The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
Basically, the Act grants you access to your "educational records" (as defined), the right to seek to change portions of them which are incorrect or inaccurate, and the right to limit or prevent their disclosure to third parties, except those allowed access by the Act.
I. Types Of Records
The Act refers to two types of record information: education records and directory information. Directory information is defined later in this notice.
Education records are records directly related to you and maintained by Tufts or by a party acting for Tufts.
They do not include:
Records of instructional, supervisory, administrative and other personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible to any other individual except one performing on a temporary basis the duties of the maker.
Records of the Tufts Security Police which are maintained separately solely for law enforcement purposes and not disclosed to individuals other than law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction.
Records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or para-professional acting in that capacity. The details of this exemption are noted later in this statement.
Records pertaining to a former student other than those generated when that person was a student.
Record, in this connection, means any information or data recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to, print, tapes, film, handwriting, microfilm and microfiche.
II. Your Right Of Access To Your Records
A. You have the right to see and review all records concerning you and maintained by the University except:
1. Records of University personnel (such as faculty and counselors) which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not made accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute.
2. Records of campus police which are maintained solely for law enforcement purposes.
3. Records of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists or other recognized professionals created and maintained as part of treatment and not available to others. You have the right to have these records reviewed by an appropriate professional.
4. Financial records and statements of your parents.
5. Confidential recommendations received before January 1, 1975
6. Confidential recommendations placed in your records after January 1, 1975 that deal with admission to an educational institution, and application for employment, or the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition, if you have waived your right to inspect such recommendation.
a. It should be noted here that you may waive any or all of your rights to review and inspect your records under this Act. This must be done in writing, signed and submitted to the Registrar's Office. You may, at any time, revoke such waiver but such revocation must be in writing and applies only to material placed in your records after the waiver is revoked.
b. A waiver of your right to inspect confidential recommendations applies only if:
(1) You are notified, upon request, of the names of all individuals providing such recommendations,
(2) The recommendations are used only for the purposes for which they were originally intended, and
(3) The waiver is not required as a condition of admission or any other benefit.
B. To obtain access to your records, submit a written request to the person charged with maintaining the record. The request must be honored within 45 days.
C. Copies of the records may be obtained by you at the office where they are maintained.
III. Your Right To Challenge The Content Of Records
A. If you believe a record to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of your privacy or other rights, you may request of the appropriate party (either the individual maintaining the record or, if different, the individual who created the record) that the record be amended. In doing so, the student should identify the part of the record to be amended and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her privacy rights. If such request is refused you may appeal to the Dean. In either case, any action of refusal or agreement should occur within a reasonable time. If the Dean does not allow the request, you may request a hearing, in writing, citing your reasons for seeking change in record, and such hearing must be provided by the university within one month. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the Act, the regulations and the University's statement of policy.
B. A hearing may be requested to contest whether or not an assigned grade was recorded accurately but not to contest the assigned grade itself.
C. The decision of the hearing officer or board must be conveyed to you by the University within four weeks of the hearing. If the decision is against you, you have the right to place in the particular file a written explanation regarding its contents.
IV. Release Of Your Records To Third Parties
A. Any information in your records, except for directory information may not be given to third parties without your written consent, with the following exceptions:
1. Tufts employees and members of faculty and trustee committees who have a need to know or to work with your records to carry out their duties.
2. To officials of another education institution in which you seek to enroll. If your record is transferred, however, you will be entitled, upon request, to a copy of such records. This applies to other schools and colleges within the University and to institutions in which you may be cross-registered or enrolled while enrolled at the University.
3. Authorized representatives of the Comptroller-General of the United States; the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Education; the Director of the National Institute of Education; and the state educational authorities.
4. An individual or organization required to be informed in connection with your application or receipt of financial aid.
5. State and local officials to whom information is specifically required to be reported by state laws enacted prior to November 19, 1974.
6. Appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency if necessary to protect your health or safety or that of another.
B. Any request or authorization to allow material from your files to be shown to third parties should include:
1. A specification of the records to be disclosed,
2. The purpose of the disclosure, and
3. The party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.
C. The University will maintain with each of your records all documents pertaining to disclosure and access to the record, which will be available to you upon request and which will remain with the record as long as the record is maintained. This procedure does not, however, apply to the disclosure of directory information.
D. Each party to whom your records are disclosed will be informed that it is a condition of such disclosure that they may not be shown to others except as permitted by the Act.
The following files may contain records pertaining to Fletcher students:
1. Office of the Registrar: Admission records including transcripts, recommendations, evaluations, applications for admission, G.R.E. scores; Equivalency rating memos; Fletcher transcripts; Examination scores; Petitions; Correspondence between student and school; Records of access to files. The full student file is in the Registrar's Office. Individual in charge: Nora B. Moser.
2. Faculty records: Advisor's record may include copies of many documents which exist in the Registrar's file. Additionally, there may be letters of recommendation, if you requested these be sent in your behalf.
3. Health records are maintained by the Director of Health Services and are not available to third parties. Students have no legal right to see such records although they can be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice. Individual in charge: Michelle Bowdler.
4. Counseling: Records are kept by the Director of the Counseling Center for his use and that of authorized personnel in his office and are not made available to any other university personnel. They may, as in the case of Health records, be reviewed by an appropriate professional of the student's choice. Individual in charge: Dr. Jonathan Slavin.
5. Records pertaining to career placements are maintained by the Director of Career Services, and in some cases by the Director of Career Guidance and Placement in Bolles House, 226 College Avenue, Medford, MA 02155.
6. Library: the University keeps a record of books borrowed by students in order to keep track of loaned materials. Individual in charge (at Ginn Library): Director Ginn Library.
7. Security Police maintain files on students related to law enforcement. Individual in charge: John King.
8. The Bursar maintains all records of charges, billing and payment. Individual in charge: Kathleen Mundhenk.
9. The Tufts University Director of Financial Aid keeps records of applications for and awards of student loans. Individual in charge: Patricia Riley. Additional financial information may also be contained in the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. Individual in charge: Laurie Hurley.
VI. Directory Information
A. Directory information includes the following:
Address - both local and permanent
Telephone number - both local and permanent
Date and place of birth
Major Field of study
Dates of attendance
Degrees and awards received
Most recent educational institution attended
B. If you wish to prevent the University from disclosing the above (for home town stories of your achievements, for the commencement and other programs, in response to requests from visiting friends and relatives, and potential employers, for example), you must submit a signed form to the Registrar, Nora B. Moser, by September 15th listing the particular items you do not wish to have disclosed. This form may be obtained in the Registrar's Office.
Federal law allows the School to give grades to parents of dependent students. Routinely, Fletcher sends grades directly to students rather than to parents.
VII. Research Papers and Theses
We are aware of no interpretative material that indicates that research papers or theses are educational records the disclosure of which is regulated under The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA"). Regardless of their coverage under FERPA, these papers may be made available to the general public without the author's consent.