XIV. Privacy and University Directory
Public Information Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Pursuant to the provisions and intent of Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, known as the Public Information Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended, a University policy has been established relating to the accessibility of student information in the custody of the University.
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a written request for access. Students should submit to the University Registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel, health staff, and student employees); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
- A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. TAMIU will automatically forward a student's record to these institutions upon their request.
- The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Texas A&M International University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Information regarding the student will be provided to the public upon request unless student files a request in the Office of the University Registrar asking to be excluded from the directory or from any other requests for open directory information from outside entities. The request should be submitted by the 12th class day in the Fall and Spring terms, the 4th class day in the summer terms. A request to withhold information may be submitted after the stated deadline for a term, but information may be released between the deadline and receipt of the request. The file of a student who has asked to be excluded from the directory information will remain flagged until the student requests that the flag be removed.
The information consists of a student's full name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major and minor fields of study, classification, enrollment status (full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, etc.), term schedule of classes, roster of classes enrolled, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees, awards received (including types of award), the last educational agency or institution attended previous to TAMIU, and photograph.
Texas A&M International University will disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, except:
- To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
- To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- To certain officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, or certain state or federally supported education programs.
- 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.
- If required by state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting certain studies for on behalf of the University.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
- To parents of students under the age of 21 years found culpable of alcohol and drug offenses, to the extent authorized by state law.
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
- To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime or university rules or policy as authorized by state law.
- To release information designated as directory information by the university; unless student has requested such directory information be withheld.
- To a court in which the university is defending itself against legal action initiated by a parent or eligible student.