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Notification of FERPA Rights

Notification of FERPA Rights


This notice serves to notify students of their rights regarding their education records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or Act) and provide University of Dayton constituents guidelines for maintenance of, access to and release of such records. It applies to all University of Dayton faculty, staff, school officials and students.

FERPA is a federal law that sets forth certain rights students have regarding their education records. In accordance with the Act and the University’s Policy on the Disclosure of Student Records, the University of Dayton is to notify students of their FERPA rights annually. 

Students at the University of Dayton have the following rights with respect to their education records:

I.  Right to Inspect and Review

Students have the right to inspect and review education records within 45 days after the day the University receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, dean of students, 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.

There are, however, limitations on a student’s right to inspection. The University of Dayton will not provide access to the following:

a.  Financial information submitted by parents.

b.  Confidential letters of recommendation submitted prior to January 1, 1975.

c.  Confidential letters and recommendations to which students have waived their rights of inspection.

d.  Any part of a record pertaining to another student.

e.  Information specifically excluded under the Act’s definition of “education records,” including:

          1.  Records created and maintained by and in the sole possession of the University official who made them for their personal use only, e.g., memory aids that are not performance-related.

          2.  Employment records not related to student status.

          3.  Alumni records (i.e., records about a person after he/she was a student).

          4.  Student health, psychiatric, and counseling records maintained in connection with the treatment of the student.

          5.  Records created and separately maintained by the University’s Department of Public Safety solely for law enforcement purposes.

II.  Right to Request Amendment

Students have the right to request an amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights under FERPA.  A student that requests the University to amend a record must do so in writing to the University registrar, dean, head of the academic department, dean of students, or other appropriate official, and specify the part of the record that the student wants amended and why it should be amended. If the request to amend the record is denied, the student may appeal that denial by submitting to the University registrar a written explanation of why the record should have been amended.

III.  Right to Provide Consent Before Certain Disclosures

Students have 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 of Dayton will not permit access to or release of any education records or personally identifiable information without the written consent of the student, except as outlined below. Note that the below lists are generalities; the University at all times retains the discretion to make a different determination, depending on the circumstances.

a.  Consent not required: The University ordinarily will release education records in the following circumstances without first securing consent from a student, as described:

          1.  To school officials (as defined below) within the University with a legitimate educational interest (as defined below) in such information, on a “need to know” basis in the performance of their University duties.

          2.  To third parties seeking directory information (as defined below) who have a legitimate interest in the information. Students who wish to have their directory information withheld must notify the Registrar in writing at the Flyers Student Services Office in St, Mary's Hall, Room 108. (Please note that such a notification will prevent the University of Dayton from providing your directory information to your friends, prospective employers, arts organizations, and others with whom you may wish us to share such information, so make your decision carefully.) You may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively.

          3.  To the complainant and respondent involved in a disciplinary proceeding, the (i) final results of a University disciplinary proceeding against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of an act of violence (as defined in Section 16 of title 18, United States Code); and (ii) final results of a University disciplinary proceeding against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a non-forcible sex offense.

          4.  To parents or legal guardians of a student under the age of 21 years of age information regarding the violation of any federal, state, or local law and institutional disciplinary rule or policies related to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.

          5.  To accrediting agencies to carry out their accrediting functions.

          6.  To appropriate parties in an emergency in order to protect the health and safety of the student or of others.

          7.  In compliance with a judicial order or subpoena after a reasonable attempt to notify the student whose education records are affected by the order or subpoena of such impending release (typically 10 days’ advance notice).

          8.  To government officials seeking information in connection with the audit and evaluation of federal and state supported education programs.

          9.  To persons and organizations from which student financial aid is sought by the student.

         10.  To persons involved in the University’s defense in a lawsuit brought by a student (as well as to court officials and persons involved in presenting the plaintiff’s case, as necessary in the  University’s defense of the lawsuit).

b. Consent preferred: The University’s preferred approach, before releasing personally identifiable information contained in a student’s records in the following instances, is to secure written consent from the student prior to the release. However, the University may release on a case by case basis certain relevant personally identifiable information contained in a student’s record without written consent in such situations. These circumstances include:

          1.  To officials of other institutions in which a student seeks to enroll with notice to the student of such release.

          2.  To persons or organizations conducting research for the development of tests, administration of financial aid, or the improvement of instruction (provided that, at the University’s discretion, consent routinely would not be required for research that benefits or is particularly important for the University as a whole).

          3.  To parents of dependent students as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

IV.  Right to File a Complaint

Students have the right to file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Dayton 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 20202-5920

Relevant Definitions (additional definitions may be found in the University’s Policy on Disclosure of Student Records):

Directory information” - Under the University’s Policy on Disclosure of Student Records, directory information includes: name, address, telephone number; date and place of birth; height and weight of members of athletic teams; major; participation in officially recognized athletics and student activities; dates of attendance; degrees, awards and honors; and the most recent institution attended.

Legitimate educational interest” - A legitimate educational interest exists when a school official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University of Dayton, including but not limited to the following reasons:

         1.  To perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or by a contract agreement or pursuant to written/oral direction from appropriate supervisory personnel;

         2.  To perform a task related to a student's education;

         3.  To perform a task related to the conduct and/or discipline of a student;

         4.  To perform a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, honor societies and academic honors consideration, or financial aid (including scholarships); or

         5.  To maintain the safety and security of the campus.

Examples of where a legitimate educational interest would exist include when a University employee has a role in creating an education record (e.g., a faculty member grading papers or otherwise handling/processing educational records created as part of the class he or she teaches) or maintaining a record (such as an administrative assistant assisting in student disciplinary procedures, including the processing and storing of disciplinary paperwork). Examples of where a legitimate educational interest would not exist include if a University employee who is not a gatekeeper wanted to see a student’s past performance to assess how the student would perform in a particular course; if a building contractor were simply curious about a student’s disciplinary record; if a researcher wanted education records in order to conduct a personal, narrow research project; or if an employee wanted to know how his neighbor’s son was doing in a particular course.

"School official" - For purposes of the University’s Policy on Disclosure of Student Records, a school official is a person employed by the University of Dayton in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee with supervision, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor who performs a specific institutional service or function for which the University would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.  For the avoidance of doubt, a school official only has access to educational records to the extent that, and only so long as, the official has a legitimate educational interest in the record.