Privacy

FERPA Policy

Title: FERPA Policy
Policy Owner: OACE and Registrar
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others
Campus Applicability:  All Campuses
Effective Date: August, 2016
For More Information, Contact Office of Audit, Compliance & Ethics
Contact Information: (860) 486-5256
Official Website: http://ferpa.uconn.edu/

FERPA Policy

Policy Statement on Protection of Rights and Privacy of Students

A.    Definitions: As used in this policy, the following terms have the following meanings.

      1. Alleged Perpetrator of a Crime of Violence: A student who is alleged to have committed acts that, if proven, would constitute any of the following offenses or attempts to commit the following offenses: arson; assault offenses; burglary; criminal homicide (manslaughter and murder); destruction, damage, or vandalism of property; kidnapping or abduction; robbery; and/or sexual assault.
      2. Attendance:  Participation in University course(s) in person, or via paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom.  It also includes the period during which a person is working under a work-study program.
      3. Dates of Attendance: The period of time during which a student attends or attended the University. The term does not include specific daily records of attendance.
      4. Directory Information: Information contained in an Education Record of a student that by itself would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information includes: the student’s name; date of birth; addresses (including but not limited to physical address and email address); telephone number; PeopleSoft Number, NetID; school or college; major field of study; degree sought; student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.); degrees, honors, and awards received; residency/match information (for medical and dental students); dates of attendance; participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members and other similar information including performance statistics, photographic likenesses and video of athletic team members; for student employees, employing department and dates of employment.
        The University reserves the right to amend this listing consistent with federal law and regulations and will notify students of any amendments by publication in the Annual FERPA Notification.  Directory Information may only be disclosed in accordance with the provisions outlined in Section D. below.
      5. Disclosure Logs: Documents maintained by the appropriate University records custodians that records for each request for and each disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information of a student, and that indicates everyone who has requested or obtained Personally Identifiable Information and their legitimate interests in obtaining it (other than those enumerated in section F. below).
      6. Education Records: Any records maintained in any form or medium by the University that are directly related to a student.
      7. FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. sec. 1232g, et seq. as amended, and the regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 99.
      8. Hearing Body:
        1. Storrs and Regional Campuses:  One or more persons assigned by the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee to determine whether an educational record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, and therefore should be amended or deleted from the student’s records.
        2. University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC): One or more persons assigned by the Dean of Students for each school (Medical and Dental) or designee to determine whether an educational record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, and therefore should be amended or deleted from the student’s records.

        Individuals who have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing may not serve on the Hearing Body (i.e., may not be from the University department or division with whom the student has the conflict under FERPA).

      9. Legitimate Educational Interest:  A University Official has a legitimate educational interest if it is in the educational interest of the student in question for the official to have the information, or if it is necessary for the official to obtain the information in order to carry out his or her official duties or to implement the policies of the University of Connecticut. Any University Official who needs information about a student in the course of performing instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties for the University has a legitimate educational interest.
      10. Parent: Includes a parent of a student, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.
      11. Personally Identifiable Information: A student’s name; the name of a student’s parent or other family member; the address of a student or student’s family; a personal identifier, such as the social security number or student number, or any portion thereof;  biometric record (meaning, biological or behavioral characteristics used for automated recognition of an individual, such as fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voiceprints, DNA sequence, facial characteristics, handwriting); other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name; other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or information requested by a person who the educational agency or institution reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.
      12. Student: One who is presently enrolled and attending or who has been enrolled and attended the University’s degree, non-degree and non-credit programs. It does not include deceased students.
      13. Student Code: Regulations governing student conduct; also known as “Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code.”
      14. University: for the purposes of this policy, “University” means the University of Connecticut, all campuses.
      15. University Official: The term “University Official” (sometimes called “School Official”) means any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or outreach, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff).  The term also includes any contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions where the outside party–
        1. Performs an institutional service or function for which University would otherwise use employees;
        2. Is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of education records; and
        3. Is subject to the requirements of FERPA governing the use and redisclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

         

        Examples of “University Officials” include, but are not limited to: attorneys, auditors, collection agents, officials of the National Student Clearinghouse, or the; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadre members (limited to their relationship with students enrolled in the ROTC program and/or enrolled in ROTC courses); or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another University Official in performing his or her tasks.

B. Rights of Students

1. Students of the University have a right to:

        • Be provided a list of the types and location of educational records maintained by the University and the titles and contact information of the officials responsible for those records. (See appropriate link for each campus at the end of this policy);
        • Inspect and review Education Records (except as excluded in section H. below), within 45 days of a written request being presented to the authorized custodian of the records in question;
        • Receive a response from the University to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of Education Records within ten (10) business days;
        • Request amendments to their Education Records if the student believes that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of privacy rights.  If the University refuses to make such amendments, the student shall have an opportunity for an administrative hearing to challenge the content of the record on the same grounds and to insert a written statement or explanation commenting upon the information in the record;
        • Inspect and review only such parts of educational material documents as relate to him/her or to be informed of such specific information;
        • Receive a copy, if desired, of all records supporting enrollment or transfer to another school, and have an opportunity for an administrative hearing to challenge the content of these records;
        • Revoke, in writing, any previously executed waiver of rights under FERPA, with respect to any actions occurring after revocation;
        • Inspect the Disclosure Logs maintained by appropriate University record custodians with regard to the student’s Education Record(s); and
        • File complaints with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S. W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.  Complaints may also be filed with the University’s Compliance Office by calling the Assistant Director of Compliance/Privacy at (860) 486-5256 or online at https://www.compliance-helpline.com/uconncares.jsp, or the UCHC Compliance Office by calling the Associate Education Compliance Officer at (860) 679-1280 or email compliance.officer@uchc.edu.

 

C. Disclosure of Education Records. Education Records or other Personally Identifiable Information (other than Directory Information, as described in Section D. below) may not be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent except in the following instances.   For purposes of compliance with FERPA, the University considers all students, regardless of age or tax dependency status to be independent. Therefore, educational records will not be provided to parents without the written consent of the student, except where one or more of the exceptions below applies.

      1. To the student himself/herself, unless he/she has waived the right;
      2. To University Officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
      3. To officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or has enrolled, as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, and provided the student may upon request have a copy of the records so transferred;
      4. In connection with determining eligibility, amounts, and conditions, or enforcing terms of financial aid for which the student has applied or that which he or she has received;
      5. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the University makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of the compliance therewith, unless such notification is not required by FERPA;
      6. To appropriate parties in connection with a health and safety emergency where the University determines that there is a articulable and significant threat to a student or any other individuals, where the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals;
      7. To law enforcement agencies and to certain other governmental authorities and agencies as are enumerated in and required or permitted by FERPA;
      8. To a court in connection with legal action by the University against a student or a student’s parent or by a student or student’s parent against the University;
      9. To the parent of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law or of any rule or policy of the University, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance where:
        1. The University has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to that use or possession; and
        2. The student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent.  Such disclosure will occur in accordance with the University’s Parental Notification Policy through the Division of Student Affairs.  For more information, visit the Division of Student Affairs Community Standards website at:  http://www.community.uconn.edu.
      10. To a victim of an Alleged Perpetrator of a Crime of Violence or a Non-forcible Sex Offense. Such disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceedings conducted by the University with respect to the alleged crime or offense. The University may disclose the final results of the disciplinary proceeding regardless of whether the University concluded a violation was committed;
      11. Disclosure of the final result of a disciplinary proceeding where the alleged perpetrator-student is found to have violated University policy with respect to a criminal allegation.  Such disclosure may be made (even to members of the public in certain circumstances) where the University has determined through its disciplinary proceedings that a student is (a) an Alleged Perpetrator of a Crime of Violence or a Non-forcible Sex Offense; and (b) with respect to the allegation made against the student, the student has committed a violation of the Student Code. Such a disclosure may only include the Final Results of the disciplinary proceedings conducted by the University with respect to the alleged crime or offense. The University may not disclose the name of any other student, including a victim or witness, without the prior written consent of the other student. This paragraph applies only to disciplinary proceedings in which the Final Results were reached on or after October 7, 1998;
      12. To authorized representatives of the federal, state and/or local government as permitted by FERPA in connection with an audit of federal- or state-supported education programs or with the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements relating to those programs.
      13. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions; and
      14. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to:
        1. Develop, validate, or administer predictive tests;
        2. Administer student aid programs; or
        3. Improve instruction.

        Disclosures made pursuant to this paragraph are subject to the requirements that (i) the studies are conducted in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students to individuals other than representatives of the organization; and (ii) the information is destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted.

      15. Pursuant to a student record release request made under the Solomon Amendment. (See section E. below.)

 

D. Disclosure of Directory Information/Limited Directory Information Policy:

The University hereby gives notice that the categories of information defined herein as Directory Information may be released without the prior written consent of the student under the circumstances enumerated below.  The University reserves its right to determine when and to whom it is appropriate to release Directory Information in response to third party requests.  Any release of information deemed to be appropriate by the University will only occur as enumerated below:

1. The following categories of Directory Information may be disclosed to anyone who so requests:

  • Name
  • NetID
  • PeopleSoft Number
  • School or College
  • Major Field of Study
  • Degree Sought
  • Student Level
  • Degrees, Honors & Awards Received
  • Residency/Match Information (medical/dental students)
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
  • Weight and Height of Athletic Team Members and Other Similar Information Including Performance Statistics
  • Photographic Likenesses and Video of Athletic Team Members
  • For Student Employees, Employing Department & Dates of Employment

2. In addition to the information in category #1, the following categories of Directory Information may be disclosed to the UConn Foundation (including the UConn Alumni Association) and/or the UConn Law School Foundation:

  • Date of Birth
  • Addresses (physical and email)
  • Telephone Number

3. In addition, any member of the University community with a NetID  may access student email addresses, as long as the access is for University-related purposes.  However, such individuals may not use any student emails accessed through this process for commercial purposes or otherwise in violation of other University policies or applicable state or federal law.

4. Opting Out of Directory Information:  Students who wish to opt-out of having their directory information disclosed without their prior consent must make the request in writing.  At the Storrs and Regional Campuses, all requests shall be directed to the Office of the Registrar, Wilbur Cross Building, Unit 4077, Storrs, CT 06269-4077.  At UCHC, all requests shall be directed to the Student Services Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-1827.  Such requests shall apply only to subsequent actions by the University and shall remain in place until removed by written request of the student. A student may not use the right to opt out of Directory Information disclosures to prevent the University from disclosing or requiring a student to disclose the student’s name, identifier, or institutional e-mail address in a class in which the student is enrolled. Student employees must contact the Student Employment division within the Office of Student Financial Aid Services to restrict access to any employment-related Directory Information.  The University will not use Social Security Numbers as a means of verifying the identity of a student, nor to confirm identity of the student upon the request for the release of Directory Information about the student.

E. Military Access to Education Records. The Solomon Amendment is not a part of FERPA, but it allows military organizations access to information for the purposes of military recruiting which information may otherwise be protected from disclosure under FERPA. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the loss of various forms of federal funding including various forms of Federal Student Aid.

  1. At the University of Connecticut, all items included under the Solomon Amendment’s list of required information are included within the University’s definition of “Directory Information.” These include name, addresses, telephone numbers, age, major, dates of attendance and degrees awarded.
  2. Information released is limited to military recruiting purposes only. The request for information must be in writing on letterhead that clearly identifies the military recruiting organization. Military recruiters must be from one of the following United States military organizations: Air Force; Air Force Reserve; Air Force National Guard; Army; Army Reserve; Army National Guard; Coast Guard; Coast Guard Reserve; Navy; Navy Reserve; Marine Corps; Marine Corps Reserve.
  3. If a student requests that their Directory Information be withheld under section D.3. of this policy, the student’s records will not be released to military recruiters.

 

F.  Disclosure Logs. The appropriate University records custodian shall maintain a log of each request for and each disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information from the Education Records of a student, that indicates the persons who have requested or obtained Personally Identifiable Information and their legitimate interests in obtaining it. However, this requirement does not apply to:

  1. Disclosures pursuant to the written consent of the student, when the consent is specific with respect to the party or parties to whom the disclosure is to be made;
  2. Disclosures to University Officials, when it has been determined that the official has a legitimate educational interest; and
  3. Disclosures of Directory Information; and
  4. Disclosures to the student upon the student’s own request.

 

G.  Redisclosure. University Officials who disclose personally identifiable information from an Education Record must inform the recipient of the information that he/she/it may not redisclose that information without the consent of the student, and that the recipient may only use the information received for the purpose for which the disclosure was made, except where one of the exceptions in Section C. above applies.

 

H. Records Excluded from the Definition of Education Records. The following materials, information, and records which are excluded from the definition of Education Records are not available to students for inspection, review, challenge, correction, or deletion:

  1. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the Education Records prior to January 1, 1975, if they are not used for purposes other than those for which they were specifically intended;
  2. Confidential letters and statements of recommendations, used solely for the purposes for which they were specifically intended, if the student has waived the right to inspect and review recommendations:
    1. regarding admission to an educational institution,
    2. regarding an application for employment, and
    3. regarding the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition;
  3. Financial records and statements of the student’s parents or any information contained therein;
  4. Records of instructional, supervisory, or administrative personnel or educational personnel ancillary thereto, which are kept in the sole possession of the maker thereof, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record;
  5. Records which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting or assisting in that capacity, used only in providing treatment to the student, and not available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, except that such records may be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice;
  6. Records made and maintained in the normal course of business which relate exclusively to the individual in his or her capacity as an employee and are not available for any other purpose; this exclusion does not apply to an individual who is employed by the University as a result of his/her status as a student (i.e., interns, graduate assistants, work-study, etc.);
  7. Records that only contain information about or related to a former student once he or she is no longer enrolled at the University (e.g., information regarding alumni or regarding individuals who attended the University at some point but are no longer enrolled);
  8. Records of a law enforcement unit of the University created and maintained by that law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement.  This exception does not include those records created by a law enforcement unit, even if the records were created for law enforcement purposes, if such records are maintained by a component of the University other than the law enforcement unit; and
  9. Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.

 

Student Rights to Inspect and Challenge Education Records. The University shall provide a student the opportunity to challenge the content of his or her Education Records where the student believes the record(s) to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of privacy rights, and to correct, delete, or insert written statements of explanation into such record(s). This does not give a student a right to contest or challenge an assigned grade. Although disagreements may be settled through informal meetings and discussions, either the student or the University may request an administrative hearing to resolve the dispute.  The student or University administrator seeking the hearing shall make his or her request in writing.

 

At Storrs and the Regional Campuses, send a written request to:

Assistant Director of Compliance/Privacy
Office of Audit, Compliance & Ethics
9 Walters Avenue, Unit 5084
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-5084

At UCHC, send a written request to:

Associate Education Compliance Officer
Office of Audit, Compliance & Ethics, MC 5329
University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, Connecticut 06030-5329

The Hearing Process:

  1. The hearing shall be conducted and decided within a reasonable period of time following the request, and the student shall be given notice of the date, time, and place reasonably in advance of the hearing.  Normally, the hearing will be conducted within ten (10) business days following the date the hearing request has been received.
  2. The student will have, at the formal hearing, the opportunity to present evidence and argument to a Hearing Body in support of his or her contention that the records are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. The student may, at his or her own expense, be assisted by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney. The student may present evidence and question witnesses.  The burden shall lie with the student to show that it is more likely than not (preponderance of the evidence) that the University department should have made the student’s requested changes to his or her records, and/or that a violation of the student’s rights under FERPA has occurred.
  3. The University department with whom the student has the conflict may present a case in rebuttal with the same aforementioned procedural rights. The University department shall be provided an opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised by the student;
  4. The hearing shall be conducted by a Hearing Body who will hear all testimony, review all evidence presented at the hearing and render a decision.  The Hearing Body shall be appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs for the Storrs and Regional Campuses, or by the Dean of Students for each school (Medical and Dental) at UCHC,  provided that person(s) does not have a direct interest in the outcome;
  5. The Hearing Body shall ensure that the decision is rendered to the student in writing within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the hearing, is based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing, and shall include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.  The decision of the Hearing Body shall be final.
  6. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the student may draft a written response to be included with the Education Record(s) in question that details the student’s issue(s) with the Education Record(s) in question, and a description of why the student believes the Education Record(s) in question to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of privacy rights.

To find location of specific student files, please go to: http://ferpa.uconn.edu/ferpa_contacts/.