The Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Article 6), effective Jan. 1, 1978, provides rights of access to University records, except those that fall within one of the nine categories of deniable records [section 87(2)].
Written application for examination and copying of accessible records must be made to the records access officer, Office of University Counsel, 609 Couper Administration Building, during regular business hours. Appeals of a denial of requested information may be taken within 30 days to the SUNY Office of University Counsel, SUNY Plaza-S315, Albany, NY 12246.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, provides students with access to their files and assures them of the confidentiality of their records. Undergraduates’ official academic files are kept in the University Registrar’s Office. Graduate official records are kept in the dean's office of the Graduate School. The University is not required by legislation to make available to students files kept with New York State University Police, University Counseling Center or Health Service. Students with files in these offices should contact the appropriate office with any questions.
There is to be no oral or written release of personally identifiable information from any student’s educational record without the signed and dated consent of the student, except to:
authorized University personnel defined by the person responsible for the file as having a reasonable need to know;
state and federal education authorities to whom information must be made available by statute and/or for the audit of federal programs;
organizations and educational agencies involved in testing, administering financial aid or improving instruction, provided the information is presented anonymously;
appropriate persons to comply with a court-ordered subpoena, in which case an attempt is made to notify the student in advance;
appropriate persons in the case of emergency;
Information printed in the University Directory and information routinely released to the public, such as Commencement listings, election results and rosters of athletic teams, is regarded as public or “directory information’’ and, as such, may be released without student consent.
The following information is defined as directory information and may be routinely released unless specified differently by the student:
local address and telephone number;
home address and telephone number;
degree information (including any associated majors, minors or certifi- cates);
dates of attendance and status (full time, part time);
awards and academic degrees awarded at Binghamton University;
participation in recognized University activities (election outcomes, membership in athletic teams, participation in plays, etc.);
personal information on members of University athletic teams (height, weight, high school, etc.).
Information that is not classified as directory information and may not be released to third parties without written consent of the student includes (but is not limited to) the following:
student course schedules (including class name, meeting times and meeting places);
financial aid information;
Social Security number.
Third-party sources requesting to know a student’s course schedule for “emergency purposes’’ should be referred to New York State University Police, which will attempt to ascertain the nature of the emergency and contact the student with the message.
Students with questions about their records or wishing to withhold their names from the University Directory should contact the Registrar’s Office (7-6088).
Students should be aware that even though they may request and receive directory exclusion status, it is a federal requirement that the University promptly provide lenders and guarantee agencies with any information it has regarding the last known address, surname, employer and employer address of a borrower who attends or has attended the University.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (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 request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official makes arrangements for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University offi cial to whom the request was submitted, that official advises the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University notifies the student of the decision and advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 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 Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or 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.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the state university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
A complaint may be filed with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.
Last Updated: 8/20/12