Student Records Access Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
November, 2005
Policy Number: 
UML 05-03

The purpose of this Records Access Policy is to ensure that the campus community is aware of, and complies with, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1232g et seq. (FERPA), the regulations adopted thereunder, 34 C.F.R. 99, and California State University policy related to the administration of student education records. FERPA seeks to assure the right of privacy to the Education Records of persons who are or have been in attendance in postsecondary institutions. The University Registrar is responsible for the biannual review of this policy.

     I.   Definitions

    II.   Directory Information

   III.   Annual Notification

   IV.   Inspecting Education Records

    V.   Copies

   VI.   Custodians of Education Records

  VII.   Disclosure of Education Records

 VIII.   Challenging the Contents of an Education Record

   IX.   U.S. Department of Education Complaints


I. Definitions

A. Student - any person who is or has been previously enrolled at the University.

B. Disclosure - access or release of personally identifiable information from an Education Record.

C. Access - personal inspection of an Education Record or an oral or written description of the contents of an Education Record.

D. Education Records - any records, files, documents, and other materials maintained by the University, which contain information directly related to a Student. Consistent with FERPA, the following is excluded from the definition of Education Records:

  1. Information designated by the University as Directory Information (See Article II of this Policy);
  2. Information provided by parents related to student applications for financial aid or scholarships;
  3. Confidential letters or statements of recommendation filed on or before January 1, 1975;
  4. Records created and maintained by the University Police Department for law enforcement purposes;
  5. Employee records;
  6. Records of physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional persons acting in their professional or paraprofessional capacity (e.g. treatment records);
  7. Information maintained by instructional, supervisory, administrative, and related educational personnel which is not revealed to any other person except a substitute;
  8. Alumni records which contain only information relating to a person after that person was no longer a student.

II. Directory Information

A. Designated Directory Information. The University designates the following items as Directory Information:

  • student name
  • mailing addresses (on-campus residence hall addresses are not released to the public)
  • email addresses
  • telephone number (on- campus residence hall telephone numbers are only released with prior permission of the resident)
  • date and place of birth
  • major field of study
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • photographs
  • dates of attendance
  • class level
  • enrollment status (full-time/part-time, Undergraduate, Graduate)
  • degrees and awards received
  • most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  • employment status as a student employee (for Unit 11 employees only)

B. Right to request that Directory Information not be released. Directory Information is subject to release by Humboldt State University at any time unless a Student submits to the university a prior written request that such information not be released. Currently enrolled students may request that their Directory Information not be released by submitting a completed Release of Information form to the Academic Information and Referral Center (A.I.R.). Forms are available at the A.I.R. Center or at Such a request will result in outside parties (including friends and relatives of the Student) being unable to obtain contact information for the Student through the University and the University being unable to include the Student’s name in information provided to outside parties offering scholarship, career and other opportunities and benefits.

III. Annual Notification

The Registrar will ensure that Students are notified of their rights under this Policy by annual publication in the Class Schedule/Registration Guide, University Catalog, and Handbook for Master’s Students.

The University Registrar will review this Policy and campus information management practices concerning Education Records at least every two years or more often as the need arises and recommend to the President any changes deemed necessary after such review.

IV. Inspecting Education Records

Students who wish to inspect the contents of their Education Records must make a written request to the University Registrar. Each Unit Custodian or designee will meet with the Student at a time and place set by the Unit Custodian. The unit custodians are listed in Article VI of this Policy. The original records may not leave the Unit Custodian’s office.

The Unit Custodian must respond to the Student’s request within forty-five (45) days. When an Education Record contains information about more than one Student, the Student may inspect only the records which relate to him or her.

V. Copies

While the student retains the right to inspect his or her Education Records, the University may refuse to provide copies of such records, including transcripts, if the Student has an unpaid financial obligation to the University. (See Section 42381 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and CSU policy).

VI. Custodians of Education Records

The University Registrar is the University Custodian of Education Records. The Unit Custodian is the person who has physical custody of the requested records, or is in charge of the office with such custody. The Unit Custodian shall properly control access, handle, store, and dispose of the Education Records as appropriate.

The following is a list of the types of Education Records that the University maintains, and the unit custodians:

Academic: University Registrar, Office of the Registrar

Counseling & Psychological Services: Counseling & Psychological Services Director

Disciplinary: Judicial Officer, Student Affairs

Extended Education: Extended Education Director

Graduate student: Dean, Research & Graduate Studies

Health: Student Health Center Director

Housing: Housing Director

Financial & Student Payroll: Fiscal Affairs Director

Financial Aid: Financial Aid Director

Placement: Career Center Director

VII. Disclosure of Education Records

A. Disclosure to School Officials. The University may disclose education records without written consent of Students to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. Examples of school officials include the following:

  1. University employees in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including the Health Center staff) in the ordinary course of the performance of their job duties or providing a service or benefit relating to the Student, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid;
  2. University Police Department employees;
  3. Independent contractors or employees thereof who have contracted with the University to perform a service for the University (such as the National Student Clearinghouse), or a special task (such as an attorney or auditor);
  4. Student(s) or University employees serving on an official committee, such as a student disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing such tasks.

B. Third Party Access. The University will not disclose Education Records to an outside party without the written consent of the Student, except the University may disclose Education Records without consent of the Student:

  1. to officials of another school, upon request, in which a Student seeks or intends to enroll;
  2. to authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with audit or evaluation of certain state or federally supported education programs;
  3. in connection with a Student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
  4. to organizations conducting studies for educational agencies in connection with predictive tests, student aid programs or improvements to instruction;
  5. to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
  6. to parents of a Student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes;
  7. to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. A reasonable effort will be made to notify the Student in advance of compliance unless the courts or other issuing agency has ordered that the existence of the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed;
  8. to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
  9. to individuals requesting directory information so designated by the University;
  10. the final results of a student disciplinary hearing that upholds a charge of a “crime of violence” or “non-forcible sex offense”;
  11. to the victim only, the final results of a disciplinary hearing conducted by the institution against the alleged perpetrator of a “crime of violence” or of a “non-forcible sex offense,” whether or not the charges are sustained;
  12. to U.S. Military recruiters pursuant to federal regulations (See32 CFR 216);
  13. to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the INS internet-based system for tracking, monitoring and reporting information to the INS about international students;
  14. to comply with a court order to produce education records sought by the U.S. Attorney General (or designated federal officer or employee in a position not lower than Assistant Attorney General) based on “specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the education records are likely to contain information” relevant to the investigation or prosecution of terrorist acts;
  15. to counsel or the court when the student whose records are being disclosed has sued the University provided such a disclosure is relevant for the University to defend itself in the lawsuit.

C. Log of Requests. Each Unit Custodian will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosures of information from a Student’s Education Records unless otherwise required by federal or state law, including without limitation the USA Patriot Act of 2001. (PL 107-56, 2001 HR 3152; 115 Stat 272. Unless otherwise required by law, the log will state (1) the name of the requesting party, (2) any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, and (3) the legitimate interest the party had in obtaining the information (unless a school official is the requesting party). A Student may review this log upon request.

VIII. Challenging the Contents of an Education Record

Students have the right to challenge the contents of their Education Records if they believe the Education Records are inaccurate or misleading. Following are the procedures for the correction of Education Records:

A. Request to Amend or Correct Education Records. A Student may request amendment or correction of his or her Education Records(s) by submitting a written request to the University Registrar. The student shall identify the part of the Education Record to be amended or corrected and state the reason(s) the Student believes the information in the record is inaccurate or misleading.

B. Notice of Decision. The University Registrar shall within 15 working days of receipt of the written request of a Student provide notice to the Student of (1) the decision to either comply with or deny the request, (2) of the Student’s right to file a complaint under the Grievance Policy and Procedures for Students Filing Complaints other than Discrimination or Unprofessional Conduct against Faculty, Staff, or Administrators (University Management Letter 00-01) ; and (3) of the Student’s right to place a statement of dispute in the Education Record.

C. Statement of Dispute. If the University Registrar decides not to comply with the Student’s request to amend or correct the specified Education Record, the Student has the right to place in the Education Record a statement commenting on the challenged information and stating the reasons the Student believes the record is inaccurate or misleading. The statement will be maintained as part of the Student’s Education Records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the University discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.

IX. U.S. Department of Education Complaints

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education regarding compliance with 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, D.C. 20202-4605

(202) 260-3887 (voice)
FAX: (202) 260-9001

Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.