Section: Personnel
Policy Number: 4-20
Policy Name: Policies and Procedures for the Implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (amended, 1995)
Date: August 20, 1997
Revisions: October 12, 2002

  1. PURPOSE

    To insure that the benefits of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended are extended to all University of Delaware students. It further insures that University personnel are advised of their responsibilities regarding this act.

  2. POLICY

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants certain rights, privileges and protections to students concerning educational records maintained by the University. They are:

    1. The right to inspect and review an education record within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

      To initiate this process, a student should submit to the Registrar's Office a written request identifying the record(s) to be inspected. The Registrar's Office will then arrange an appointment with the custodial department (see definitions below in section III) and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If no records are maintained by the designated custodial department, the Registrar's Office will so notify the student.

    2. The right to request the amendment of the education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.

      A student may ask the University to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading. This request must be addressed to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record to be amended, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading.

      If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except when FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. (See definition of Disclosure)

      The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act permits (1) disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests and (2) release of directory information unless a student has specified that it is not to be released. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if he or she requires access to an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. Directory information is released routinely by the University. Students may request that all or part of the education record defined as directory information not be released. To do so, students should contact the Registrar's Office.

    4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Delaware to comply with the requirements of FERPA is:

      Family Policy Compliance Office
      US Department of Education
      400 Maryland Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20202-4605

    5. The University of Delaware reserves the right to refuse student inspection of the following records: the financial statement of the student's parents and those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

    6. The University of Delaware reserves the right to deny access to educational records when the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the University.

    7. The University of Delaware, in accordance with provision of the act, will disclose directory information without written consent of the student. (See definition of Directory Information in section V).

  3. DEFINITIONS

    Student: Any person who attends or has attended the University of Delaware. The term does not include an individual who has not been in attendance at the University, for example an applicant for admission.

    Education Record: Any record (in handwriting, print, tape, film, or other medium) maintained by the University of Delaware, or an agent of the University, which is directly related to a student, except:

    1. Sole Possession Record: A personal record kept by a staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and is not accessible or revealed to any other person except the temporary substitute for the maker of the record.

    2. Employment Record: An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment.

    3. Law Enforcement Unit Record: Records maintained by the University of Delaware solely for law enforcement purposes, revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction, and separated from other education records maintained by the University.

    4. Health Record: Records maintained by Student Health Services which are solely for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.

    5. Psychological Record: Records maintained by the Center for Counseling & Student Development which are maintained solely for the treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing treatment.

    6. Alumni Record: Records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the University and which do not relate to the person as a student.

    Custodial Department: A department responsible for maintaining the official education record. At the University of Delaware, these include:

    Types Location Custodian
    Cumulative Academic Record Student Services Building Registrar
    Disciplinary Records Hullihen Hall Office of Campus Life
    Financial Aid Records Student Services Building Financial Aid
    Financial Records Student Services Building Student Accounts
    Health Records Laurel Hall Student Health Service
    Psychological Records Perkins Student Center Counseling Center
    Placement Records MBNA Career Services Center Career Services Center
    Records of Progress toward Degree Applicable College/Department Dean's Office or Applicable

    Questions regarding the specific location of education records maintained by the University may be directed to the Registrar's office.

    Legitimate Educational Interest: The demonstrated need to know by those individuals of an institution who act in the student's educational interest, including faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, and other persons who need student record information for the effective functioning of their office or position.

    School Official: A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or 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 the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:

    1. Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contractual agreement.

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

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

  4. Disclosure of Education Records:

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

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

    2. To certain officials of the US Department of Education, the Comptroller General and State and Local educational authorities for the purpose of audit and evaluation.

    3. 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.

    4. To organizations conducting research for or on behalf of the University.

    5. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

    6. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully executed subpoena for a court with jurisdiction over the University.

    7. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency or when the student's well being is of concern.

  5. Directory Information:

    The University of Delaware has designated the following items as directory information: student name, address (including e-mail), telephone number, college, class, major, dates of attendance, enrollment status, anticipated dates of graduation, degrees, honors and awards conferred and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Release of directory information does not require a student's prior consent, unless the student has requested that directory information remain confidential.

Responsible Unit: University Registrar