Education Records

This policy conforms to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment).

  1. Definitions
    1. The term student refers to any person who has completed the registration process for any semester at SUNY Morrisville and for whom the College had developed an education record.
    2. Education records are not collections of personally identifiable information pertaining to students; these records are maintained by the College or by personnel acting for the College. This includes computer files and written materials contained in a file folder in a traditional manner. As stipulated in the Buckley Amendment, the following files are not considered educational records and are not available to students. i) Records maintained by University Police, the Student Health and Counseling Service Center; ii) Employment files (i.e., applications for resident assistants and job-related materials); iii) Records developed and maintained by faculty and staff which serve their individual record-keeping purposes, and which remain exclusively in their possession.
    3. Student disciplinary records are maintained in either the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, located in Helyar Hall, 1st floor. Phone number 315.684.6070 or in the Office of Residence Life, Crawford Hall, 1st floor, Phone number 315.684.6043. Student disciplinary records may contain:
      1. letters of charges to student;
      2. relevant hearing information (all available to student);
      3. follow-up letter to student on disposition of the case; iv) case incident reports.
  2. Access
    1. The essence of these guidelines and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is that all students have the right to inspect their own educational records, irrespective of age or economic dependence upon parents, with the exceptions listed above.
    2. Although the College is not required to release records maintained by the Student Health and Counseling Services Center, on written request by the student, information maintained in these files must be released to the appropriate professional of the student’s choice. All materials included after January 1, 1975, are available for student inspection unless there is written evidence in the folder that the student has waived the right to review a particular item.
    3. A written request to inspect a file should be made directly to the office holding the file. Access to the file is during normal business hours in the office holding the file.
    4. Copies may be obtained by subpoena only at the requester’s expense.
    5. Parents and legal guardians maybe granted access to their dependent’s records if the student is a dependent in the Internal Revenue Service definition of the term, or if the student has given prior written consent. Thus, it is the parents’ or guardians’ responsibility to present evidence of dependency (certified copy of the current year’s Federal tax return) before a student record may be released. If such evidence is presented, the student is notified.
    6. Student records are accessible to school officials whose primary job responsibilities require access to some or all of the information included in a particular file and to school officials with a legitimate educational need to review a student’s file.
    7. Each student’s file must contain a list of individuals who have requested or gained access to the records, excluding the student, school officials, and those with written consent from the student.
  3. Right of Challenge
    1. A student who discovers what he or she may feel to be inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete recording of information in their personal record may request that a change be made by the appropriate submitting office.
    2. If the request for change is denied, the student may request that a hearing be conducted within a reasonable period by a person who is not directly involved in the issue, appointed by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and preferably approved by the student.
    3. Students who differ with the decision rendered in the hearing are entitled to include a statement explaining their dissent in their file.
    4. Questions related to conduct of a FERPA hearing or these guidelines may be directed to the U.S. Department of Education.
  4. Release of Information of Records
    1. There is to be no oral or written release of personally identifiable information from any student educational record without the signed and dated consent of the student, except to:
      1. authorized College personnel defined by the person responsible for the file as having a reasonable need to know;
      2. State and Federal education authorities to whom information must be made available by statute and/or for the audit of Federal programs;
      3. organizations and educational agencies involved in testing, administering financial aid, or improving instruction, provided the information is presented anonymously;
      4. accrediting agencies;
      5. parents and legal guardians of students regarded as dependent by the IRS definition of the term, if dependency is demonstrated (inspect only access on site);
      6. situations of compliance with court-order subpoena, in which case an attempt is made to notify the student in advance;
      7. appropriate persons in the case of emergency;
      8. College counsel.
    2. Information may be released in a way that does not infringe on any individual’s right to privacy. One acceptable way is to remove all personally identifiable information.
    3. When any personally identifiable information is released from a student record in an authorized fashion, the party to whom the information is given must be notified that there is to be no release of that information to a third party.
  5. Expunging
    1. Student records should be free of extraneous data which no longer serves the purpose(s) for which they were gathered. Therefore, systematic attempts should be made to expunge extraneous materials in student records or to purge files on an ad hoc basis in the review given each file before the student inspects it.
    2. Judgments concerning the relevance of materials should be made by the person who is responsible for the particular file.