Public Information Policy and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Pursuant to Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, known as the Public Information Act, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended, known as the Buckley Amendment, the university has established a policy relating to the accessibility of student information in the custody of the University of North Texas. The UNT FERPA policy statement appears in its entirety in the UNT Policy Manual, policy number 18.1.9. Information not covered by the FERPA will be released only in accordance with the policy on public information found in policy number 10.6 of the UNT Policy Manual. Requests for such information must be made in writing.
The FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a written request for access. Students should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of personal education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. A student may ask the university to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the Office of the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. Students may request a hearing to review a denial of a request to amend educational records. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
Generally, the FERPA requires written consent before personally identifiable information contained in a student's education records may be disclosed. However, the FERPA authorizes disclosure of this information without the student's consent under certain circumstances. One such exception is directory information. Directory information consists of a student's full name, address, university provided e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, classification, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, dates of attendance, degrees, awards received, the last educational agency or institution attended previous to UNT, and photograph.
Directory information regarding the student will be provided to the public upon request unless he or she files a request in the Registrar's Office asking to be excluded from the directory or from any other requests for open directory information from outside entities. The request should be submitted prior to the 12th class day in the fall and spring terms, the 2nd class day of the May mini-mester, or the 4th class day in the summer terms. A request to withhold information may be submitted after the stated deadline for a term, but information may be released between the deadline and receipt of the request. The file of a student who has asked to be excluded from the directory information will remain flagged until the student requests that the flag be removed.
Individuals may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the University of North Texas has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The complaint should be sent to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-46
The University of North Texas will disclose information from a student’s education records without the written consent of the student to the following individuals or under the following conditions:
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 law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Officials of another school, to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or has already enrolled, upon written request, if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.
Certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, the Attorney General of the United States, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and state and local educational authorities in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those 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.
Organizations conducting certain studies for on behalf of the university.
Accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
a) the student is a dependent of the parent for tax purposes as evidenced by appropriate documentation, including the parent's most recent tax return or a student financial aid application.
b) a health or safety emergency necessitates disclosure to protect the health or safety of the student or another individual.
c) the student is under 21 years of age at the time of the disclosure and the student has violated a Federal, State or local law or any rule or UNT policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance and UNT has found the student in violation of the Code of Student's Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
Comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
Appropriate parties include, but are not limited to, school officials, law enforcement officials, parents, and emergency/medical personnel.
To victims of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, limited only to the final results of a UNT disciplinary proceeding regardless of whether UNT determines through its own investigation that a violation was committed..
To release information designated as directory information by the University; unless student has requested such directory information be withheld.
To any member of the public in matters relating to sex offenders and information provided to UNT under relevant Federal law.
To the originating party identified as the party that provided or created the record. This allows for returning documents, such as official transcripts, that appear to have been falsified back to the institution or school official identified as the creator or sender of the record for confirmation of its status as an authentic record.
For information regarding the university’s policy on access to records and to request accessibility to university records, contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel, UNT.