Know Educational Rights (FERPA)

Education Records Policy
2012-2013
Annual Notification to Students

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In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment") the University of Puget Sound has adopted the following policies and procedures to protect the privacy of education records. Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication in the Academic Handbook, the University Bulletin, and by an annual electronic mail message to students at the beginning of the academic year.

Definitions

The University of Puget Sound uses the following definitions in this policy:

Student: any person who attends or has attended the university.

Education records: any record maintained by the university which is directly related to a student, with the following exceptions:

  1. Personal records kept by university employees which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute.

  2. Employment records unless the employment records are contingent on the fact that the employee is a student.

  3. Records maintained by Security Services solely for law enforcement purposes.

  4. Records maintained by Counseling, Health and Wellness Services. (Health records may be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choosing).

  5. Pastoral counseling records maintained by the University Chaplain.

  6. Alumni records.

Types, Locations, and Custodians of Education Records: The following is a list of the types of Education Records that the University of Puget Sound maintains, their locations, and their custodians.

Types

Location

Custodian

Admission and Academic Records

Office of the Registrar
Jones 013

Registrar

Financial Records

Student Financial Services
Jones 019

Associate Vice President for Student Financial Services

Progress and
Advising Records

Faculty Office at each Academic Department or School

Office of Academic Advising
Howarth 114

Department Secretary or Faculty Advisor


Director of
Academic Advising

Learning Disability
Records

Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching
Howarth 109

Director of the Center
for Writing, Learning, and Teaching

Physical Disability
Records

Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching
Howarth 109

Director of Business
Services

Disciplinary
and Student
Conduct Records

Associate Dean of Students' Office
Wheelock Student Center 209

Associate Dean of Students

Procedure to Inspect Education Records

Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian. Students should submit in writing their request which identifies as precisely as possible the records they wish to inspect. The custodian will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access will be allowed no more than 45 days after receipt of the written request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to him or her.

Right of the University to Refuse Access

The University of Puget Sound reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:

  1. The financial statement(s) of the student's parents.

  2. Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her right of access, or which were placed in the file before January 1, 1975.

  3. Records connected with an application to attend the University of Puget Sound if that application was denied.

  4. 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.

  5. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

Right of the University to Refuse to Provide Copies

The University of Puget Sound reserves the right to deny copies of transcripts or other records (not required to be made available under FERPA), if the student has an overdue financial obligation to the university or if there is an unresolved disciplinary or academic dishonesty action against the student.

Fee for Copies of Records

The University may charge a fee of $5.00 for a transcript of a student's permanent academic record. The University may also charge a fee of $.50 per page to produce copies of a student's education record.

Disclosure of Education Records

The University of Puget Sound will disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, except:

  1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.

    A school official is:

    1. A person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position;

    2. A person elected to the Board of Trustees;

    3. A person employed by or under contract to the university to perform a special task, such as legal counsel or an auditor;

    4. A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her task.

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her task. Examples include:

    1. Performing a task that is specific in his or her job description or by a contract agreement; or

    2. Performing a task related to a student's education; or

    3. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student; or

    4. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

  2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

  3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.

  4. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.

  5. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.

  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the university.

  7. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

  8. To parents who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.

  9. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

  10. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.

  11. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or sexual harassment offense of the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator with respect to that crime or offense.

Record of Requests for Disclosure

The University of Puget Sound will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student's education records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the student.

Directory Information

The University of Puget Sound designates the following categories of student information as public or "Directory Information." Such information may be disclosed by the institution at its discretion.

Category I. Name and current enrollment.
Category II. Local address, permanent address, and telephone number.
Category III. Date and place of birth, dates of attendance, class standing, previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors (including Dean's List), degree(s) conferred (including dates), full-time or part-time status, and class schedule.
Category IV. Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight of athletes) and photograph.
Category V. E-mail addresses.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of Directory Information. To request that disclosure be withheld for an academic year, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar prior to September 10 at: University of Puget Sound; 1500 N. Warner; Tacoma, WA 98416-1034. Directory Information will then be withheld indefinitely until the Office of the Registrar receives, in writing, a revocation of the request for nondisclosure.

The University will honor a request to withhold information in any of the categories listed but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon the student, the institution assumes no liability as a consequence of honoring instructions that directory information be withheld. The University of Puget Sound assumes that failure on the part of any student to request specifically the withholding of categories of "Directory Information" indicates approval for disclosure.

Correction of Education Records

If students believe that any information contained in their education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights, they may request in writing that the office which contains those records amend them. Students should identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights.

That office will reach a decision and inform students in a reasonable amount of time after receiving the request. If the records custodian refuses to amend the record, students have the right to a hearing. This hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Academic Vice President of the university. The hearing officer will be someone who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. However, the hearing officer may be an official of the institution. The hearing will be held within a reasonable amount of time after the request for a hearing has been made. The hearing officer will notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.

Students will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised. Students may be accompanied by one or more other persons, including an attorney. The hearing officer/board will make its decision in writing based on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.

If the hearing officer/board supports the complaint, the education record will be amended accordingly and students will be so informed. If the hearing officer/board decides not to amend the education record, students have the right to place in the education record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or stating the reasons for disagreeing with the decision. This statement will be maintained as part of the education record as long as the contested portion is maintained, and whenever a copy of the education record is sent to any party, the student's statement will be included.