EDUCATIONAL RECORDS POLICY
(1) In order to plan educational opportunities to meet the needs of individual students and to counsel effectively with them, Oregon Institute of Technology must accumulate data and keep records on students. The educational records of students enable the faculty and administrators to understand the individual student better and to provide more effective education and counseling assistance.
(2) From the time a student enters the College and submits the required personal data for academic and personal records, there is an implicit and justifiable assumption of good faith placed in the College as custodian of these materials. The College maintains a similar posture relative to subsequent data generated during the student's enrollment. Preserving the confidential nature of student records protects the individual's rights to privacy and enhances the effectiveness of the College's educational and counseling processes. Accordingly, the College shall exercise care and concern in obtaining, recording, maintaining, and disseminating information about students with duplication of records kept to a minimum.
Type and Content of Educational Records
(a) "Educational Records". For purposes of this policy, educational records are files, documents, materials, or data recorded in any medium but not limited to handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, and microfiche, kept by the College, division, or department, which contain information concerning a student and which is furnished by the student or by others about the student at the student's or at the College's, division's, or department's request, including, but not limited to, records of grades attained, information concerning discipline, counseling, membership activity, employment performance, financial aid material, or other behavioral records of individual persons;
(b) Excluded from the category of "educational records" that are available to the student are the following:
(A) Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and education personnel ancillary thereto which are created by an individual staff member for the sole possession of the maker, such as notes to oneself, and which are not accessible to any other person(s);
(B) Records compiled about an employee of the College which are made and maintained in the normal course of business and which relate exclusively to the individual in question in his or her capacity as an employee, and are not available for any other purpose;
(C) Psychiatric and psychological records which are maintained only in connection with provision of treatment to the student and which are not available to persons other than the College Custodian of Educational Records and those providing treatment except that such records:
(i) May be reviewed by the student with the consent and under the conditions of the attending professional; and/or
(ii) May be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice and with the student's written consent.
(D) Financial records of the parent(s)/ guardian(s) of a student or any information contained therein that relates to the parent(s)/ guardian(s) unless written consent has been granted by the parent(s)/guardian(s);
(E) Confidential letters and statements of appraisal which were placed in the student's education records prior to January 1, 1975, if such letters were solicited with an assurance of confidentiality, and are used only for purposes for which they were specifically intended;
(F) Confidential letters and statements of appraisal received after January 1, 1975, for which the student has signed a waiver of the right of access and which pertain to:
(i) Admission to this or any other educational institution or agency;
(ii) Application for employment; or
(iii) Receipt of an honor or honorary recognition so long as these letters are used solely for the purpose(s) for which they were specifically intended.
(c) "Student". For purposes of this policy, anyone who is or has been enrolled at Oregon Institute of Technology.
(d) "College Custodian of Educational Records". A person officially delegated College-wide responsibility by the College President.
(e) "Unit Custodian of Educational Records". Except as otherwise designated in this policy, the head of each academic or administrative unit responsible for the educational records within the unit.
(f) "Consent" (release consent elements). Consent shall be in writing and shall be signed and dated by the person giving consent. It shall include:
(A) Specification of records to be released;
(B) Purposes for such release; and
(C) Parties or class of parties to whom such records may be released.
(g) "Directory Information". Student's full name; the fact that the student is or has been enrolled in the College; local and permanent address(es) and telephone number(s); dates of attendance; curriculum; degrees and awards received; marital status; educational institution(s) attended by the student; job title(s) and dates of employment for student employees who have been or are paid from College-administered funds;
(h) "School Officials". Faculty, staff, student employees, or committees (when the members of the committee are appointed or elected to an officially constituted committee) who perform a function, or task on behalf of and at the request of, the College, its faculty, or divisions;
(i) "Legitimate Educational Interests". The interest of College personnel who have a demonstrably legitimate need to review records in order to fulfill their official professional responsibilities. Such responsibilities must involve the College in its primary educational and scholarly functions and/or secondary administrative functions of maintaining property, receipt and disbursing funds, keeping records, providing living accomodations and other services, sponsoring activities, and protecting the health and safety of persons or property in the College community. This paragraph shall be strictly construed, and instances of doubt shall be referred to the College Custodian of Educational Records.
(2) General Policies:
(a) Only such records as are demonstrably and substantially relevant to the educational and related purposes of the College, division, or department shall be generated or maintained;
(b) No student shall be required to give (although the student may voluntarily provide) information as to the student's race, religion, political affiliation or preferences, or personal values, except as specifically required by state statute, federal law, or valid federal and/or state rules or orders.
Location and Custody of Educational Records
(1) All educational records shall be kept in locations central to the division or department by which they are maintained.
(2) Each unit custodian of educational records shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all educational records within that respective academic or administrative unit.
(3) The Dean of Students shall be the College Custodian of Educational Records.
Student Rights to Access and Copies of Educational Records
(1) A student has the right (unless otherwise provided by this policy) to see and review with a staff member of the department that maintains the record, that educational record or portion of the record that pertains to the student. Access of the student to the education record shall be provided as early as possible but shall be within 45 days of the student's request:
(a) Copies of any such records shall be provided to the student (unless otherwise provided by this policy) at the student's request and expense. Unless otherwise provided in the "List of Special Fees, Fines, Penalties, Service Charges, Etc. Levied by Oregon Institute of Technology" (published in the catalog), the charge to the student for any such records may not exceed 25¢ per page;
(b) Copies of psychiatric or psychological records shall not be provided to a student without the consent of the attending professional and College Custodian of Educational Records. In the event such copies are released to a student, the unit custodian shall secure a signed release from said student. No unit custodian shall release said records to the student without his or her written consent;
(c) If any question arises as to the identity of the requesting student, the student shall be asked to provide his or her College I.D. Card and/or other positive identification;
(d) All requests for information under this section shall be directed to the head of the academic or administrative unit who is responsible for maintaining the particular records involved or to the College Custodian of Educational Records.
(2) Release of non-directory educational records of an individual who:
(a) Has not been enrolled in the College, but who has filed a formal application for admission; or
(b) Has sought and been denied admission; or
(c) Has been admitted but did not enroll in the College is prohibited (unless otherwise permitted by the unit custodian) except to a third party as provided under OAR 578-034-0040 of this policy, and under the provisions relating to statements of recommendation and letters of appraisal.
(3) Notwithstanding any provision included in this student records policy, no information shall be released where such release is contrary to the laws or rules of the State of Oregon.
Student's Right to Challenge Information Contained in Educational Records
A student may challenge the content of an educational record on the grounds that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student. However, no hearing under this policy shall be granted for challenging any grade except the accurancy of its recording. The following procedure for challenging the content of an educational record shall apply:
(1) The student has the right upon reasonable requests, for brief explanations and interpretations of the records in question, from the respective unit custodian.
(2) The unit custodian of the challenged education record, after reviewing the record with the student, may settle the dispute informally with the student with regard to deletion or modification of the education record. The unit custodian shall make his or her decision within 14 days after the request and shall notify the student of the decision.
(3) In the event the unit custodian disapproves the student's request to delete or modify the record in question, the student shall be notified by the unit custodian, in writing, of the decision and of the student's right to a formal hearing upon the request:
(a) All requests for formal hearings by the student shall be directed to the College Custodian of Educational Records, and shall contain a plain and concise written statement of the specific facts constituting the student's claim;
(b) The hearing shall be scheduled and conducted by Oregon Institute of Technology's Hearing Officer. The hearing shall be held in accordance with the established rules for contested case hearings;
(c) The student shall bear the burden of proof of a preponderance of the evidence in order to prove the validity of his or her claim at the hearing;
(d) Oregon Institute of Technology rules for the conduct of contested cases shall regulate the conduct of the hearing, unless the student waives said provisions. If a student waives formal proceedings, he or she will nonetheless be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present his or her case (at the student's expense);
(e) Based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and within ten working days of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall make a written recommendation to the College Custodian of Student Records together with written findings of fact concerning the student's request. Within an additional 14 working days of receipt of the Hearing Officer's report, the College Custodian of Educational Records shall notify the student in writing of the decision:
(A) In the event the decision of the College Custodian of Educational Records is adverse to the student's request, the student shall be notified of the opportunity to place within the file in question, a summary statement commenting upon the information in the records and/or setting forth any reason for disagreeing with the decision. In the event release of the questioned document is provided to a third person, the before-described student's statement shall accompany the release of any such information;
(B) If a student challenge to the content of a given record is successful, and upon the student's specific written request to the College Custodian of Educational Records, the College shall make a reasonable effort to contact student-designated third persons who have received copies of the previous record to inform them of the change which has been made.
(f) Additional procedures may be added in order to comply with state laws.
(4) If the student cannot make the time scheduled for the hearing, he may request an extension from the Custodian of Educational Records.
Release of Personally Identifiable Records
Information, except that directory information not restricted by the student, laws, or rules, that is identifiable by individual and which is maintained in educational records is designated as confidential and, without the written consent of that individual, may not be released to any party or for any purpose except the following:
(1) School officials within the educational institution or local educational agency who have been determined by the College to have legitimate educational interests.
(2) Officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
(3) When complying with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. However, the Custodian of Educational Records will make a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance. In the event a court appearance by a College official is required to fulfill an obligation described in this paragraph and the student has not been notified prior to said appearance, the College official shall notify the court or other officer before whom he or she is to appear that the student has not been informed of the pending action nor provided an opportunity to defend against the release by the College of information of his or her educational records.
(4) Information released to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The facts which shall be taken into account in determining whether information may be released include:
(a) The need for such information to avoid or substantially minimize the danger;
(b) Whether the persons to whom such information is released are in a position to deal with the emergency; and
(c) The extent to which time is of the essence in dealing with the emergency;
(d) The College Custodian of Educational Records or his designee shall release the information.
(5) Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, improving instruction, and for accreditation purposes, in those instances where the personal identification is kept confidential. The information shall be destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted.
(6) The Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the U.S. Com-missioner of Education, the Director of the National Institute of Education, the Assistant Secretary for Education in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and state educational authorities when necessary in connection with the audit and evaluation of federally supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of or compliance with the federal legal requirements which relate to those programs. Information released under this paragraph shall be protected in a manner which will not permit the personal identification of students by other than those officials, and personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for such audit, evaluation, or enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements.
(7) Parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Release and Restriction of Directory Information
The College shall disclose upon request directory information as defined in this policy. A currently enrolled College student may request that directory information not be released to a third party. The student must complete and file the request with the Dean of Students (Snell Hall, Room 111) prior to the conclusion of the scheduled first day of class, during the term of the academic year in which the student first enrolls. The request will remain in effect only for that academic year and the request may not be exercised or changed for the balance of that academic year.
EXAMPLE: If a student enrolls for the first time during the winter term of the 1976-77 academic school year, and opts to restrict certain directory information for the winter term, said restriction shall apply for the balance of the 1976-77 academic school year.
(1) A person applying for admission, or a student, may waive the right of access to confidential letters of appraisal regarding admission, employment, and the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition. The waiver under this section may be made with respect to specified classes of educational records, and persons or institutions. The person is entitled, upon request, to be notified by the appropriate office of the names of all persons making confidential appraisals in such an instance where a waiver has been exercised. Waiver of the right to access under this paragraph shall only apply so long as the letters or statements of appraisal are used solely for the purpose(s) for which they were specifically intended.
(2) A waiver under this section may be revoked with respect to any actions occurring after the revocation. All waivers and revocations must be in writing, signed and dated by the student or person applying for admission.
(3) Waivers which conform with these provisions and which are given in conjunction with the writing of a confidential evaluation may be relied upon by any College personnel when the evaluation is used in conformity with its stated purpose. Waivers shall not be required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from, or receipt of any other service or benefits from the College.
Files or Records Containing Letters of Appraisal
(1) No letters of appraisal received prior to January 1, 1975, shall be revealed to a person applying for admission or a student unless the author notifies the unit custodian in writing of his or her agreement.
(2) Letters of Appraisal received after January 1, 1975, shall be treated as follows:
(a) Unless a waiver in accordance with this policy is on file, letters solicited with an assurance to the writer of confidentiality, or if the writer claims confidentiality, shall be returned by the department to the writer. The departmental letter to the writer shall contain the notation that under 20 U.S.C. Sec 12232g the document is open to review by the student. If the writer is willing to resubmit the letter under that condition, the writer is asked to return the letter to the unit;
(b) Letters which were not solicited with an assurance of confidentiality nor which claim confidentiality, shall be open for review by the applicant or student involved unless a waiver, in accordance with this policy, is on file.
(3) College application instructions and appraisal forms shall inform writers and applicants or students of student rights to letters of appraisal under this section.
(4) Student objections to letters of appraisal:
(a) The student may choose to have any letter(s) of recommendation permanently removed from the student's file;
(b) When a review by the Director of Career Planning and Placement Service of a student's placement file reveals a confidential letter of appraisal to be significantly different from other appraisals in the file and to be of such nature as to be unsubstantiated, unfair, and seriously damaging to the candidate.
The Director, ensuring confidentiality specified by the writer, shall advise the candidate that the candidate may elect to have that appraisal removed from the candidate's file.
[Publications: The publication(s) referred to or incorporated by reference in this rule are available from the agency.]
Transfer of Information by Third Parties
Information regarding a student shall be released to a third party on the condition that the third party will not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student, except where:
(1) Such "other parties" otherwise qualify under an exception in OAR 578-034-0040 of this policy; or
(2) Such information is disclosed to an institution, agency, or organization in which case the information may be used by its officers, employees and agents, but only for the purposes for which the disclosure was originally made.
Lists of Students
(1) The College shall not provide a special service of releasing lists of the names of its students to individuals, organizations, or commercial enterprises who wish to acquire such lists as a resource to support their personal or profit-making ventures. Such lists, or mailing labels produced from such lists, are available only to administrative offices of the College, such as the Alumni Office.
(2) Prior to fall term registration and the publication of the directory, the Admissions Office may provide the names and addresses of newly admitted students to the administrative offices of the College, to the ASOIT for specified purposes which have been approved by the College's New Student Orientation Committee, and to the local daily newspaper.
(3) In the interim period between the Committee's planning activities and registration, requests for lists of new students may be submitted to the office of the Dean of Students by the agencies mentioned above.
Permanence, Duplication, and Disposal of Educational Records
(1) Permanent retention of educational records shall be limited to those records which are of long-range value to the individual and/or to the College; applications for scholarships (if applicant receives and utilizes the award); honors and awards received by the student; Registrar's permanent record and permanent academic folder; Student Health Center records; Career Planning and Placement Service placement file; and student employee payroll records.
(2) All duplicate copies of permanent records, other than those maintained by the College Registrar, and all non-permanent educational records shall be maintained only for the minimum period of time required to serve the basic, official functions of the individual, division, or department generating or maintaining them. Such records shall be destroyed as soon as they are no longer needed unless there is an outstanding request to inspect and review them, and, with the exception of records of unpaid accounts, may not be retained for more than seven years after a student departs from the College. Records of unpaid College accounts of any form of debt to the College may be retained until all payments are completed or otherwise settled and shall then be destroyed.
(3) Records of applicants for admission who are not admitted or who, if admitted, do not enroll in the College, need not be retained.
Location/Administration of Records Policy
(1) This Educational Records Policy provides students at Oregon Institute of Technology the rights under section 438 and 439 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended (added by Section 513 of Public Law 93-380 and amended by Section 2 of Public Law 93-568), and the regulations thereunder. All questions regarding the policy and copies of the policy may be directed and obtained respectively, in the Office of the Dean of Students, (Snell Hall 111). Students have the right to file complaints with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare concerning any alleged failure by the College to comply with the requirements of Section 438 and 439 of the Act and its supporting regulations.
(2) The College shall inform students of their rights under this policy by publishing the rules contained herein, or the substance thereof, in the Student Handbook. Copies of the policy are available as indicated above.
(3) In any instance where the provisions of this College Educational Records Policy are determined by legal counsel to be inconsistent with the requirements, limitations, or restrictions of 10 U.S.C. 1232g, the College Custodian of Educational Records is empowered to waive the provision in question and to administer this policy consistent with 20 U.S.C. 1232g and its implementing regulations.