Revised March 6, 2015
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that governs release of, and access to, student education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review your education record within a reasonable time after the university receives a request for access. If you want to review your record, contact the university officer who maintains the record to make appropriate arrangements.
- The right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you feel there is an error in your record, you should submit a statement to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and why you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. That office will notify you of their decision and advise you regarding appropriate steps if you do not agree with the decision.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with “legitimate educational interests.” A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a “need to know” information from your education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. Examples of people who may have access, depending on their official duties, and only within the context of those duties, include: university faculty and staff, agents of the institution, students employed by the institution or who serve on official institutional committees, and representatives of agencies under contract with the university.
- 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.
Release of student record information is generally not done at Willamette University without the expressed, written consent of the student. There are, however, some exceptions. For example, directory information includes the following, and may be released without the student’s consent: name, addresses (local, permanent, and email), telephone number (local and permanent), college/school of enrollment, major field of study, current enrollment status (including dates of attendance, full-/part-time enrollment, withdrawn), previous institutions attended, degrees conferred by Willamette University (including date), photographs, honors and awards received (e.g. College Honors), participation in officially recognized sports and activities, weight and height of members of athletic teams. Please note that you have the right to withhold the release of directory information. To do so, you must complete a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form, which is available from the Office of the Registrar. Please note two important details regarding placing a “No Release” on your record:
- The university receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the news media, and honor societies. Having a “No Release” on your record will preclude release of such information, even to those people.
- A “No Release” applies to all elements of directory information on your record. Willamette University does not apply a “No Release” differentially to the various directory information data elements.
Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Office of the University Registrar.
Education Record Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Public Law 93-568, Sec. 2; 20 U.S.C. 1232g), also known as the Buckley Amendment, effective November 19, 1974, ensures students the right to inspect, review, and control access to student education records maintained by an educational institution.
Willamette University's education records policy is intended to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Students will be informed annually of their FERPA rights by email from the University Registrar. All school officials, as defined below, are expected to manage student records in their custody in accordance with FERPA regulations.
Student - any person currently enrolled at Willamette University, or who has earned academic credit at Willamette University, not to include those who are deceased. Applicants for admission are not classified as students under FERPA.
Institution - includes the College of Liberal Arts, Graduate School of Education, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, and College of Law.
Education records - any record (in handwriting, print, tape, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by the institution or an agent of the institution which is directly related to the student, except:
- A staff member's personal records if kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
- Campus Safety records which are created and maintained by Willamette University's Campus Safety Office for safety and policy enforcement considerations and are not given to other officials of Willamette University; once these records are released to other offices, they are considered education records.
- Employment records other than those of students who are employed as a result of their status as students.
- Physician/psychiatrist/psychologist records if the records are used only for the treatment of student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
- Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer attendance at the institution and which do not relate to the person as a student.
- Records maintained by Willamette University's legal counsel.
University official - an employee, trustee, or designated student of the institution (includes health/medical staff, a person employed by or under contract such as an attorney or auditor, a person employed by the Willamette University Campus Safety Office, and students serving on official committees or assisting school officials in the performance of their duties)
Directory information - is defined as the following:
- Address (local, permanent, and email),
- Telephone number (local and permanent),
- College/School of enrollment,
- Major field of study,
- Current enrollment status (including dates of attendance, full-/part-time enrollment, withdrawn),
- Previous institutions attended,
- Degrees conferred by Willamette University (including date),
- Honors and awards received (e.g. College Honors),
- Participation in officially recognized sports and activities, and
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams.
Directory information may be released for any purpose at the discretion of school officials unless notified in writing by a student requesting that the information be withheld. Students wishing to withhold directory information may complete a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form, which is available from the Office of the Registrar.
The Fusser's Guide, the published campus directory, is the source of students' address, phone number and email address. Note that the default setting for the Fusser’s Guide is to display name, local and permanent mailing addresses and telephone numbers, photograph, and Willamette University email address. Students may make more or less information available on the Guide by logging in to JASON and clicking the "Show Fusser Info" link in the “Personal” section.
Confidential information - includes but is not limited to the following:
- All information (except for directory information) in the application for admission,
- Rank in class,
- Requests for access to student records,
- Test scores and/or results,
- Transcripts of previous academic work,
- Records in the Education Placement Office,
- Application for graduation,
- Willamette's Academic Evaluation Report (degree audit),
- Records in the Career Services Office,
- Willamette University transcript including course grades and grade point average,
- Letters of warning, probation and dismissal,
- Petitions for exceptions to policy,
- All correspondence related to academic records (including letters of acceptance, receipts, academic performance, leave of absence, withdrawal, etc.)
II. Access to Education Records and Release of Records
Student access - A student has access to all education records, and may personally view his/her education records within 45 days of the initial request, with the following exceptions:
- Financial statement of the student's parents
- Recommendation letters/statement for which the student has waived right of access, or which were maintained prior to January 1, 1975
- Application records if the application was denied
Copies of records - The institution reserves the right to deny copies of multiple educational records including transcripts if:
- The student has unmet obligations to Willamette University.
- There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
- The student lives within commuting distance of Willamette and the request is for documents other than the official transcript.
- The education record requested is an exam, set of standardized test questions or score report, or an academic transcript from another academic institution.
Release of education records with student consent - A student may authorize the release of any or all parts of his/her education record to a third party by submitting an Education Record Release Form to the University Registrar’s Office. If a student's signed, current authorization form is on file in the University Registrar's Office, the authorized third party may submit a written and signed request for information. Payment will be required for an official transcript. See the Transcript Request page for information and pricing.
Release of education records without student consent - The institution will disclose information from a student's educational record only with the written consent of the student, except that it may release information in the following situations:
- To individuals requesting Directory Information as designated by the institution.
- To a school official with a legitimate educational interest in the records (defined as an official acting on behalf of the student and performing a task 1) that is specified in his/her position description or contract agreement; 2) related to the student's education; 3) related to the discipline of the student; 4) which is of service to the student or the student's family such as health care or financial aid; or 5) related to campus safety or security).
- To an official of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, including disciplinary records in any pending or concluded disciplinary investigations.
- To persons or organizations providing financial aid to students, or determining financial aid decisions concerning eligibility, amount, condition, and enforcement of said aid.
- To appropriate state or federal agencies, to accrediting agencies, and to organizations carrying out studies on behalf of the institution.
- To parents of an undergraduate student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes if it is determined that there are circumstances that warrant releasing the information without a student's written consent. Information will be released only upon proof that the student is a dependent as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. A copy of the most recent tax return is generally sufficient proof of dependency. Information which may be released to parents is limited to the student's grade record (transcript) and current course schedule. Prior to the release of the information, the Registrar's Office will notify the student about the request for information. If educational information is released to a custodial parent of whom the student is a dependent, a duplicate of the released information may also be released upon request to a natural, non-custodial parent of whom the student is not a dependent, as appropriate.
- To parents of an undergraduate student under the age of 21 regarding the student's violation of any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if it has been determined by the institution that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to that use or possession.
- To parties specified in a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. An attempt to notify the student is usually required by law before Willamette can honor such an order or subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
- To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, only the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
- To the next of kin of an alleged victim who is deceased as a result of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, only the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
- To state and local officials or authorities if specifically required by a state law that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
Fees for copying records - Copies of academic records are not generally provided unless the university is unable to make accommodations for the student to view the record. In these circumstances, copies of records are normally 50¢ per page.
Fees for copies of official transcripts - Refer to the Transcript Request page for transcript information and pricing.
III. Procedure for inspection and review of education records.
Procedure to inspect and review education records -- Students may inspect and review their education records upon written request. Students should submit a written request to the University Registrar at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or other office which maintains the desired records. A request must identify as precisely as possible the record or records the student wishes to inspect. Proper identification will be required. The university office will make the needed arrangements as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where records may be inspected. Access will be given within 45 days from the date of the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect only those records which pertain to him or her.
Record of requests for disclosure (whether honored or denied) -- All offices that maintain education records will keep a record of all requests for disclosure of information from a student's education record to parties other than the student. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request and any additional party to whom it may be disclosed. This record does not include the release of directory information or the release of education records to university officials. Students may inspect records of requests for information from their education records.
Types, locations and records custodians -- Records are maintained in a variety of university offices. If an office or type of information is not on this list, the student should contact the University Registrar's Office for assistance.
Records & Office
College of Liberal Arts
University Registrar’s Office
Office of Admission
University Registrar (email@example.com)
Senior Associate Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Atkinson Graduate School
Seeley G. Mudd Building
Assistant Dean/Director of Admission, Recorder/Records Analyst (email@example.com)
College of Law
Collins Legal Center
Director of Admission, Recorder (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Questions about this policy may be directed to:
Laura Jacobs Anderson
900 State Street
Salem OR 97301
Phone: (503) 370-6206