In compliance with Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act (as amended) entitled “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,” (FERPA) the following constitutes the campus’s policy which instructs students in the procedures available to provide appropriate access to personal records, while protecting their confidentiality.
A. Certain definitions and principles contained in the FERPA guidelines are specifically adopted in the policy:
- “Student” is defined as one who has attended or is attending the University of Illinois at Springfield and whose records are in the files of UIS.
- “Education records” do not include files which are:
- Retained by individuals which are not accessible to any other person except a substitute faculty/staff member.
- Law enforcement records maintained by campus police.
- “Public or directory information,” information which is available to the public, is limited to:
- Name, date and place of birth, and hometown
- University Identification Number (UIN)
- Address(es), electronic address (e-mail), and telephone number(s)
- Classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate level, non-degree, etc.)
- Campus attendance site
- College and fields of study: major(s), minor(s), concentration(s), certificate(s)
- Participation in recognized university activities and sports, including height, weight, and position of athletic team members
- Dates of attendance (including full or part-time status) and date of admission
- Degrees, honors, awards, certificates anticipated or received
- Previous educational institution(s) attended
- “Record” means any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to handwriting, electronic, print, tapes, file, microfilm, and microfiche.
B. Directory information may be released freely unless the student files the appropriate form requesting that all public information not be released. This form is available in the Office of Records and Registration.
C. Students may have one or more of the following records: admissions, cumulative academic records, health, accounting/financial, financial aid, credentials/placement, student insurance and disciplinary. These may be maintained by one or more of the offices and one or more of the administrative officers listed below:
|Affirmative Action||PAC||Associate Chancellor|
|Career Development Center||SAB||Director|
|Graduate Assistants/Interns||PAC||Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs|
|Housing & Residential Life||HBC||Director|
|International Student Services||HRB||Director|
|OBFS (Business Services)||BSB||Director|
|Peoria Center||Peoria Center||Director|
|Records and Registration||UHB||Registrar|
|Student Affairs||UHB||Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs|
|USFSCO (Cashier Operations)||PAC||Director|
D. Some colleges and departments may maintain records separately. A list of colleges and departments which have separate records, their location, and person responsible for the record may be obtained from the office of the dean of the college in which the department is located.
E. The privacy of all records may be broken at a time of emergency defined by the following considerations:
- The seriousness of the threat to health or safety.
- The need for access to the record in meeting the emergency.
- Whether the person requesting the records is in a position to deal with the emergency.
- The extent to which time is of the essence in dealing with the emergency.
Prior consent to disclosure of information from student education records will not be required when notice is made to appropriate parties in connection to an emergency, where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or individuals involved. Our campus considers parents or other emergency contacts as “appropriate parties” to be notified in emergency situations. For instance, if a student living in a residence hall is transported to a hospital due to a life-threatening situation, every reasonable effort would be made to notify the appropriate individuals as soon as possible.
Students are not subject to our control or supervision when they live and work off-campus. However, if we learn of an emergency involving one of our students, a reasonable effort will be made to notify the appropriate individuals in the event of an emergency situation.
Any release will be narrowly tailored considering the immediacy, magnitude, and specificity of information concerning the emergency. Such an exception is limited to the period of the emergency and generally will not allow for a blanket release of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records.
Questions related to any release of educational record information should be directed to the Registrar in the Office of Records and Registration. Requests dealing with the release of information in the event of an emergency should especially be directed to the Registrar.
F. A student’s record is open to the student, with the following exceptions:
- Confidential letters of recommendation placed in files prior to January 1, 1975.
- Confidential references or other documents subject to waivers signed by the student relinquishing the right of access to the document.
- Record of parents’ financial status.
- Employment records kept in the normal course of business which relate exclusively to persons as employees and are not used for any other purpose.
- Medical, psychiatric, or similar records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional acting in such capacity and in connection with the treatment of the student, provided, however, that such records may be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice or as otherwise provided by Illinois law.
G. School officials with a legitimate interest in a student’s education records may access those records without the student’s consent.
- “School officials” shall mean any person who is a trustee, officer, agent, or employee of the institution. This includes faculty, department or unit head, dean, chief academic, business, and student affairs administrators, the Chancellor, the President, a trustee, the custodian of institutional records, the alumni administrator, legal counsel, the financial aid administrator, administrators charged with maintaining education records, the staff and subordinates of the foregoing, others authorized by the Chancellor or the President, a person employed by or under contract with the institution to perform a special task, and students when serving on an institutional committee or as a student worker, to the extent the foregoing persons are acting within the course and scope of their employment and authority.
- “Legitimate educational interest” shall mean any authorized interest or activity undertaken in the name of the institution for which access to an education record is necessary or appropriate to the proper performance of the undertaking. The following criteria should guide a school official in determining the need to know and legitimacy of access to student records:
- The official must seek the information within the context of the responsibilities that he/she has been assigned;
- The information sought must be used within the context of official university business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s area of responsibility;
- The information to be accessed must be relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some task or to making some determination within the scope of university business.
- Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute institutional authority to transmit, share, or disclose any or all information received to a third party.
- It is the responsibility of the records custodian to assess the legitimate educational interest or need to know of the request and to require proper identification if necessary. When doubt is raised by a records custodian about an individual’s educational interest or need to know in having access to specific information, the issue shall be decided by the Provost in consultation with the Registrar.
H. Normally, education records other than directory information can be released, or access given, to third parties (i.e., anyone not the student or a school official) only at the written request of the student.
- However, personally identifiable records of students may be released without the consent of the student:
- To parents or guardians of dependent students, as currently defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
- To those representatives of the federal government and the state who are identified in FERPA.
- To state and local officials or authorities to which such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer required for the purpose for which it is conducted.
- To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
- In compliance with a judicial order, or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena, provided the student is notified of all such orders or subpoenas in advance of compliance therewith.
- To custodians of records and other record-maintenance personnel while performing the record-keeping function. To determine eligibility, amount, or conditions of financial aid or to enforce the terms and conditions of financial aid for which the student has applied or received.
- To officials of another institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
- To an alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution pertaining to that crime.
- As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including Social Security Numbers, grades, or other private information – may be accessed without 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 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 education records and PII without 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 a student’s 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 a student’s consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about a student 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.
- The final results of campus disciplinary proceedings may be released without the consent of the student to a) the victim of a violent crime or nonforcible sex offense regardless of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding, and b) to anyone, where the accused was found to have violated the campus rules and policies and the proceeding involved a violent crime or nonforcible sex offense. [The name of the accused may be disclosed but the name of the victim or witness will not be disclosed without prior written consent.]
- Information regarding any violation of any federal, state, or local law or of any campus rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, may be released to a parent or legal guardian of a student if a) the student is under the age of 21 and b) the campus has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.
I. UIS has established procedures enabling students to have access to their records and providing for interpretation and correction/amendment of records.
- Students have the right to access their records according to the following procedure.
- The student may have access to his or her educational record by contacting the appropriate office (see section C and D above) and providing a signed, written request to the records custodian and, if requested, photo identification.
- Access is to be granted no more than 45 days from the date of request.
- The student may obtain copies upon request (for which UIS may charge). Transcripts from other institutions may be viewed only; they may not be
- The student may request and receive an interpretation of his or her record from the custodian (or designee) responsible for the maintenance of the record.
- Students have the right to request to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. (This provision applies only to correcting a record, not to
changing an underlying decision or action upon which the record is
based; the normal student petition process should be used to resolve
disputes regarding underlying actions or decisions.)
- A student must ask the records custodian to amend the record.
In doing so, the student must identify the part of the record to
be amended and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate,
misleading or in violation of his or her privacy rights.
- The record custodian will decide whether to comply with the request.
If the record custodian does not comply, the custodian will advise
the student of his or her right to a hearing to challenge the information
believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s
- The student may request a hearing by filing a written statement
with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Upon receiving such
a request, the Vice Chancellor will arrange for a hearing and notify
the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time
of the hearing.
- The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will establish a hearing
panel composed of three members of the Hearing Board established
under the Student Code. The provisions of the Student Code are superseded
by the following specific provisions of the UIS FERPA policy.
- The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present
evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to
amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted
by one or more individuals, including an attorney, at his or her
own expense. UIS or its representative may present testimony and
evidence as to why the records should not be amended.
- The hearing panel will prepare a written decision based solely
on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include
a summary of the evidence provided and the reasons for the decision.
- If the hearing panel decides that the record is inaccurate, misleading,
or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will instruct
the custodian to amend the record and notify the student, in writing,
that the record has been amended.
- If the hearing panel decides that the record is not inaccurate,
misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it
will notify the student, in writing, that he or she has a right to
place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged record
and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the
decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s
education record as long as the contested portion is maintained.
The decision of the hearing panel is final, with no opportunity or
- A student must ask the records custodian to amend the record.
- If a student has a complaint about securing his or her rights under
FERPA, the student may contact the following federal office:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
600 Independence, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
For assistance in interpreting and implementing this policy, contact the Office of Records and Registration.
Departments/programs may develop their own consent forms and should submit these to the Office of Records and Registration for review and approval prior to implementation. Students should complete this kind of form whenever requesting a letter of recommendation or authorizing the release of their records.
Last Updated 6/6/2012