The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (to obtain a copy, please click on the following link of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974), as amended, is a federal law that states (a) that a written institutional policy must be established and (b) that a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. Purdue University Calumet accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent.
Institutional Policy and Statement of Procedures:
1. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ education records without the written consent of students with the following exception permitted under the act:
- personnel within the institution
- officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll
- persons or organizations providing students financial aid
- accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function
- persons in compliance with a judicial order
- persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
Within the Purdue University Calumet community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include all Purdue University Calumet personnel including University Police, faculty, advisors, administrative staff, clerical staff and student employees within the limitations of their need to know.
At its discretion, the institution may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the act to include the following list:
- home address
- home telephone number
- major field(s) of study
- dates of attendance
- degrees and awards received (including Dean’s List)
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing in accordance with the procedures contained in the public notice designating directory information. Request for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually in the Office of the Registrar, Lawshe Hall, room 130.
2. The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records. The Registrar at Purdue University Calumet has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, and financial files, and academic, cooperative education, and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the Registrar listing the item or items of interest.
Only records covered by the act will be made available within forty-five (45) days of the request. Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions, (e.g., a copy of the academic record for which a financial “hold” exists, or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere). These copies would be made at the students’ expense at prevailing rates. Education records do not include records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel, which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute, records of the law enforcement unit, student health records, employment records or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the students’ choosing.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.
3. 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 discuss their problems informally with the Registrar, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable.
If the decisions are in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and they will be informed by the Registrar of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Services who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place, and the time of the hearings. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the students’ expense. The hearing panels which will adjudicate such challenges will be the Sub Council on the Academic Standing of Students.
Decisions of the hearing panels 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 hearing panels, if the decisions are in favor of the students. If the decisions are unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records, or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panels. The statements will be placed in the education records, maintained as part of the students’ records, and released whenever the records in questions are disclosed.
4. Students who believe that the adjudication of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the act may request, in writing, assistance from the Chancellor of the institution or his designee and have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education. Complaints should be sent directly to the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and institution’s policy warrants.
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