University Policies and Procedures

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Policy Number: 2.1011
Title: Disclosure and Release of Student Information
Effective: 08/28/2007
Senate Proposal: No
Responsible University Officer: Vice President for Student Affairs
Responsible Office: Student Records and Registration

Policy Statement  |  Reason  |  Requirements  |  Related Information  |  Exclusions
Contacts  |  Definitions  |  Responsibilities  |  Procedures  |  Forms & Instructions  |  Appendices  |  History

Policy Statement

Michigan Technological University will accord its students their full legal rights regarding the disclosure and release of their educational records as provided under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Note: This statement is a summary and the provisions of FERPA are controlling not withstanding the policy summary.


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Policy Requirements

Under FERPA, students have the right to:

Complaints may be addressed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Personally identifiable information from a student's education record will not be disclosed without the student's prior written consent, with certain exceptions. 'Directory Information' may be disclosed without the student's prior written consent unless the student has filed a confidentiality form with the Registrar's Office. See Appendix C for the designated directory information.

Protection of education records under this policy begins with the first day of classes of the first term of enrollment for an individual and extends to all former students. See Appendix D for disclosure upon death.

Currently enrolled students must be notified annually of their rights under this policy. (Refer to Appendix E)

No student shall be required to waive their rights granted under FERPA as a condition of admission or for the receipt of any services or benefits.

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Reason for Policy

This policy is pursuant to Federal law 20 U.S.C. 1232g: 34 CFR Part 99 - the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Educational records are maintained by University offices to facilitate and document the educational development of students. FERPA defines the legal access to these records and regulates the release of information from those records.

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Related Policy Information

Individuals wishing to review, release, revoke confidential information should contact the Office of Student Records and Registration.

Any requests by a third party for student information should be referred to the Office of Student Records and Registration.

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Exclusions

  1. Disclosure to school officials with a legitimate educational interest.
  2. The University must disclose education records without written consent of students to the following:
  1. Students who request information from their own records.
  2. Representatives of the U.S. Attorney General who have obtained an ex parte court order under the Patriot Legislation passed by Congress as a result of the events of September 11, 2001.
  3. Representatives of the Armed Services who have requested 'Student Recruiting Information' according to the Solomon Amendment. See Appendix F for disclosure under the Solomon Amendment.
  4. FERPA allows the University to disclose education records or identifiable information without the student's consent under the circumstances defined in Appendix B.
  1. Exceptions to the definition of Educational Records are:
  1. Parents have the right to inspect, review, and request amendment of educational records when written, signed, and dated permission is provided by the student, by a lawfully issued subpoena, or when the student is a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152 unless there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody that specifically revokes these rights.
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Contacts

Office/Unit Name Telephone Number
Office of Student Records and Registration 906-487-2319
Student Affairs/Judicial Affairs 906-487-2212
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Definitions

Admitted Applicant - Individuals who have been granted admission to the University.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) The CFR contains the general body of regulatory laws governing practice and procedure before federal administrative agencies. The regulations pertaining to FERPA are found in 34 CFR 99.

Directory Information Information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed (refer to Appendix C).

Disclosure Access to or release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in a student record, to any party, by any means, including, but not limited to, oral, written, or electronic means (refer to Appendices B and D).

Educational Records Those records directly related to a student and maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. This includes any information or data recorded in any medium including, but not limited to handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, microfiche, and any electronic storage or retrieval media. See Appendix A for those records not included as an educational record and Appendix G for commonly kept educational records at Michigan Tech.

Employment Records Records relating to an individual who is employed by the University not as a result of his/her status as a student are excluded. However, employment records relating to University students who are employed as a result of their status as students are considered educational records.

Legitimate Educational Interests This means that: (1) the information or record is relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some task or determination; and (2) the task or determination is an employment responsibility for the inquirer or is a properly assigned subject matter for the inquirer.

These interests are essential to the general process of higher education including teaching, research, public service, as well as those directly supporting activities such as academic advising, general counseling, discipline, career services, financial assistance, academic assistance activities, experiential learning activities such as cooperative education and international study programs, and co-curricular activities including varsity and intramural sports and all recognized student organizations.

Parent A parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

Personally Identifiable Information Any information that identifies or describes a student. It includes, but is not limited to: a student's name, the name of a student's parent or other family members, the address of a student or student's family, any personal identifier such as a student's social security number or student id number, and any personal characteristics or other information that would make a student's identity easily traceable.

School Officials A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic/research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their tasks.

Sole Possession Notes Notes made by an individual (observation or recollection), are kept in the possession of the maker, and are only shared with a temporary substitute. Notes taken in conjunction with any other person are not sole possession notes (counselor's notes, interview notes). Sharing those notes with another person, or placing them in an area where they can be viewed by others makes them 'education records' and subject to FERPA.

Student Individual who is an admitted applicant, or is currently/was formally enrolled at Michigan Tech regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency.

Third Party (unauthorized) Party outside the University - could include parents or guardians, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, roommate, law enforcement agency, pizza shop, insurance agency, etc.

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Responsibilities

All University Departments Receives student information and maintains the privacy of student information in compliance with University and Federal policies.

Authorized University Personnel Protects on-line (computer work stations, PC's, etc.) access to confidential student records from unauthorized use.

Office of Student Records and Registration Serves as the FERPA compliance office for the University.

University Registrar or Designee Facilitates responses to all subpoenas for student record information. Responsible for campus FERPA compliance education and awareness. Authorizes all third-party information releases.

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Procedures

In support of this policy, the following procedures are included:

Contact the Office of Student Records and Registration for appropriate procedures.
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Forms and Instructions

In support of this policy, the following forms/instructions are included:

Contact the Office of Student Records and Registration for the following forms:

Visit the Office of Student Records and Registration website for the following forms

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Appendices

Appendix A: Limitations on Right to Inspect Records
Appendix B: Disclosure Without Consent
Appendix C: Directory Information
Appendix D: Disclosure Upon Death
Appendix E: Annual Notification
Appendix F: Solomon Amendment Disclosure
Appendix G: Commonly Kept Educational Records at Michigan Tech
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History

Adoption Date: 08/28/2007 Policy approved by Vice President for Student Affairs and the Executive Team
Amended: 05/03/2012 To reflect current University titles and practice, MTU is now Michigan Tech and the email address for questions is now hbwebmaster.
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Policy Statement  |  Requirements  |  Reason  |  Related Information  |  Exclusions
Contacts  |  Definitions  |  Responsibilities  |  Procedures  |  Forms & Instructions  |  Appendices  |  History