Student Records Access

Southeast Missouri State University maintains students’ educational records in a manner consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment), Missouri statutes R.S.MO. 610.021(6) and 610.010(4), and the implementation of these acts. These acts are designed to protect the privacy of students and parents regarding access to records and release of such records, and to provide opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records should they be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate.

Under the University’s Open Meetings and Open Records Policy, adopted by the Board of Regents October 30, 1987, public records are closed to public inspection and copying to the extent that they relate to scholastic probation, expulsion, or graduation of identifiable individuals and personally identifiable student records.

However, such records may be subject to public inspection and copying under the following conditions:

  1. Personally identifiable student records shall be open for inspection by the student, or by the parents, guardian or other custodian of the student in the case of a student who is a dependent of the parent, guardian, or other custodian as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Sec. 152. The burden of establishing dependency shall be upon the parent, guardian, or custodian requesting access to the record.
  2. Any personally identifiable student records may be disclosed upon the request or with the consent of the student, in writing, dated, and specifying the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the parties to whom disclosure may be made.
  3. Personally identifiable student records which are required by state or federal law to be disclosed to federal or state agencies, or under court order, or in specific circumstances, may be disclosed at the request of such agency, or in response to court order, or upon showing of the specific circumstances requiring disclosure.
  4. Directory information, including the following: Name, address, email address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, full or part time enrollment status, number of hours enrolled in a semester, degrees, awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, may be disclosed without the consent of the student.

A student who objects to the disclosure of any of these specific categories of personally identifiable directory information has the right to refuse to permit the designation of such information as directory information with respect to that student. Such objection must be made in writing to the Registrar not later than 30 days after the start of the student’s first semester of enrollment at the University. The University will attempt to honor written objections not filed within 30 days after the start of the student’s first semester of enrollment, but in such instances will not be responsible for the inadvertent release of information designated by the University as directory information by an agent who is not aware of the student’s objection to that release.

Operating Procedures - For the purpose of this statement, Southeast Missouri State University has used the following definitions of terms:

Student - any person who attends or has attended the University.

When the student reaches the age of 18 or begins to attend a post-secondary institution regardless of age, s/he is considered to be an eligible student under FERPA and all rights transfer from the parent to the student.

Education Records - any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by the University or an agent to the University which is directly related to a student, except:

  1. A personal record kept by a staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
  2. Records are created and maintained by the Southeast Missouri State University Department of Public Safety for law enforcement purposes.
  3. An employment record of an individual, whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment and the student does not receive a grade or credit based on the student’s performance as an employee.
  4. Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional of paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
  5. Records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the University and which do not relate to the person as a student.
  6. Records connected with an individual’s application for admission to the University prior to his or her actual attendance as an enrolled student.

Personal Identifier - any data or information that relates to a record to an individual. This includes the individual’s name, the name of the individual’s parent(s)’, or other family members, the individual’s address, the individual’s social security number, any other number or symbol which identifies the individual, a list of the individual’s personal characteristics, or any other information which would make the individual’s identity known.

Annual Notification - students are notified of their FERPA rights on the Registrar’s website at semo.edu/ferpa. The notification will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. The right of a student to inspect and review his or her educational record.
  2. The intent of the University to limit the disclosure of information contained in a student’s education record unless the student gives prior written consent, the information has been designated directory information, or the information may be disclosed under FERPA without the student’s prior written consent.
  3. The right of a student in relation to the amending or correcting of any part of his or her education record.
  4. The right of any person to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

Procedure to Inspect Education Records: Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate records custodian. Students should submit to the records custodian or an appropriate University staff person a written request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect. The records 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 in 45 days or less from the date of receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him/her.

Limitation on Right of Access: the 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 maintained before January 1, 1975.
  3. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.
    1. Refusal to Provide Copies: the University reserves the right to deny copies of records, including transcripts, not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:
  4. The student lives within commuting distance of the University.
  5. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the University.
  6. The record is from another institution but maintained in University files, e.g. high school transcripts.
  7. The record includes the educational records of other students.
  8. The education record requested is an exam or set of standardized test questions.
  9. There is unresolved disciplinary action or litigation against the student.

Fees for Copies of Records: $.10 per page plus postage costs.

Disclosure of Educational Records: the University will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, which must be dated and signed, except that records may be disclosed without consent when the disclosure is one or more of the following:

To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.

A school official is:

  • A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, including health or medical staff.
  • A person appointed as voting member of the Board of Regents. A person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as the attorney or auditor.
  • A person who is employed by Southeast Missouri State University Department of Public Safety.
  • A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:

  • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement.
  • Performing a task related to a student’s education.
  • Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
  • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
  • Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.
  1. Upon student request, to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  2. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and State and local educational authorities, in connection with audit or evaluation of certain State or federally supported education programs.
  3. In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  4. To State and local officials or authorities if specifically required by a State law 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 parent, guardian or other custodian of an eligible student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes. The burden of establishing dependency shall be upon the parent, guardian or custodian requesting access to the record.
  8. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena. The person served with a subpoena will attempt to notify the student of the receipt of the subpoena the information being requested, and that the institution intends to comply on a particular date (realistically ten days from the date the subpoena is received). The notice to the student will be sent to the address listed on file in the Registrar’s Office.
  9. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  10. To individuals requesting directory information so designated by the University.
  11. The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime.

The University will not release information contained in a student’s educational record, except directory information, to any third parties except its own officials, unless those parties agree that they will not re-disclose the information without the student’s prior written consent.