University of New Hampshire

School of Law

Consumer Information – Student Records Confidentiality

Confidentiality of student records

FERPA Non-Disclosure Form for the 2013-2014 Academic Year
(Request To Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information)

Education Rights & Privacy Policy

I. Introduction

Pursuant to 45 C.F.R. § 99.5 (1978), promulgated under the Family Educational Rights and Policy Act, 20 U.S.C.S. § 1232g (1976), UNH Law is required to formulate and adopt a policy that protects the privacy of student education records and the students right to inspect and review their education records. This policy is designed to satisfy that requirement and a copy of the policy is annually provided to all students and employees. Students interested in further information should consult 20 U.S.C.S. § 1232g (1976O and 45 C.F.R. § 99.1 et. Seq. (1978).

In general, each student has the rights of access to his/her education records and the right to challenge the content of such records as misleading or inaccurate. In most circumstances, the student’s written consent is required before information from his/her records is disclosed to another person, agency or organization.

Students have the right to file complaints concerning alleged failures of UNH Law to comply with the requirements of the statute and regulations cited about. 45 C.F.R. § 99.63 (1978). Complaints should be addressed to:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA)
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
330 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

II. Inspection and Review of Educational Records

A. Definition, Types, and Location

“Education Records” means those documents which are directly related to a student by content with personally identify a student, and which are maintained by UNH Law in the following locations.

LOCATION - TYPES OF RECORDS

1. Business Office
Financial records including tuition.

2. Registrar’s Office
Transcripts, academic records, VA records, admission files post matriculation, Academic Standing Committee letters & correspondence, Conduct Code violation findings.

3. Financial Aid Office
Financial aid, student loans, work study records.

4. Career Services Off.
Resumes, cover letters, other correspondence.

5. Asst Dean of Students or EEO Office
Academic Standing Committee records, Conduct code violation findings, ADA accommodation records and disability documentation.

Education Records do not include private notes, memorandums, etc., from instructors, committees, staff members, or others associated or employed by UNH Law.

B. Right of Access

Students have the right to inspect, review, and copy their education records with the exception of:

1. Items for which the student has specifically waived the right to inspect (e.g. confidential letters of recommendation).

2. Confidential letters or statements placed in the file before January 1975.

3. Financial payment records or other financial information of the student’s parents.

4. That portion of a record which includes information on other students.

C. Procedure

To exercise the right to review education records, a student requests in writing of the custodian of the record the right to see it. Otherwise, a student may make a request in writing to the Assistant Dean of Students, specifying the particular record (s)he wishes to inspect. Priority will be given to making records available to the student as soon as possible, but in no case later than ten days after the request has been made.

UNH Law reserves the right to have a school official present during inspection or review of education records by a student.

D. Copies of Education Records

Generally, a student has a right to a copy of an education record. UNH Law may charge a fee commensurate with the cost of copying. UNH Law may deny a request for a copy of a record if it contains information about another student or if the information was supplied by a third party. An example is a transcript from a degree conferring institution. 

III. Privacy of Education Records

A. General Rule

A student’s written consent is generally required before any information from his/her records can be disclosed to any individual, agency, or organization. The written consent must be signed, dated, and must specify (a) the records to be released; (b) the reasons for release; and (c) the person to whom the records are to be disclosed. The exceptions to the general rule requiring written consent are as follows:

1. Disclosure to School Officials with Legitimate Educational Interest.

UNH Law may disclose personally identifiable information from education records without the written consent of the student if the disclosure is to UNH Law officials with a legitimate education interest in the information. 45 C.F.R. § 99.31(a)(1)(1978).

For purposes of this policy, UNH Law officials are considered to be senior administrative personnel who have custody of the records in question, their immediate staff, and the Dean, or Assistant Dean of Students. Other UNH Law employees, including instructors, may be designated by the Dean, or Assistant Dean of Students as a UNH Law official with legitimate educational interest in the information. There is deemed to be a “legitimate educational interest” in personally identifiable information when (1) the information is needed by administrative personnel for the completion of their assigned duties, or (2) the information would assist a professor in his/her responsibility to teach the student or to complete committee or other assignments.

2. Disclosure of Directory Information

At its discretion, UNH School of Law may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of FERPA.  Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  Designated directory information at UNH School of Law includes the following:  student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (program of study, full time or part-time), degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.  Students may block the public disclosure of directory information (all or in part) by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing. 

Please consider very carefully the consequences of a decision to withhold directory information.  A non-disclosure block will call for UNH School of Law not to release any or all of this directory information, thus, any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused. 

UNH School of Law will honor your request to withhold directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release this information.  Regardless of the effect upon you, the UNH School of Law assumes no liability as a result of honoring your instructions that such information be withheld. 

Although the initial request may be filed at any time, request for non-disclosure will be honored by UNH School of Law until removed, in writing, by the student.

3. Disclosure Required by Subpoena or Statute

UNH Law may disclose personally identifiable information from education records if the disclosure is required by judicial order, by a state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974, or in connection with the audit of a federally supported education program by authorized government officials. UNH Law must make a good-faith effort to notify a student that such information will be released prior to its disclosure pursuant to judicial order.

4. Disclosure in Case of Emergency

UNH Law may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to the appropriate parties if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

B. Statement Required with Disclosures

In all cases where UNH Law discloses personally identifiable information from education records without the written consent of the student, the following statement must accompany each disclosure:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits redisclosure of this information without the prior written permission of the individual to whom it pertains except that it may be disclosed to the officers, employees, and agents of the party to whom it has been released but only for the purposes for which it was released.

C. Record of Disclosure

UNH Law is required to maintain a record of the disclosures and requests for disclosures of personally identifiable information from the education records of each student. The record is to be made by the custodian of the record from which the information is released and is to be kept with and becomes a part of the student’s other education records. The record shall indicate the parties who have requested or received such information, the date of the disclosure or request, and the legitimate interest these parties had in requesting or obtaining the information.

The record is not required to disclose requests or disclosures in the following circumstances:

1. when made by or to the student;

2. when there is written consent of the student for disclosure;

3. when the information requested or disclosed is directory information;

4. when the request or disclosure has been made by or to a UNH Law official with a legitimate educational interest in the information.

IV. Amendment of Education Records

A student who believes that information contained in his or her education records is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the student, may request that UNH Law amend them.

A request is to be made by filing a written statement with the Assistant Dean of Students Office setting forth the portion of the record disputed and the specific correction(s) or deletion(s) the student wishes to be made.

A committee composed of the Dean, or Assistant Dean of Students, a faculty member, and the custodian of the record shall decide whether to amend the education records in accordance with the request within a thirty day period after the receipt of the request. If the committee denies the request for the change, the student shall promptly be informed of the denial and advised of his or her right to a hearing, which will be conducted in accordance with 45 C.F.R. §99.22 (1978). A student does not have the right to a hearing on matters of academic judgment.

If the hearing decision upholds the denial, the student shall be informed of his/her right to place a statement in the education records commenting upon the information and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision. If the education record of the student is later disclosed by UNH Law to any party, the explanation provided by the student shall also be disclosed.

UNH Law reserves the right to make routine and/or minor changes in students’ education records without the formal procedure of a committee meeting or hearing.

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