The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, 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.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information other than "directory information" from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.*
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
- The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), has designated specific information as Directory Information. Directory Information which may be disclosed without consent, includes:
- Local and Permanent addresses
- Email Address
- Telephone numbers
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Class year
- Enrollment status
- Anticipated degree date
- Participation in officially recognized University activities
- Degree and awards received (including outstanding or recognized academic achievement)
- Most recent previous educational institution attended
Students who do not want this information released or posted must notify their instructor and the Registrar's office. Student ID #, date and place of birth, student maiden name, and photo/video images are considered non-directory information and cannot be released without consent.
*Withholding Directory Information
A student may elect to withhold directory information by submitting the Directory Hold Form. The hold will: block the student's name, address and email address from the OU website directory; prevent the release of attendance, withdrawal or graduation information, even after the student leaves the university (unless the student submits a Directory Information Hold Release Form); and prevent the university from releasing contact information. For students who withhold directory information, University officials are prohibited from releasing any form of information without a written release from the student. The University requires this release before it will verify employment, enrollment or the status of students who make applications for employment, auto loans, good student discounts, apartment leases, etc.
Without a directory hold, any member of the public, including individuals, organizations and vendors, may obtain student directory information for purposes such as advertising and solicitation.
A student cannot place a hold on a portion of the information. A student can place a directory hold at any time. However, in order for information to be withheld from the printed directory, if a printed directory is produced, the directory hold must be on file by the end of the second week of the fall semester.
School Official Definition and Disclosure of Education Records
The University may disclose education records to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. School officials are defined as follows:
i. A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including law enforcement personnel and health or medical staff.
- ii. A person serving on the Board of Regents.
- iii. A person or company under contract to the University to perform a service or function, instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent).
- iv. A person who is assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks including but not limited to, a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.
- v. A school official also may include a volunteer, vendor, or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service of 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 PII 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.
Even if the person or company qualifies as a school official under the definition listed above, that person or company still must have a legitimate educational interest to access the records. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
- i. Performing a task that is necessary to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University
- ii. Performing a task related to a student's education
- iii. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student
- iv. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, scholarship, or financial aid
- v. Maintaining the safety and security of the campus
Other Permitted Reasons for Disclosure:
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student —
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the University whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. ComptrollerGeneral, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State- supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinaryproceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation ofany Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))