EFFECTIVE DATE: June 22, 2015
ISSUE #: 4
PRESIDENT: William Flores
This PS outlines the policy of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) on the release of
information from student records in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Access is defined by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which
affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
3.1 FERPA Provisions
Students’ rights with respect to their education records are defined by FERPA and are as
3.1.1 Students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable
information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes
disclosure without consent.
3.1.2 Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45
days of the day the University receives the request.
3.1.3 Students have the right to request amendment of their education records that they
believe are inaccurate or misleading. If the University denies a student’s
requested amendment, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the
requested amendment to his/her education record.
3.1.4 Students have 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. Such complaints may be sent to the Family Compliance Office, U.S.
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.
3.2 Directory Information
3.2.1 Some information in student records and files is considered directory information.
UHD may, without the consent of the student, release information designated as
directory information. Directory information is defined by FERPA as follows:
1. Student's name
2. Mailing Address
3. Primary Telephone number
4. University Assigned e-mail address
6. Enrollment Status
7. Major and minor fields of study
8. Degrees, certificates, awards and honors received
9. Dates of attendance
10. Graduation Date
11. Expected graduation date
12. The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the
13. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
14. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
3.2.2 If a student does not want directory information to be released, he/she is
responsible for notifying the Director of Enrollment Services in writing during
the first week of each semester to ensure that information is not released or
published in the Student Directory. Students are responsible for requesting the
release of their information once a request for withholding directory information
has been placed on record.
3.3 Disclosure of Education Records
UHD will not disclose information from a student’s education records without the written
consent of the student, except in the following instances in which FERPA authorizes
disclosure without prior student consent:
3.3.1 To school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest
in the records. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University
who holds an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position
(including the University’s police department and health care staff); a person or
company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor,
or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a person
assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties. A school
official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an
educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.
3.3.2 To other schools in which the student seeks to enroll.
3.3.3 To authorized representatives of the U. S. Secretary of Education, the U.S.
Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection
with certain state or federally supported education programs; and the U.S.
Attorney General for law enforcement purposes.
3.3.4 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.
3.3.5 To state and local officials or authorities in accordance with state law.
3.3.6 To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the University to develop,
validate, or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or
3.3.7 To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
3.3.8 To parents of a “dependent” student as defined under the federal tax laws.
3.3.9 To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
3.3.10 To appropriate parties in connection with a health or safety emergency.
3.3.11 As it relates to “directory information,” unless the student restricts “directory
3.3.12 To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offence
regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted against the
alleged perpetrator of that crime or offence with respect to that crime or offence,
regardless of whether the student was found to have committed the violation.
3.3.13 To the public regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceeding in which
the student was alleged to have committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sex
offence and pursuant to the disciplinary proceeding the student was found to have
violated a University disciplinary rule or policy.
3.3.14 To parents of a student who is under the age of 21 regarding the student’s violation
of federal, state, or local law, or any University rule or policy, governing the use
or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
3.3.15 To the court where the student has initiated legal action against the University or
the University has initiated legal action against the student.
3.3.16 To the Attorney General or designee pursuant to the USA Patriot Act of 2001.
4.1 Procedure to Inspect Education Records
A student has the right to inspect his or her educational records and to challenge the
contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Custodian
of those records (See Custodians of Records, 3.0 below.). The written request must
identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.
4.2 Procedure to Amend Education Records
If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information
that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the student
should submit a written request for amendment to the appropriate Custodian of the record
(See Custodians of Records, 3.0 below). The written request should clearly identify the
part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading,
or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. The University will notify the student
within a reasonable time regarding whether or not the record will be amended. If the
university denies the student’s request for amendment of his or her record, the student
has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. This procedure does not
govern grade appeals.
4.3 Procedures for a Hearing Under FERPA
4.3.1 To request a hearing pursuant to the University’s denial of a student’s request to
amend information in his or her education record that the student believes is
inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the
student should submit to the appropriate custodian of record a written request for
a hearing that clearly identifies the part of the record the student wants changed
and specifying why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s
rights of privacy.
4.3.2 The University will hold a hearing within a reasonable time after receiving the
student’s written request for a hearing.
4.3.3 The University will give the student notice of the date, time, and place, of the
hearing reasonably in advance of the hearing.
4.3.4 The hearing will be conducted by an individual who does not have a direct interest
in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing official will be appointed by the Vice
President to whom the custodian of the records in question reports.
4.3.5 The student will be provided the opportunity to present evidence supporting his
or her allegation that his or her education record contains information that is
inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. The
student may, at his or her own expense, be assisted during the hearing by one
individual, including an attorney. The student must notify the hearing official no
later than three (3) business days before the hearing that he or she will have an
attorney present at the hearing.
4.3.6 The custodian of the record in question and the author of that record (if
appropriate) will also be provided an opportunity to respond to the student’s
4.3.7 Upon hearing all of the evidence, the hearing official will render a written
determination within a reasonable time after the hearing. The written
determination will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the
hearing official’s determination.
4.3.8 Any information in the student’s education record that is determined to be
inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the student’s rights of privacy will be
amended with the correct information and the student will be notified in writing
of the change.
4.3.9. If it is determined that the student record is correct and does not merit amendment,
the University will notify the student of his or her right to place a statement in the
education record commenting on the information in the record, and/or presenting
any reasons for disagreeing with the University’s decision.
4.3.10 Any statement placed by the student in his or her education record shall remain a
part of the record for as long as the record is maintained by the University.
4.4 Custodians of Records
The following individuals are designated by the University as custodians of records:
Registrar’s Office, Room N330; Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Room S330;
Director of the Career Development Center, Room S402; Director of Counseling and
Health Services, Room S445; Dean of Students, Room S380; Dean of each College.
4.5 Miscellaneous Provisions
4.5.1 Directory information will be updated annually.
4.5.2 The University must publish this policy once each year.
4.5.3 A copy of this PS must be made available to a student upon request to the
There are no exhibits associated with this policy.
Responsible Party (Reviewer): Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and
Review: Every five years, or as necessary.
Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations.
Issue #1: 07/21/1984
Issue #2: 03/01/1986
Issue #3: 12/15/1987
Issue #4: 06/22/2015
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
USA Patriot Act of 2001