Procedures for the release and disclosure of student records maintained by the University are in large measure governed by state and federal laws. Where the law is silent, the University is guided by the principle that the privacy of an individual is of great importance and that as much information in a student's file as possible should be disclosed to the student upon request. A current or former student has the right to inspect and review official records, files and data directly related to that student. This right does not extend to applicants, those denied admission to the University or those who were admitted but did not enroll. Some records are not available to students.
Third parties do not have access to personally identifiable records or other information pertaining to a student without the written consent of the student who specifies that the records be released. Parents are considered third parties.
Detailed guidelines for the release and disclosure of information from the student record are available from the Office of Student Life. These guidelines comply with the legal requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. (FERPA) as amended which are highlighted below.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (including its implementing regulations, “FERPA”) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records, as defined in FERPA. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the
University receives a request for access.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable
information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes
disclosure without consent.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
FERPA requires that a Student’s education record can only be disclosed to persons who meet the strict definition of a school official who has a legitimate educational interest in the records (or others explicitly granted access under the law),
18.0 School Official
A school official is defined as:
A school official has a legitimate educational interest, or legal right to know, if the official is:
An example of a legitimate educational interest would be an academic advisor who needs to review a student’s education record to determine what courses have been and/or need to be completed. This is a task related to advising the student. The advisor would not be authorized to view education records that are not relevant to the task at hand. Curiosity does not qualify as a legal right to know.
Additional parties to whom educational records may be released without written permission:
Directory information is information contained in a student education record that would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While institutions may designate and release specified items, students have the right to and may place a directory hold on any or all of this information.
To manage your FERPA restrictions, log into eCampus and go to:
Public (Directory Information) may be released or published without the student's consent. Currently enrolled students may inform the appropriate office that public records should not be released or published (forms for this purpose are available at designated offices). Information confirming the following items about the individual student is public and available from the offices listed below:
|Full Name||Enrollment Services|
|Campus/local/home address||Enrollment Services|
|Campus voice mail box number||Enrollment Services|
|E-mail address||Enrollment Services|
|Web site address||Enrollment Services|
|Telephone (local & home) listing||Enrollment Services|
|Date and place of birth||Enrollment Services|
|Major field of study||Enrollment Services|
|Full time/part time status||Enrollment Services|
|Participation in officially recognized activities||Student Activities Office|
|Sports participation||Sports Information Office|
|Weight and height of members of athletic teams||Sports Information Office|
|Dates of attendance||Enrollment Services|
|Degrees and awards received||Enrollment Services|
|The most recent previous educational institution attended||Enrollment Services|
|Class year||Enrollment Services|
|Graduation dates||Enrollment Services|
All personal information other than public records as defined above relating to a particular student is considered confidential information.
This information includes, but is not necessarily limited to:
Third parties, including the URI campus police, do not have access to personally identifiable records or information pertaining to a student without the written consent of the student who specifies that the records be released.
For purposes of this section, the "official records, files and data" means material on students pertaining to their status as students, held by any unit or department of the University and intended for University use or to be available to parties outside the University.
It does not include:
|Type of Record||Location||Individual Responsible|
Enrollment Services Office
|Related Correspondence||Student's Academic Dean's Office||Student's Academic Dean|
|Discipline Records||Office of Student Life||Director|
|Health Records||Student Health Services||Director|
|Counseling Records||Counseling Center||Director|
|Career Records||Career Services||Director|
|Financial Aid Records||
Enrollment Services Office
|International Student Records||International Student Services||Coordinator|
|Talent Development Student Records||SPTD Office||Director|
|Tuition, Fees and Debts to the University Records||Enrollment Services Office||Enrollment Services|
|Athletic Records||Athletic Department||Director|
|Meal Plan Information||Dining Services Office||Director|
|Residence Hall Records||Office of Residential Life||Director|
Students availing themselves of this right should understand what the consequences of the action may be. For example, if a request is made to withhold from disclosure a student's name and degrees and honors received, the campus cannot make public any honors received by the student and cannot include the student's name and degree earned in the campus commencement program without the written consent of the student. Similarly, if a request is made to withhold from disclosure a student's name and dates of attendance, a student's status as a student can not be verified for potential employers without the written consent of the student. Furthermore, if a student's last instruction to the campus was to withhold from disclosure the degree granted to that student and the date on which the degree was conferred, that information cannot be confirmed for a third party in connection with the appointment of that graduate to a new position or published in connection with an honor that individual subsequently receives.
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