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University of Nebraska at Omaha Procedures Concerning Student Records

The following statements relate to UNO and the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 - also known as the Buckley Amendment. Please contact the UNO Registrar's Office at (402) 554-2314 with any questions.

I. A. Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights ad Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974
I. B. Statement of Philosophy and Policy on Student Records
II. Public Information
III. Confidential Information
IV. A. Rights of access and Review of Records
IV. B. Limitation on Access
IV. C. Supplementary Exceptions
V. Custodians of Student Records
VI. Release of Grades
VII. Right to Challenge Content of Records
VIII. Waiver of Right of Access to Confidential Recommendations
IX. Creation, Permanence, and Disposal of Student Records
X. Complaint Procedures

I. A. Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights ad Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records.
2) The right to request the amendment of the student's education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
4) The right to file with the U.S. Department of education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the University of Nebraska at Omaha to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
5) The right to obtain a copy of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Student Records Policy. A copy of the policy is available at the Registrar's Office, Eppley Administration Building, Room 105. For information regarding the Student Records Policy, please contact the Registrar's Office at (402) 554-2314.

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I. B. Statement of Philosophy and Policy on Student Records

The University of Nebraska at Omaha maintains various records concerning students to document their academic progress as well as to counsel effectively with them. In order that the students' rights to privacy be preserved, as well as to conform with federal law, the University has established certain procedures to govern the handling of student records.

Federal regulations, as they relate to student records, are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment). Generally, this act provides that currently enrolled or former students have the right of access to their educational records and the opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records, if necessary, on the grounds that the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate.

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II. Public Information

In compliance with the federally-enacted regulations of the Privacy Act, and as defined by the Board of Regents, public information regarding students attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha shall be the:

(i) student's name
(ii) local address
(iii) permanent address
(iv) telephone listings
(v) year at the University
(vi) dates of attendance
(vii) academic college and major field of study
(viii) enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time)
(ix) participation in officially recognized activities and sports
(x) degrees, honors and awards received
(xi) most recent educational agency or institution attended

The names of students mentioned in some kinds of campus security or campus police reports concerning accidents and incidents may also be released to the public. Each major administrative unit shall define the kinds of reports and information that may be released to the public.

Information contained in personal files of the student is considered confidential and requires written authorization by the student for release, provided such records, with names and personal identification deleted and kept confidential, may be made available for governmental or University-approved research and analysis.

Public information pertaining to any individual student may be released by the Registrar upon inquiry, unless the student has requested that specific items not be released. A student's request to have "public" information withheld must be filed at the Office of the Registrar no later than the third day of classes of each academic session. Partial or whole lists of students by name and address will not be released for commercial purposes other than by contractual agreement with the University (the only agreement in force is to offer an optional student group health insurance policy).

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III. Confidential Information

With the exception of the information noted above, all student records are considered to be confidential and are open only to University personnel (individuals under contract) who need the information to carry out their official responsibilities (assigned duties and functions). Although University personnel are authorized access to this information on a "need-to-know" basis (to perform specific duties and functions), they are not permitted to release information to persons outside the University unless authorized in writing by the student by a court order or according to the exceptions listed in IV-C. Only the official or designated person responsible for the records has the authority to release them.

Records may be disclosed to a third party only on condition that the recipient will not permit others to have access to the information without the written consent of the student.

It is important that a record of access (of persons other than University employees responsible for working with the records and University officials who have legitimate educational interests--need to know to fulfill official responsibilities--) to student records be kept by the record holder which indicates:

(1) name and signature of person who requested or examined the file;
(2) the purpose for which the file was accessed;
(3) date on which access to record occurred;
(4) a clear notice that the information must not be released by a third party without the consent of the student.

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IV. A. Rights of Access and Review of Records

Students have the right to inspect, review, or receive an interpretation of copies of their educational records, except as excluded below. This right may be exercised by filing a Request for Access form with the custodian of the records to which access is desired. Such requests should be honored as quickly as possible and reasonable, normally within 48 hours; if detailed documentation and/or interpretation is required, the request should be honored within ten (10) days. In all cases, requests for such information must be honored within 45 days.

If a copy(ies) of a portion or all of the records in a student's file is requested, the custodian of the records may charge a fee for copies made, provided fee does not effectively prevent students from exercising their right to inspect and review (under supervision of a University employee) their records. You may not charge a fee to search for or to retrieve records. Standard University fee in Printing and Duplication Services is five cents per original page; consult Printing and Duplicating Services personnel for other or additional charges.

Each custodian of records is responsible for requiring proper identification of individual making the request about his/her records.

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IV. B. Limitation on Access

Educational institutions are not required to make available to students in institutions of post-secondary education the following records:

(1) confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the education records prior to January 1, 1975;
(2) financial records of the parents of the students or any information contained therein;
(3) records maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professionals are not open for student's inspection. Students may, however, have an appropriate professional of their choosing inspect such records;
(4) confidential recommendations for admission, employment, or honors are not open to student access if the student has waived his/her right to access. General waiver forms are available and on file at the Registrar's Office;
(5) law enforcement records maintained solely for law enforcement purposes are unavailable for student access and may be used only by law enforcement officials;
(6) records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute (an individual who performs on a temporary basis the duties of the individual who made the record).

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IV. C. Supplementary Exceptions

In addition to the student access stipulations, the Act provides that the University may release without the student's permission personally identifiable educational records to:

(1) officials or faculty of the University who have legitimate educational interest (need to know to fulfill official responsibilities);
(2) officials of other schools or school systems in which the students seek to enroll; in this instance, no notice of release of records needs to be sent to the student;

(3) certain federal and state educational authorities: (99.31)
( i) the Comptroller General of the United States;
( ii) the Secretary;
( iii) the Commissioner, the Director of the National Institute of Education;
( iv) state educational authorities;

(4) accrediting and University-approved testing agencies;
(5) parents of dependent students (requires signed statement from parent claiming that student is dependent per Internal Revenue Code of 1954);
(6) appropriate parties in connection with an emergency when the immediate health or safety of the student is threatened;
(7) persons presenting an officially-related judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena; and,
(8) institutions from which the student has received, or applied to for, financial aid.

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V. Custodians of Student Records

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Enrollment Management shall be responsible for the proposal, interpretation, enforcement, and publication of general policies and procedures consistent with state and federal laws and guidelines as they relate to the creation, maintenance, use, dissemination, and destruction of records of students who are attending or have attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and shall coordinate the development of general policies and procedures with the appropriate University officials listed below.

EACH TYPE OF STUDENT RECORD IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A DESIGNATED UNIVERSITY OFFICIAL, AND ONLY THAT PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER OR DESIGNATE HAS AUTHORITY TO RELEASE THE RECORDS. The responsible officials are:

(1) Academic and Admissions Records

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Arts & Sciences Hall, Room 280

Associate Dean, College of Engineering and Technology
Peter Kiewit Institute, Room 100C

Dean, College of Education
Kayser Hall, Room 334

Dean, College of Business Administration
Roskens Hall, Room 414E

Academic Advisement Office, Division of Continuing Studies
Arts & Sciences Hall, Room 202

Dean, College of Public Affairs and Community Services
Annex 26

Coordinator, College of Education and Human Sciences
Arts & Sciences Hall, Room 102

Dean, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
Weber Fine Arts 312

Dean, College of Information Science and Technology
Peter Kiewit Institute, Room 172B

Dean, International Studies and Programs
Arts & Sciences Hall, Room 238

Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
Eppley Building, Room 203

Office of Admissions
Eppley Building, Room 103

Office of the Registrar (Custodian of Permanent Academic Records)
Eppley Building, Room 105

(2) Alumni

Executive Director of the UNO Alumni Association (Custodian of Permanent Alumni Records)
Alumni House

(3) Business Records (tuition, fees, grants)

Office of Cashiering/Student Accounts (Custodian of Permanent Financial Records)
Eppley Building, Room 109

(4) Counseling Records

Director of Counseling
Eppley Building, Room 115

(5) Disciplinary Records

Judicial Officer, Student Affairs
Eppley Building, Room 115

(6) Employment

University Personnel Human Resource (Custodian of Permanent Personnel Records)
Eppley Building, Room 205

Financial Aid Office
Eppley Building, Room 103

Director of The UNO Career Center
Eppley Building, Room 211

(7) Evaluation for Admission to Graduate or Professional Programs

Academic Deans or Department Chairpersons

Dean, Graduate Studies and Research
Eppley Building, Room 203

(8) Financial Aid

Director of Financial Aid (Custodian of Permanent Financial Aid Records)
Eppley Building, Room 103

Office of Cashiering/Student Accounts
Eppley Building, Room 109

(9) Intercollegiate Athletics

Director of Athletics
Fieldhouse, Room 202

(10) Library Materials

Librarian

(11) Medical Records

Student Health Services
Milo Bail Student Center 1st Floor

(12) Multicultural Affairs

Director of Multicultural Affairs
Milo Bail Student Center 1st Floor

(13) Ombudsman

(14) Special Academic Programs

Deans, Chairpersons, or faculty members in charge of the program

(15) Placement Credentials (Custodian of Permanent Placement Records)

Director, The UNO Career Center
Eppley Building, Room 211

(16) Test Scores

Director of Testing
Eppley Building, Room 113

(17) Traffic and Security Records

Director of Campus Security
Eppley Building, Room 100

(18) Veterans Records

Coordinator, Financial Aid/Veterans Services
Eppley Building, Room 103

(18a) SEVIS Records

Director, International Programs
International Studies and Programs
Arts & Sciences, Room 238

(19) Student Activities

Officers of student organizations
Milo Bail Student Center 1st Floor

Director of Student Organizations and Leadership Programs
Milo Bail Student Center 1st Floor

Note:Names of persons occupying positions listed, and locations, may be found in the Faculty/Staff Telephone Guide or at the University Telecommunications Center (Eppley Building, Room 119).

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VI. Release of Grades

Reports of a student's grades are not routinely sent to the student's parents. However, parents of a dependent student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, may obtain grades without student's consent upon presentation of a signed statement claiming that student is dependent.

The posting of student's grades is prohibited unless:

a. each student signs a waiver of his/her right to privacy; or
b. a confidential number (other than full Social Security number) or code is agreed upon between the instructor and individual student prior to the posting.

The returning of papers via an "open" distribution system, e.g. stacking them on an open table, is a violation of a student's right to privacy, unless student(s) submits signed waiver to instructor for such purpose.

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VII. Right to Challenge Content of Records

A student may challenge the accuracy of handling of educational records maintained by the University on grounds that the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violate the privacy or other rights of the students. Students who wish to exercise these rights should file a Student Record Challenge Request form with the custodian of the records in question. Each unit which is responsible for a record system shall put into writing, including a form which can be made available to students, the appeal in hearing procedures which exist for that unit.

In general, the appeal and hearing steps will occur in the following sequence until relief is granted or final decision is rendered by the Chancellor:

(1) appeal for administrative review by the person named as custodian of the record system;
(2) appeal for administrative review by the dean or director to whom the custodian is responsible;
(3) appeal for administrative review by the Vice Chancellor for the unit maintaining the record system;
(4) request for hearing to the Office of the Chancellor. A formal hearing will be set up by that office and the decision of the hearing panel will be recommended to the Chancellor. The student shall be given an opportunity to present to the panel evidence relevant to the issues raised and the panel shall issue a written response. The student may be assisted or represented by individuals of his/her choice at his/her own expense, including an attorney;
(5) should the student disagree with the response from the Office of the Chancellor, the student has the right to place in the educational records a statement commenting on the information in the record and/or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the Office of the Chancellor.

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VIII. Waiver of Right of Access to Confidential Recommendations

The waiver to right of access for a letter of recommendation is allowed for three purposes:

(1) admission to another educational institution;
(2) employment;
(3) receipt of an award or honor.

These are the only areas in which waivers are allowed. A student's signature on a waiver is voluntary and is not required as a condition for admission, receipt of financial aid form, or receipt of any other services or benefits from the University. Students who sign the waiver will, upon request, be notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations and such recommendations will be used solely for the purpose for which they were specifically intended and will be released only in accordance with the University Student Record Release Policy. Revocation of waivers must be in writing to be effective.

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IX. Creation, Permanence, and Disposal of Student Records

The following is a general guideline regarding the disposal of student records:

(1) only such records as are demonstrably and substantially relevant to the educational purposes of the University shall be generated or maintained;
(2) permanent retention of student records is limited to those records which are of long-range value to the individual or the University;
(3) all duplicate copies of permanent records, other than those maintained by the custodian of the permanent record*, and all non-permanent student records shall be maintained only for the minimum period of time required to serve the basic official function of the individual or department generating or maintaining them. Such records shall be destroyed as soon as they are no longer needed, e.g., within one year following graduation or two years after last date of attendance. A student will be granted access to his records prior to their destruction when the student has an unsatisfied request outstanding.

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X. Complaint Procedures

Students are encouraged to report any violations and seek redress from UNO officials responsible for the area in which the violation occurred (see attached "Specific Procedures Pertaining to Student Records --II). However, complaints regarding violations of rights accorded students by Section 438 of the Privacy Rights of Parents and Students Act or the regulation, may be submitted to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Such allegations must be submitted in writing.

*See Item V.

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