. Except as such disclosure is permitted by law, no one outside the University shall have access to, nor will the University disclose, such information from a student’s education records without the signed written consent of the student specifying: the records which may be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosed and the identity of the parties to whom disclosure is made. Under FERPA disclosure absent consent is permitted: a) To personnel within the University whom the University has determined have legitimate educational interest in the information. Only those employees of the University, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interests are allowed access to student education records. These employees include specific personnel in the offices of finance, financial aid, provost, student life, admissions, registrar and athletics.
All on a need-to-know basis:
- To officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll;
- To authorized representatives of federal, state or local government request ing access to the educational records in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported educational programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements which relate to those programs;
- To persons or organizations providing student financial aid which the student has received, or for which the student has applied, provided that the information requested is necessary to determine eligibility for aid, the amount of aid, the conditions for aid or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
- To organizations conducting studies for the University to develop, validate or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction, provided that this information may be used only by such organization and will be destroyed when no longer needed;
- To accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function;
- To persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided that in advance of compliance, the University will make a good-faith effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena; and
- To persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
12. DIRECTORY INFORMATION. “Directory Information” is information contained in a student’s education record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The University has designated the
following types of information as directory information: student name, permanent and college addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail address, photograph, Commencement video, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, part- or full-time enrollment status, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.
13. DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION. Under FERPA, directory information may be disclosed by the University for any purpose at its discretion. Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any or all directory information pertaining to them by notifying the Registrar in writing no later than five (5) days after the first day of class in the fall semester to this effect. Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the University for only one academic year; therefore, requests to withhold directory information must be filed annually.
14. DISCLOSURE RECORDS. The University will maintain a record of each request for access to and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education record, unless the request is from the student, University personnel, or a person with consent, or is for student directory information. This record will include the name of the party requesting the information and their interest in it. This record will be maintained with the student’s education records.
15. COMPLAINTS. Students who believe that the University has failed to accord them their rights under FERPA may file complaints with The Family Policy and Regulations Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202.