SOUTHERN MISS AND FERPA COMPLIANCE POLICY
The University of Southern Mississippi, consistent with the regulations of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act as amended in 1974, ensures students the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days from the time of the request.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policy regarding FERPA compliance.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.
Website Address for this Policy
In addition, the law prohibits the release of personally identifiable information without the student's permission, with the following exceptions:
RELEASE OF EDUCATION RECORDS
The University is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interest in such access, without the student's written consent. These persons are those who have responsibilities in connection with campus academic, administrative or service functions and who have reason for using student records connected with their campus or other related academic/administrative responsibilities as opposed to a personal or private interest. Such determination will be made on a case-by-case basis.
University officials will release educational information upon receipt of a signed, dated, written consent of the student which must specify the records that may be disclosed and identify the party to whom the disclosure may be made.
To officials of another school, school system, or an institution of postsecondary education where the student seeks admission or is enrolled.
Parents of a dependent student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152, and who supply supporting documentation, may be granted access to a student's educational record under some circumstances.
Other circumstances that allow access to a student's educational record:
In connection with Financial Aid; to organizations who are conducting studies on behalf of educational agencies; to federal or state educational authorities; to accrediting organizations; in compliance with a lawfully issued subpoena; in connection with a health or safety emergency.
In the course of fulfilling its contractual obligations with third party vendors contracted with the University. In this capacity, the third party vendor is acting as a legal agent (“school official”) of the university and will use the confidential information for the purposes stated in the agreement. Currently, the university has entered into agreements with, but not limited to, the following vendors:
The right to inspect and review all materials in your file(s) except items not considered an educational record as follows:
FERPA afford individuals the opportunity to challenge or amend his/her education record if inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy or other rights of the student. The student may submit a written request to the Registrar's Office that the record be amended or the FERPA. violation be investigated. The University Registrar's Office is located in Kennard-Washington Hall, Room 110.
Within 60 days of receipt of the written request, the University will inform the student as to whether the record will be amended. The request should include justification for the challenge. A grade may be challenged on the grounds that it was inaccurately recorded.
If the decision is negative, the student may submit a written request for a hearing in order to challenge the content of the record(s). The hearing committee will inform the student of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
Challenges and requests for a hearing must be in writing and should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar.
School officials' responsibility regarding privacy of students' records.
Individuals have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college 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, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Questions about the policies and procedures about the University's "Policy on Student Records" or about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, should be directed to:
Attn: Greg Pierce, University Registrar
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5006
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Telephone number: 601-266-5006
The Registrar is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes
11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies page.
02/26/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.