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POLICY #11.3 
SUBJECT: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


The purpose of this Policy is to ensure compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) at Southern Utah University.


  1. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99)
  2. Southern Utah University Policy 5.39 Records Access and Management
  3. Southern Utah University Policy 6.19 Grade Appeal
  4. Southern Utah University Policy 11.2 Student Conduct Code


  1. Education Records: Those records, files, documents, and other materials which are directly related to a Student, and are maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. The term "Education Records" does not include:
    1. Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto which:
      1. Are in the sole possession of the maker thereof, and
      2. Are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a substitute.
    2. Records of the law enforcement unit of the University which are:
      1. Maintained apart from the records described in Section III.A. of this definition;
      2. Maintained solely for law enforcement purposes; and
      3. Not disclosed to individuals other than law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction; provided that Education Records maintained by the University are not disclosed to the personnel of the law enforcement unit.
    3. Records relating to an individual who is employed by the University which:
      1. Are made and maintained in the normal course of business;
      2. Relate exclusively to the individual in that individual's capacity as an employee, and
      3. Are not available for any other purpose.
    4. Records relating to an eligible Student which are:
      1. Created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional or paraprofessional capacity, or assisting in that capacity;
      2. Created, maintained, or used only in connection with clinicians and specialists as outlined in Section III.A.4.a. who provide provisions and/or treatment for the Student, and
      3. Not disclosed to anyone other than the individuals providing the clinical/medical treatment; provided, that the records can be personally reviewed by a physician of the Student's choice. For the purpose of this definition, "treatment" does not include remedial educational activities or activities which are part of the program of instruction at the University.
    5. Records of the University which contain only information relating to a person after that person was no longer a Student at the University. An example would be information collected by the University pertaining to the accomplishments of its alumni.
  2. Legitimate Educational Interest: The need for a University Official to review Student Education Records for the Purpose of performing an appropriate educational, research, or administrative function for the University that is within the scope of that person's employment duties.
  3. Student: An individual who is or has been in attendance at the University and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains Education Records.
  4. Requester: A current or former Student who is making a request as allowed under this Policy.
  5. University Official: Members of the University when they are acting within the scope of their employment. These members may include faculty, administration, staff, and others who manage Student Education Records information, including Student employees. This may also include contractors, volunteers, and others performing necessary institutional functions.


  1. Policy Relationship to FERPA Annual Notice. FERPA regulations require the University to publish an annual notice with certain information. That is available through the Registrar's website. To the extend anything in the current annual notice conflicts with this Policy, the annual notice controls.
  2. Release of Education Records Without Student Consent. Personally identifiable Educational Records or files, or personal information contained therein relating to a Student, will not be released by Southern Utah University (hereinafter referred to as "the University") to any individual, agency, or organization without the written consent of the Student, except:
    1. Upon receipt of a written request describing the Legitimate Educational or other Interest of the person seeking the information and assuring that the recipient will not permit any third party to have access to the information without the written consent of the Student. Educational Records and files may be made available to:
      1. Authorized representatives of the federal or the state government to the extent necessary for audit and evaluation of federally supported education programs or for compliance with federal legal requirements relating to such programs, and subject to the limitation that personally identifiable data shall not be disclosed except to the extent specifically authorized by federal law; and
      2. Authorized agencies or persons exercising responsibilities in connection with the Student's application for or receipt of financial aid.
      3. A person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University Officials or employees (such as an attorney, auditor, or enrollment verification service).
    2. Any written request for access to Education Records by a person identified in Section IV.B. shall be kept permanently in the file of the Student.
    3. University Officials who have a Legitimate Educational Interest for consulting Student Education Records may have access to them after receiving approval from the custodian of the records.
    4. Institutional counselors/advisors may disclose confidential information without the consent of a Student as mandated by law or where permitted by law for a valid purpose such as to protect the Student or others from harm.
  3. Limitation on Right to Inspect. The University is not required by the Act to permit a Student to inspect and review the following records:
    1. Financial records and statements of parents or any information contained therein;
    2. Confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation which were placed in the Education Records of a Student prior to January 1, 1975, provided that:
      1. The letters and statements were solicited with a written assurance of confidentiality, or sent and retained with a documented understanding of confidentiality, and
      2. The letters and statements are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended.
    3. Confidential letters of recommendation and confidential statements of recommendation which were placed in the Education Records of the Student after January 1, 1975:
      1. Respecting admission to an educational institution;
      2. Respecting an application for employment; or
      3. Respecting the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition, provided that the Student has waived their right to inspect and review those letters and statements of recommendation.
    4. If the Education Records of a Student contain information on more than one Student, the student may inspect and review or be informed of only the specific information which pertains to that Student.
  4. Directory Information. The University considers the following personally identifiable, Student information to be directory information and may elect to disclose it without further notice:
      1. Name
      2. City/State
      3. Class Rank (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate)
      4. Courses of Study, Degrees and Certificates Awarded
      5. Honors, Awards, Activities, and Affiliations
      6. Enrollment Status
      7. Student Image

The information listed above is considered public information and is directory information governed by FERPA; however, in accord with FERPA, the University does not release lists of Students or name-and-address labels to external persons or entities not performing services on behalf of or at the request of the University. Likewise, the University does not release information regarding applicants to external persons or entities not performing services on behalf of or at the request of the University.

Enrolled Students who do not wish to have their directory information disclosed must make their request through their mySUU Portal.

  1. Student Access and Inspection of Records. The University has established the following procedures for the granting of a Student's request for access to their records:
    1. A Student wanting access to their Education Records should submit a formal request for access to the Office of the Registrar or to the custodian of the records in question, with a copy to the Registrar. The request must be in writing, signed by the Student, and delivered to the Office of the Registrar or to the custodian of the records in question by the Student making the request. The Student must present satisfactory personal identification to provide assurance that unauthorized persons do not obtain access to Education Records.
    2. Within 45 days after receiving a written request for access to Student Education Records, the Office of the Registrar or the custodian of the records in question will ascertain the existence, location, and status of the records for which access is sought, and will notify the Student of the time and place at which the records will be made available for their inspection. The time shall not be more than 45 days after the date upon which the request was received.
    3. Any confidential letters, evaluations, or other material in an official Student file, for which a written statement signed by the Student is also on file releasing and waiving their rights of access to and inspection of such records, may be removed temporarily from the Student file before it is made available for inspection by the Student. If any such records are withheld from the Student pursuant to this paragraph, a written notation to that effect shall be made a part of the official file which is shown to the Student.
    4. At the time and place appointed, the Student shall be permitted to examine their official records freely and without interference by University personnel, except that the Registrar, or the custodian of the records in question, may require that the examination be conducted in the physical presence of a designated employee of the University. In the case of a Student inspection of medical records or files, the inspection may be required to take place in the presence of a person qualified to interpret the records and files.
  2. Student Challenge to Content of Records.
    1. A Student may request an amendment in Education Records upon grounds that the information contained in the Education Records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the Student. A Student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, with a copy to the University Registrar, and clearly identify the part of the record the Student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed based on one of the allowable bases.
    2. This request to amend is not meant to challenge, change, or redo substantive determinations under other processes, but instead must focus on errors in records, primarily scrivener's error. For example, grade appeals may be made in accordance with Policy 6.19; Student Conduct Code determinations are under Policy 11.2, which includes an appeal process, etc., and not under a FERPA request to amend. If there is any dispute about whether it is a FERPA request to amend versus a challenge to a substantive determination or aspect of another record, the Registrar (or in the event of a conflict, a University employee appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs) will make that determination of what process applies.
    3. If the University decides to amend the record, the University will notify the requesting Student, in writing, of such action.
    4. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University Official responsible for the record will notify the Requester in writing, after consultation with the Registrar and with a copy to the University Registrar, of the decision and the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
    5. Within three (3) days of the date of the notice not to amend an Education Record, the Requester may request a hearing on the amendment request by sending in writing to the University Registrar their request, along with the reasoning (see allowable bases for challenge in Section IV.E.a., above) for challenging the amendment denial. The Hearing Procedures that govern the procedural steps following that request are publicly available on the Registrar's website, as amended from time to time. To the extend the procedures do not address a specific circumstance, point, or procedure, the University Registrar or the Hearing Officer, as applicable, has discretion to determine additional procedure requirements or adjustments to those requirements.
    6. If, as a result of the hearing, the University still decides not to amend the record, the Requester may place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why the Registrar disagrees with the decision of the University. That statement must remain with the contested part of the eligible Student's record for as long as the record is maintained, and the University will disclose the statement whenever the underlying record is disclosed (if/as applicable).
  3. Southern Utah University Education Records. Southern Utah University maintains Education Records, which are covered by FERPA, generally in the locations designated for the particular type of record, which is available on the Registrar's website.
  1. Right to File a Complaint. Students who feel that the University has failed to comply with the Act may file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office.
  2. Copies of Policy and Procedures. Copies of the Southern Utah University policy and procedures for compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 can be found in Policy 11.3.


The responsible office for this Policy is the Vice President for Advancement and Enrollment Management. For questions about this Policy, contact the Office of the Registrar.


Date Approved: 1975

Amended: May 2, 2008; December 8, 2023