The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, or the "Buckley Amendment") protects the privacy of all enrolled students and requires that students be notified annually of their rights under the law.
Under the provisions of FERPA, school officials may release directory information at their discretion without prior consent of the student. At USD, directory information includes student's name, e-mail address, major field of study, dates of attendance, sports activities, and degrees, honors, or awards received. The student has the right to withhold disclosure of all information and may do so by completing the Request to Restrict Directory Information form available at the FERPA website. A restriction prevents USD from releasing any information about a student, including the student's attendance, and must be filed annually. For internal purposes or for USD publications, the University may use photographic, video, or electronic images of students taken without students' knowledge.
A 'school official' is any person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit, health staff, and student workers); a person of a company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a "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.
Students may grant their parents (or others) permission to access their educational records by filing an Authorization to Release Education Records form with the appropriate Registrar's Office. This form remains in effect until rescinded by the student in writing. Parents do not have the right to view records without the written consent of the student unless the student is a tax dependent (IRS Code 1986, Section 152). Parents who verify tax dependency can obtain access to education records.
The University provides students the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of written request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate school official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
Students may amend or correct their records if information there is inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete. Students have the right to a hearing if the records are not corrected. If a student is dissatisfied with the results of a hearing, he or she may place a statement in the records to that effect. If a student feels that the institution has not fully honored his or her privacy rights under FERPA, a written complaint may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.