Release of Student Information Policy
In compliance with the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974” (FERPA), the following constitutes the institution’s policy on providing appropriate access to educational records, while protecting their confidentiality.
Wichita State University accords all rights under the law to students. Those rights 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; and 4) the right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Wichita State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights by publication in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.
Procedure to Inspect Education Records
All students have records in one or more of the following offices, maintained by the administrative officer in charge: offices of Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, Financial Operations, Information Technology Services, Office of Vice President for Student Affairs, Student Health Services, Career Development, Planning, Counseling and Testing, Library, college deans, academic advisors, and other administrative and academic personnel within the limitation of their need to know. Some academic departments maintain records separate from the school or college. A list of departments, their location, and the person responsible for the record may be obtained from the office of the dean of the school or college in which the department is located.
Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate unit’s record custodian. Students should submit a written signed request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect. A student must present appropriate identification before being permitted to review his/her record.
The record custodian or an appropriate University staff person will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days after the receipt of the request.
When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only portions of the record which relate to him/her.
The student may request and receive interpretation of his/her record from the person (or designee) responsible for the maintenance of the record.
The student may obtain copies of his/her educational records upon written request, for which the University may charge the current copying charge, not to exceed 25 cents per page. This does not entitle a student to an official transcript, for which there is a higher charge and which will be withheld if the person owes the University money or property.
Right of University to Refuse Access
Wichita State University reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:
1. The financial statement of the student’s parents.
2. Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her right of access, or which were placed in file before January 1, 1975.
3. Records connected with an application to attend Wichita State University if that application was denied.
4. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.
Disclosure of Education Records
Wichita State University will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written or electronic consent of the student, except:
1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. These members include: personnel in the offices of Admissions, Registrar, Financial Operations, Computing Center, Financial Aid, Career Services, Cooperative Education, Planning, Testing, Library, college deans, and other administrative and academic personnel within the limitation of their need-to-know. “Legitimate educational interests” means (a) the information or records requested is/are relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some task or determination; and (b) the task or determination is an employment responsibility for the inquirer or is a properly assigned subject matter for the inquirer’s employment responsibility.
2. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
3. In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
4. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
5. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University.
6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
7. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes. Access to grades by parents will be allowed if the parents (a) complete a request form available from the Registrar’s Office; (b) enclose a copy of the first page of their last tax year’s federal income tax return. The same documents must be submitted each time a grade report is desired.
8. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
9. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
10. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence, of the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
11. The University Student Health Services is required to report to the Kansas Department of Health the names of students who have certain communicable diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and venereal disease. The health service is also required to report to local law enforcement officials the name of any student who is wounded with a deadly weapon.
12. Social Security number and student status data may be provided to other State of Kansas agencies for use in detection of fraudulent or illegal claims against state monies.
13. At its discretion, the University may provide “Directory Information” to anyone in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Record of Requests for Disclosure
Wichita State University will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student's education records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. This record is open only to the student and the person in charge of the record.
Directory Information and Privacy
“Directory Information” includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.
The name(s) and address(es) of the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) may be disclosed when used for an official university news release about the student’s receipt of degrees or awards or about participation in officially recognized activities or sports. Parent name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address is designated as directory information for the limited purpose of disclosure to the Wichita State University Foundation, Inc. to support programs and activities of the institution and the WSU Foundation.
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of “directory information” (on an all or none basis) to non-institutional persons or organizations. Students have an option to protect their privacy and not have such information released by completing a written request.
The form for requesting the withholding of directory information is available from the Office of the Registrar, 102 Jardine Hall, or call (316) 978-3090 to have one mailed or faxed. The completed form is returned to the Registrar’s Office with a readable copy of one of the student’s government issued photo IDs, such as a driver’s license. The form is processed by the business day after it is received. Withholding directory information applies to ALL the items above and excludes the student from the online directory, which is available on the WSU website to anyone with a myWSU ID. It also has other ramifications. Students should consider very carefully the consequences of any decision to withhold directory information to outside parties. Doing so could be a disadvantage should a lender, insurance company, employer, etc., want to quickly verify a student’s enrollment or graduation. It also excludes a student from the Dean’s Honor Roll or graduation lists that are sent to the media.
The institution will honor a student’s request to withhold directory information, but cannot assume responsibility to contact students for subsequent permission to release it. Regardless of the effect on a student, the institution assumes no liability for honoring instructions to withhold information.
The same form and process is also used to remove a previous "do not disclose" instruction. Requests for non-disclosure may be filed anytime. Requests will be honored until withdrawn.
Correction of Education Records
Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are misleading, inaccurate, or in violation of their privacy. If the student considers the record inaccurate, he/she can request and receive an informal and/or formal hearing of the case to the end that the record will be corrected if judged faulty or in violation of privacy. No hearing under this policy shall be granted for challenging the underlying basis for a grade, but the accuracy of the posting may be challenged.
The following procedure for challenging the content of an education record shall apply:
a. The student has the right, upon reasonable request, for a brief explanation and interpretation if the record in question from the respective unit custodian. The unit custodian of the challenged education record, after reviewing the record with the student, may settle the dispute informally with the student with regard to the deletion or modification of the education record. The unit custodian shall make his or her decision within a reasonable amount of time and shall notify the student of the decision. In the event the unit custodian disapproves the student’s request to delete or modify the record in question, the student shall be notified by the unit custodian, in writing, of the decision and of the student’s right to a formal hearing upon the request.
b. The student may request a formal hearing by obtaining from the Vice President for Student Affairs a request form on which he/she must designate the location of the record in question and a brief explanation of the reason for believing the record is misleading, inaccurate or a violation of privacy. A hearing officer shall be selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs from a pool of persons who are officials of the University. The hearing officer selected should be a disinterested party to the dispute who will conduct an administrative hearing with both parties present.
The hearing shall be held within a reasonable period of time; notice of the date, place, and time must be given reasonably in advance. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present relevant evidence and may be assisted or represented by any person of his/her own choosing (including an attorney at his/her own expense). When appropriate, affected University offices will be notified of the hearing and given a chance to respond to the student’s assertions. A written decision based upon the evidence presented or gathered shall be prepared within a reasonable amount of time and shall include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. The judgment of the hearing officer shall be final and the record shall be changed or retained as recommended.
If the institution decided the information is accurate, it shall inform the student of his/her right to place in the educational record a statement commenting upon the information and/or noting any reasons for disagreeing with the decision. Any statement of this sort shall be maintained as long as the student’s educational record or contested portion is maintained; if the student’s educational record or contested portion is disclosed to any party, the student’s statement shall also be disclosed.
If a student believes that the University is not in compliance with FERPA, he/she should check first with the office involved and/or the Office of the Registrar. If a student then wishes to file a complaint with the federal government concerning the University’s failure to comply with FERPA, he/she must submit the complaint, in writing, to the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-5901.