FERPA for Faculty
What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the "Buckley Amendment," is a federal law that gives protection to student educational records. In the context of FERPA, education records are those records, files, documents or other materials which contain information directly related to a student or former student and that are maintained by any employee or an agent of the university. Employment records relating to current or former students who are employees are also considered educational records under FERPA.
Additional information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is available in the Office of the Registrar and at the U.S. Department of Education FERPA site.
What are official records, files, and data?
Material on students pertaining to their status as students held by any unit or department and which is intended for University use, or use by third parties outside the University system. If the records involve or affect the status of the student, the records are official and the student shall have access to them.
How does UIndy comply with FERPA with regard to directory information?
At the University of Indianapolis, we strictly maintain confidentiality of student records. All student academic information is considered confidential. Directory information (such as the student name, address, phone number, e-mail, et al.) is only released to government agencies and other organizations such as student loan guarantors. Beyond these limited organizations, student authorization is required to obtain any information, including directory information. (For a complete list of directory information, see 2011-2013 Academic Catalog Confidentiality of Student Records section.)
The University of Indianapolis also allows freshmen students to fill out a FERPA authorization form stating that they are dependent students. If a student signs the document and indicates that s/he is a dependent, we will mail the student's freshman-year grades ONLY to the parents/guardians. After the freshman year, grades are no longer released to parents, and only the student has access to his or her grades.
Can a student request that his/her directory information be kept confidential?
Yes. A student can request that no information, including directory information (see form for complete list), be made available to persons outside the University. A student may request that his/her directory information be marked confidential by completing the Confidentiality of Student Records form and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar. (The restriction is effective from the submission date forward.) The e-mail address would continue to be available to administrators on campus who have a need-to-know, such as an instructor who needs to communicate with students.
University of Indianapolis
Annual Notification of Student Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- 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. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University 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.
- 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. The University discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is 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 entity with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent; the University of Indianapolis Alumni Association; and vendors of services such as enrollment verification, degree verification and so on); 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 needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Finally, "public information" may be released freely unless the student files the appropriate form requesting that certain public information not be released. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar. Public information is limited to name; address; e-mail address; phone; date and place of birth, major field of study; dates of attendance; admission or enrollment status; university merit awards received; previous educational institutions attended; degrees and awards; activities; sports; and athletic information.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Indianapolis 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