Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Neumann University requires that every student who chooses to have the University release Education Records, such as copies of grades, transcripts, or any other information relative to academic performance to either parents, guardians, bill-payers, prospective employers, governmental agencies, or others, first authorize the University to do so.
Education Records include any records maintained by Neumann University that are directly related to a student, with the following exceptions:
Personal records maintained by University employees which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute;
Employment records unless the employment records are contingent on the fact that the employee is a student;
Records maintained by Campus Safety solely for law enforcement purposes;
Records on a student who is 18 years of age or older that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity and that are created and used only for the treatment of the student and disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment;
Records created or received by the University after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student; and
Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
The principal education record of each current student and those students who have either graduated within three years or withdrawn from the university within five years is kept at the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar or his representative is responsible for these records.
For the purposes of defining an education record, the University recognizes the following non- principal types of administrative records as educational and, hence, protected by the provisions of FERPA.
Student Financial Records (Officer responsible: Assistant Controller/Bursar)
Admission Records [prior to transmitting files to the Registrar’s office] (Officer responsible: Director of Admissions)
Financial Aid Records (Officer responsible: Director of Financial Aid)
Records Pertaining to Student Athletes: (Officer responsible: Director of Athletics)
Student Health Records (Officer responsible: Director of Health Services)
Cumulative Academic Records [former students; over three years after graduation or after five years from the year of withdrawal] (Officer responsible: University Archivist)
Disciplinary Records [Academic] (Officer responsible: Vice President for Academic Affairs)
Disciplinary Records [Non-Academic and those records which are not “law enforcement unit records”] (Officer responsible: Director of Residence Life)
Archived Disciplinary Records [Academic] (Officer responsible: University Archivist)
Disciplinary Records [Non-Academic and those records which are not “law enforcement unit records”] (Officer responsible: Director of Student Activities)
Division Records (Officer responsible: Division Dean)
Faculty Records Pertaining to Students (Officer responsible: Designated Faculty Advisor)
Records Pertaining to Student Academic Advisement (Officer responsible: Designated Faculty Advisor)
Academic Resource Center Student Records (Officer responsible: Director of the Academic Resource Center)
Student Affairs Student Records (Officer responsible: Vice President for Student Affairs)
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION FROM RECORDS
All requests either to secure or release Education Records must be accompanied by a written authorization which has been signed by the student. Without such authorization, the University will not release such information. This policy extends and applies to parents who request access and disclosure of their child’s educational records. The student’s written consent shall:
Specify the records that may be disclosed.
State the purpose of the disclosure.
Identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.
A student’s record will never be released without written consent, except as follows:
To individuals seeking only Directory Information.
To University officials who have a legitimate educational interest in seeing the records. “Legitimate educational interest” means the demonstrated need to know by those persons who act in the student’s educational interest. This includes the following persons and their professional and clerical staffs acting under their instruction: the President and Vice-Presidents; the Registrar; the Bursar; Director of Admissions; the Director of Financial Aid; the Division Deans; the Director of the Academic Resource Center; the Director of Career Development; the Director of Student Activities; the Director of Health Services; the Director of Athletics; the Director of Campus Security; the Director of Academic Advisement; the Director of Alumni Relations and any other faculty member or administrator to whom, or to whose office, the student has addressed an educational request, application, or inquiry, for the records as needed to prepare a reply.
To a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions if the outside party performs a University service or function for which the University would otherwise use employees; is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of Education Records; and is subject to the requirements set forth in the FERPA regulations governing the use and redisclosure of personally identifiable information from Education Records.
Upon their written request, to officials of other post-secondary educational institutions in which the student seeks enrollment or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled. In this situation, the University will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the intended transfer of records and shall, upon request, give the student the opportunity to receive a copy of the records and to have a hearing, if one is requested, to seek amendment of the content of such records.
To authorized federal, state or local authorities in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.
To persons processing students’ financial aid applications to determine a student’s eligibility for aid, the amount of the aid, the conditions for the aid, or the enforcement of the terms and conditions of the aid.
To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests, administer student aid programs, or improve instruction. In such a situation, the University will take reasonable steps to ensure that the study does not personally identify parents and students to anyone other than representatives of the organization that have legitimate interests in the information and that the information is destroyed when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which the study was conducted. The University will also enter a written agreement with the organization that specifies the purpose, scope, and duration of the study or studies and the information to be disclosed; requires the organization to use personally identifiable information from Education Records only to meet the purpose or purposes of the study as stated in the written agreement; requires the organization to conduct the study in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students by anyone other than representatives of the organization with legitimate interests; and requires the organization to destroy or return to the University all personally identifiable information when the information is no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted and specifies the time period when the information must be returned or destroyed.
To state and local officials or authorities to whom information is allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute adopted before November 19, 1974, if the allowed reporting or disclosure concerns the juvenile justice system and the system’s ability to effectively serve the student whose records are released; or is allowed to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute adopted after November 19, 1974.
To accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
To the parent of a student who is not an eligible student or to the student. (To the parents where the student is not matriculated or not yet 18 years of age, e.g., a Neumann student who is not yet 18).
In an emergency, to appropriate persons if the knowledge or information from a student’s records is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons.
To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense (if that alleged perpetrator is a student of the University). The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University with respect to that 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.
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena unless the court orders that the existence or contents of the subpoena not be disclosed. Before complying with the order or subpoena, the University will make reasonable efforts to notify the parent or eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance so that the parent or eligible student may seek protective action. That parent or eligible student must notify the Registrar within seven (7) days of receipt of that notice, that they intend to seek protective action.
To a parent of a student at the University regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any University rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if: the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent; and such disclosure is not prohibited by the laws of Pennsylvania.
The disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. section 14071, and the information was provided to the University under 42 U.S.C. section 14071 and applicable federal guidelines.
Upon request, to representatives of the Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes, the University is required to provide student recruitment information. This information includes student name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, levels of education, academic majors, degrees received and the most recent educational institution in which the student was enrolled.
To comply with an ex parte court order to collect education records relevant to the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes pursuant to the Patriot Act.
Subject to IP 1.05 Omnibus Record Retention Policy a record of all disclosures will be maintained in the office of the education record with a copy of the disclosure sent to the Office of the Registrar. This record will be subject, upon written request by the student, to inspection and review.
NOTICE REGARDING POSSIBLE FEDERAL AND STATE DATA COLLECTION AND USE
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which student education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including student Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without student consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to student records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to student education records and PII without student consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive student PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student consent PII from student education records, and they may track student participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about students that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
If any conflict exists between this notice and the remainder of this policy, this notice prevails.
Neumann University hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information.” Unless specifically requested by the student within ten (10) days of the beginning of each semester to withhold disclosure of this information, such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.
Name, dates of attendance, classification, major/degree program
Previous institution(s) attended, awards, honors, degree(s) conferred, including dates.
Past and present participation in officially recognized activities.
In addition to the above, information of alumni, even if information from when a student, will be used and published by Neumann University’s Office of Institutional Advancement and University Relations including: date of birth, place of birth, athletic activities, class year, personal e-mail address, personal phone number, personal address, employer name, job title, work address, work phone number, work e-mail address, occupation, cell phone number, spouse’s name, spouse’s occupation, children’s names, any additional schools attended, and any degrees or professional certifications. Alumni will be notified when periodic directories will be published and will be given the opportunity to request that their information not be released.
INSPECTION AND REVIEW OF RECORDS
Any student may inspect and review his/her Educational Records upon written request to the person in charge of the records, as listed above. If the written request is directed to any person other than the Registrar, a copy of that request must also be forwarded to the Registrar for inclusion in the student’s academic record. That person is expected to comply as soon as possible; this must be done not later than 45 days after the request has been made and received.
The student has the right to review and inspect all the documents in his/her record except:
Confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the Education Records of the student before January 1, 1975, as long as the statements are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended;
Confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the student’s Education Records after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review those letters and statements; and those letters and statements are related to the student’s admission to the University, application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition;
Financial records, including any information those records contain, of the student’s parents; and,
Those documents classified by the law as non-educational.
If, after inspecting and reviewing his/her records, the student has any question about them, he/she may request an oral or written explanation and interpretation of them.
The student may also secure a copy of every document in the record which is open to him/her. These copies will be made by the Registrar or other designated officer who may charge a fee for such documents (normatively completed within 5 working days of request). Copies, however, will not be supplied if the student has an overdue debt owed the University.
The student has a right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education over alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA; and
The student also has a right to obtain a copy of this policy.
AMENDMENT OF AN EDUCATIONAL RECORD
If, after inspecting and reviewing his/her records, the student believes that any information contained in them is inaccurate or misleading or violates his/her privacy or other rights, he/she may request, in writing to the Registrar, that the officer who is responsible for maintaining those records amend them. A copy of the request will be included in the student’s file and in the record of inspection requests maintained by the Office of the Registrar. NB: This policy does not apply to student grades. Students who believe that difficulties have arisen due to the erroneous application of academic policy, a question of instructional delivery (but not the determination of a final grade) or an issue with a specific member of the faculty are directed to the “Student Academic Grievance Procedures” published each year in the University’s undergraduate and graduate catalogs.
That officer, in consultation with the Registrar, must reach a decision and inform the student of this decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the request. A copy of this decision must also be forwarded to the Registrar for inclusion in the student’s permanent academic record.
If the officer refuses to amend the record in accordance with the student’s request, the student has the right to a hearing.
This hearing will be conducted by a committee appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and will consist of persons who do not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
The hearing will be held within a reasonable period of time after the student has made the request. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide the student with the date, place, and time of the hearing, reasonably in advance of the hearing.
The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised, and may be assisted or represented by individuals of his/her own choice at his/her own expense, including an attorney. The hearing shall be presided over by an official of the University who shall not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The University may, in its discretion, decide to have counsel present to assist the presiding officials.
The committee will make its decision inwriting within a reasonable time period after the conclusion of its hearing.
The decision of the committee will be based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing and will consist of a written statement given to all parties concerned, summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decision.
If, as a result of the hearing, the committee supports the complaint of the student, the education records of the student will be amended accordingly, and the student will be so informed.
If the committee decides against the student, he/she has the right to place in his/her record a statement commenting on the information in the record and/or stating his/her reasons for disagreeing with the decision. This explanation will be maintained by the University in the office of the individual designated as custodian of the record in question as part of that education record of the student for as long as those records are maintained per the IP 1.05 Omnibus Record Retention Policy; and, whenever a copy of those records is sent to any party, the explanation will accompany it. A copy of this statement will also be forwarded to the Registrar.
RIGHT OF COMPLAINT
Students who believe that Neumann University is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or with the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that Act, may file complaints in writing with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
The full text of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended, and the full text of the final regulations of the U.S. Department of Education for the implementation of the Act, are available for inspection at the Office of the Registrar.
Records will be kept in accordance with law and the IP 1.05 Omnibus Record Retention Policy.
NOTIFICATION OF FERPA RIGHTS
Students are notified each year of their rights under FERPA through the annual edition of the University’s Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. Further information regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.
Effective June 2012, this policy replaces and supersedes former FERPA policy numbers CC 1.04, SR 1.01 and SR 1.02.