Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as FERPA, or the "Buckley Amendment,") Walla Walla University has adopted the following policies and procedures to protect the privacy of education records. Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication in the Bulletin and on the WWU homepage.
Walla Walla University uses the following definitions in this policy:
Student: any person who attends or has attended WWU.
Education records: any record maintained by the University which is directly related to a student, with the following exceptions:
Personal records kept by university employees which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute;
Employment records unless the employment records are contingent on the fact that the employee is a student;
Right of the University to Refuse to Provide Copies
Walla Walla University reserves the right to deny copies of transcripts or other records (not required to be made available under FERPA), if the student has an overdue financial obligation to the University or if there is an unresolved disciplinary or academic dishonesty action against the student.
Disclosure of Education Records
Walla Walla 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.
A school official is:
- A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position
- A person elected to the Board of Trustees;
- A person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as legal counsel or an auditor.
- A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her task.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her task. Examples include:
- Performing a task that is specific in his or her job description or by a contract agreement; or
- Performing a task related to a student's education; or
- Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
- 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 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 a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- 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 sexual harassment offense of the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator with respect to that crime or offense.
Record of Requests for Disclosure
Walla Walla 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. The record may be reviewed by the student.
Walla Walla University designates the following categories of student information as public or "Directory Information." Such information may be disclosed by the institution at its discretion.
- Current enrollment status.
- Telephone number.
- Date and place of birth, dates of attendance, class standing, previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors (including Dean's List), degree(s) conferred (including dates), and full-time or part-time status.
- Email addresses.
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of Directory Information. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Academic Records Office at: Walla Walla University, 204 S College Ave., College Place, WA 99324. Directory Information will then be withheld indefinitely until the Academic Records Office receives in writing a revocation of the request for nondisclosure.
Walla Walla University will honor a request to withhold information listed but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release the requested information. Regardless of the effect upon the student, the institution assumes no liability as a consequence of honoring instructions that directory information be withheld.
Correction of Education Records
If students believe that any information contained in their education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights, they may request in writing that the office which contains those records amend them. Students should identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights.
That office will reach a decision and inform students in a reasonable amount of time after receiving the request. If the records custodian refuses to amend the record, students have the right to a hearing. This hearing will be conducted by an appropriate committee appointed by the Academic Vice President of the University. The hearing will be held within a reasonable amount of time after the request for a hearing has been made. The hearing committee will notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
Students will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised. Students may be accompanied by one or more other persons. The committee will make its decision in writing based on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
If the hearing committee supports the complaint, the education record will be amended accordingly and students will be so informed. If the hearing committee decides not to amend the education record, students have the right to place in the education record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or stating the reasons for disagreeing with the decision. This statement will be maintained as part of the education record as long as the contested portion is maintained, and whenever a copy of the education record is sent to any party, the student's statement will be included.