USF System Regulation USF2.0021: University of South Florida Student Records Policy

  1. Introduction. The policies and procedures outlined in this Regulation are designed to implement the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [“FERPA,” 20 U. S. C. s.1232g] and Sections 1002.225 and 1006.52, Florida Statutes pursuant to which the University of South Florida System (USF System) is obligated to inform students and parents of their rights to review and inspect education records, to challenge and seek to amend education records, to control disclosure of education records, and to complain to the FERPA Office (violations of FERPA) or to the appropriate court for violations of privacy if applicable. The USF System has placed the responsibility for administration of this Regulation with its FERPA Coordinator who is the University Registrar.
  2. Definitions. The following definitions of terms apply to the construction of this Regulation:
    1. Student: An individual who is registered for an on-or-off campus (including on-line courses) program leading to the award of academic credit or degree from USF System institutions. “Student” does not include individuals participating in the Common Learning Network, Language Institute, Gifted programs, Speech and Hearing Clinics, non-credit Continuing Education programs or USF Health degree students who are not attending as an enrollee.
    2. Education Records: Those records which are maintained by the USF System and employees/agents of USF System institutions which contain information directly related to a student. “Record,” as used herein, includes any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to handwriting, print, digital/electronic images, magnetic tapes and disks, film, microfilm, and microfiche. “Agents,” as used herein, means any individual who, pursuant to express or implied authorization, represents and acts for the USF System. The following types of records are expressly exempt from the definition of education records:
      1. Sole Possession Records: Personal record of USF System employees/agents which meets the following test:
        1. It was created by the USF System employee/agent as a personal memory aid; and
        2. It is in the sole possession of the USF System employee/agent who created it; and
        3. The information contained in it has never been revealed or accessible to any other person, including the student, except the USF System employee’s/agent’s “temporary substitute.” “Temporary substitute,” as used herein, means an individual who performs on a temporary basis the duties of the USF System  employee/agent.
      2. Employment Records: Records which are used only in relation to an individual’s employment by the USF System. However, the following are education records rather than employment records:
        1. Records relating to a student’s employment by the USF System if the position in which the student is employed depends on his/her status as a student.
        2. Records relating to a student’s employment by the USF System if the student receives a grade or credit based on his/her performance as an employee.
      3. Pre-attendance records-Records relating to an individual’s application for admission to the USF System prior to his/her actual attendance as an enrolled student in the program for which application was made. This includes records relating to an application for admission to one of the colleges within the USF System prior to the individual’s actual attendance as an enrolled student in that college. (Although not considered education records, Section 1006.52, Florida Statutes does define Applicant Records and provides that such records are confidential and exempt from Sections 119.07(1), Florida Statutes and 24(a), Art. I, Fla. Constitution.
      4. Alumni Records: Records created and maintained on an individual as an alumnus/alumna of the USF System.
      5. Law Enforcement Records: Records created and maintained by the University Police which are used solely for law enforcement purposes, are maintained apart from education records, and are not disclosed to individuals other than law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction; provided that, in addition, no member of the University Police shall have access to education records except where this Regulation authorizes release without the student’s prior written consent.
      6. Health records: Records of the University’s Student Health Services and Counseling Center which are used only for the provision of medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment and which are kept separate from education records.
    3. Personal Identifier: Any data or information that relates a record to an individual. This includes the individual’s name, the name of the individual’s parents, or other family members, the individual’s address, the individual’s social security number or official University ID and any other number or symbol which identifies the individual, a list of the individual’s personal characteristics, or any other information which would make the individual’s identity known and can be used to label a record as the individual’s record as determined by the USF System
  3. Annual Notification.
    1. Each USF System campus/institution will publish annually in the graduate and undergraduate catalogs a notice of student rights under FERPA and Sections 1002.225 and 1006.52, Florida Statutes.
    2. The notice will include, but not be limited to, the following:
      1. The right of the student to inspect and review his/her education records.
      2. The intent of the USF System to limit the disclosure of information contained in a student’s education records to the following circumstances:
        1. With the student’s prior written consent; or
        2. As an item of directory information which the student has not refused to permit the USF System to disclose; or,
        3. Under the FERPA and Florida Statutes provisions which allow the USF System to disclose information without the student’s prior written consent.
      3. The right of a student to request the USF System to amend any part of his/her education record which he/she believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his/her privacy or other rights; and, should the student’s request be denied, the right of the student to a hearing to present evidence that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his/her privacy or other rights.
      4. The right to report violations of FERPA to the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education, and to bring an action in Florida Circuit Court for violations of Section 1002.225, Florida Statutes.
      5. The locations where copies of this Regulation are available to students.
  4. Locations of Student Records. Student confidential information may be maintained throughout the USF System and there is no prerequisite for information to be maintained in aspecific place for it to be considered a student record. However, as a general practice records are maintained in the following areas:(In the event the campus/institution does not have a separate office for each function as indicated, contact the campus/institution Registrar for assistance in determining the specific record custodian.) Admission records and cumulative academic records are located in the University document management system.
    1. Admission records are maintained until scanned at each campus/institution within the USF System. The custodians for such records are the Directors of Admissions.
    2. Cumulative academic records are located in the Office of the Registrar or equivalent office at each campus/institution within the USF System. The custodian for such records is the University Registrar or equivalent individual at each USF System institution.
    3. Medical records are located within the Student Health Services offices at each campus/institution within the USF System and the custodian for such records is the Director, Student Health Services.
    4. Psychological/Psychiatric counseling records are located in the Counseling Center at each campus/institution within the USF System and the custodian for such records is the Director, Counseling Center.
    5. Student employment records are located in the Division of Human Resources at each campus/institution within the USF System. The custodian for such records is the Director, Division of Human Resources.
    6. Financial aid records are located in the University document management system. Paper records are maintained until scanned at each campus/institution; electronic records are maintained indefinitely in the University document management system. The custodian for such records is the Director, University Scholarships & Financial Aid Services, SVC 1102, 4202 Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33620.
    7. Financial records are located in the Division of Finance and Accounting at each campus/institution within the USF System. Electronic records are maintained in the document management system.
    8. Cooperative education and placement records are located in the Career Resource Center at each campus/institution within the USF System and the custodian for such records is the Director, Career Development Services.
    9. College records are located in the college dean’s office and/or departmental offices of each college or department and in the faculty offices at each college or department and the custodian for such records is the appropriate dean, department chairperson, professor, instructor or lecturer.
    10. Disciplinary records are located in the Office of Student Affairs at each campus/institution within the USF System and the custodian for such records is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
    11. Continuing Education records are located in the Office of the Registrar at each campus/institution within the USF System and the custodian for such records is the University Registrar.
    12. All records relating to students enrolled in the University’s College of Medicine are located in the appropriate College of Medicine office, and the custodian for such records is the Office of Student Affairs, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, MDC 54, 12901 Bruce B. Downs, Tampa, Florida 33612.
    13. Records relating to students previously enrolled in the New College program of the University of South Florida are now located at New College of Florida, Office of Records & Registration, 5800 Bay Shore Road, PMD-115, Sarasota, Florida 34243-2109.
    14. Occasional records, student education records not included in the types or systems listed above, such as copies of correspondence in offices not listed, etc., the FERPA Coordinator will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for inspection and review.
  5. Procedure to Inspect Education Records.
    1. Students who wish to inspect and review their education records should submit a written request to the appropriate record custodian or to the FERPA Coordinator. The request should identify as accurately as possible the specific records the student wishes to inspect and review. It may identify records according to the types listed in subsection (4) of this Regulation, as records located at specific places, or as records under the custodianship of specific USF System employees/agents identified by title. Records listed in this Regulation as “occasional records” should be identified in terms which will make it possible for the FERPA Coordinator to locate them and make them available for the student to inspect and review.
    2. The FERPA Coordinator or the record custodian shall either permit the student to immediately inspect and review his/her education records or advise the student when and where the records will be available for inspection and review. Access to education records requested in compliance with this Regulation shall be granted within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than thirty (30) calendar days after the FERPA Coordinator or the record custodian receives the student’s written request. The FERPA Coordinator or the record custodian or his/her designee shall have the right to be present while the student inspects and reviews the records. Upon reasonable request, USF System institutions shall furnish the student with an explanation or interpretation of his/her record.
    3. Upon reasonable request and demonstration to the FERPA Coordinator that the failure to provide the student with copies of the requested education records will effectively deny the student the right to inspect and review such records, USF System institutions will arrange for the student to obtain copies of such records. In the event that the student has an unpaid financial obligation to a USF System institution, he/she shall not be entitled to transcripts or copies of education records.
    4. When records contain personally identifiable information about more than one student, a student may inspect only that information which relates to him/her.
    5. The USF System reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect and review the following education records:
      1. The financial records of the parents of the student or any information contained therein.
      2. Statements and letters of recommendation prepared by University officials or submitted with the student’s application for admission which were placed in the student’s records before January 1, 1975 or for which the student has waived his/her right of access in writing; provided, however, that if such statements and letters of recommendation have been used for any purpose other than that for which they were originally prepared, the student may inspect and review them.
      3. Those records which are excluded from the definition of “education records” under this Regulation.
  6. Copies of Education Records.Generally, students may review records at the time and place designated by the USF System. Providing copies of Education Records is a discretionary decision on the part of the USF System except as provided below. If copies are to be provided the following fees may be charged:
    1. Fees. The Institutions within the USF System will charge the following fees for copies of education records:
      1. Transcripts: Official transcripts-$10.00 (or as set by current USF System Policy or Regulation.) The USF College of Medicine does not charge a fee for this service. The USF System reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required by FERPA in any of the following situations:a. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the USF System.b. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.c. There is an unresolved litigation between the student and the USF System.
      2. Copies of general education records (not certified or official transcripts):
        1. Fees:  The fee charged for FERPA-required copies of education records or those records provided at the discretion of the USF System shall be the amount permitted by statute. Extensive search for records may involve additional costs for search and retrieval. When administrative costs of collecting fees exceed the copying amount, the FERPA Coordinator shall be authorized to waive or charge such fees.
        2. Required Copies: Copies of education records are required by FERPA under the following circumstances:
          1. Failure to provide such copies would effectively deny the student the right to inspect and review his/her records; or
          2. The USF System has disclosed information from the student’s education records under authority of the student’s prior written consent and the student requests a copy of the information disclosed; or
          3. The student requests copies of records the USF System has disclosed to other schools where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  7. Directory Information.
    1. Designation of directory information. The USF System hereby designates the following described personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information” in order that the USF System may, at its discretion, disclose the information without a student’s further prior written consent:
      1. The student’s name.
      2. The student’s local and permanent addresses.
      3. The student’s local and permanent telephone listing.
      4. Date and Place of Birth.
      5. The student’s classification and major field of study.
      6. The student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
      7. The weight and height of members of athletic teams.
      8. The student’s dates of attendance, part-time or full-time status, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.
      9. The student’s photographic image.
      10. Other similar information as identified by the USF System as appropriate and defined in the notice described in (b) below.
    2. Publication of Directory Including Student Directory Information: The USF System proposes to publish for each academic year a University Directory which will contain certain items of directory information with respect to students who are registered during the Fall Semester of such academic year. A student may request to be excluded from this published University Directory by completing the request for privacy as described below.
    3. Release of Specific Directory Information: The USF System may release directory information upon specific request unless a student completes the Request for Privacy as set forth below.
    4. Request for Privacy-General Directory Information: Students have the right to request Privacy to prevent the disclosure of “directory information, “either in the Directory or upon request. The USF System will publish in the Schedule of Classes or Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs for each academic term the above list, or a revised list, of the items of information it proposes to designate as “directory information.” Students must notify the FERPA Coordinator in writing if they refuse to permit the University to:1. Include their information in a published student directory.2. Release directory information about themselves to any third party.Such notification must be received by the FERPA Coordinator no later than the end of the second week of classes of the academic term or the student will be deemed to have waived his/her right of refusal until the next academic term. When the FERPA Coordinator receives a student’s refusal to permit the University to disclose “directory information” about that student, the FERPA Coordinator will notify the appropriate records custodians of the student’s action. The records custodians will not make any further disclosures of directory information about that student without the student’s prior written consent except to the extent authorized by FERPA and Florida Statutes. Students registering during the Fall Semester will receive notification of their “privacy” rights under FERPA. Students must either notify the FERPA Coordinator in writing or update their individual privacy status at https://www.registrar.usf.edu/privacy/ to prevent disclosure or publication of directory information in the University Directory; such notification must be received by the FERPA Coordinator no later than the end of the second week of classes of the Fall Semester or the student will be deemed to have waived his/her right of refusal with respect to the University Directory until Semester One of the next academic year. The USF System will not release information contained in a student’s education records, except directory information, to any third parties except its own officials, unless those third parties agree that they will not re-disclose the information without the student’s prior written consent. In addition, section (8)(g) below sets forth the terms of the FERPA Waiver Request Form which authorizes the release of non-directory information to designated individuals.
    5. Requests for directory information. All requests for directory information about students should be referred to the FERPA Coordinator.
  8. Use of Education Records. All custodians of a student’s education records and other University employees/agents will follow a strict policy that information contained in a student’s education record is confidential and may not be disclosed to third parties without the student’s prior written consent except as otherwise provided in this section.
    1. University officials shall have access to student education records for legitimate educational purposes.
      1. “University official,” as used herein, means:
        1. A person currently serving as a member of the Florida Board of Governors or USF Board of Trustees.
        2. A person under contract to the Florida Board of Governors/USF Board of Trustees/USF System or the Florida Department of Education in any faculty or staff position in the USF System.
        3. A person employed by the USF Board of Trustees as a temporary substitute for a staff member or faculty member in the USF System for the period of his/her performance as a substitute.
        4. A person employed by the USF Board of Trustees or under contract to the USF Board of Trustees to perform a special administrative task for the USF System. Such persons may be employed as secretaries, clerks, attorneys, auditors, and consultants. They shall be considered to be University officials for the period of their performance as an employee or contractor.
        5. A person who is designated by a University official by way of written agreement that incorporates all FERPA and state law privacy obligations and who is performing a specific function considered a function that serves a legitimate educational interest on behalf of the University.
      2. “Legitimate educational purpose,” as used herein, means a University official’s need to know in order to:
        1. Perform an administrative task outlined in the official’s position description or contract; or
        2. Perform a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student’s education; or
        3. Perform a service or benefit for the student such as health care, counseling, student job placement, or student financial aid.
    2. Under the following circumstances, University officials may make disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records without the student’s consent:
      1. To another college or university where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
      2. To certain federal and state officials who require information in order to audit or enforce legal conditions related to USF System programs supported by federal or state funds.
      3. To parties who provide or may provide financial aid to the student in order to:
        1. Establish the student’s eligibility for the financial aid; or
        2. Determine the amount of financial aid; or
        3. Establish the conditions for the receipt of the financial aid; or
        4. Enforce the terms of the agreement between the provider and the receiver of the financial aid.
      4. To state or local officials in compliance with state law adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
      5. To an individual or organization under written agreement or contract with the University of South Florida System, USF Board of Trustees, or the Florida Board of Governors for the purpose of conducting a study on the USF System’s behalf for the development of tests, the administration of student aid, or the improvement of instruction.
      6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
      7. To parents of a student if the parents claim the student as a dependent under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The USF System will exercise this option only on the condition that evidence of such dependency is furnished to the FERPA Coordinator by the parents executing an Affidavit of Dependency.
      8. To comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or judicial order of a court of competent jurisdiction. The USF System will make a reasonable effort to notify the student before it makes a disclosure under this provision.
      9. The result of a disciplinary proceeding may be released to the victim of the student’s crime of violence.
      10. All requests for disclosure under the nine (9) circumstances listed above, where the USF System may disclose personally identifiable information without the student’s prior consent to third parties other than its own officials, will be referred to the FERPA Coordinator or appropriate records custodian.
    3. University officials are authorized to make necessary disclosures from student education records, without the student’s prior consent in a health or safety emergency if the University official deems:
      1. The disclosure to be warranted by the seriousness of the threat to the health or safety of the student or other persons; and
      2. The information disclosed is necessary and needed to meet the emergency; and
      3. The persons to whom the information is disclosed are qualified and in a position to deal with the emergency; and
      4. Time is an important and limiting factor in dealing with the emergency.
    4. University officials may not disclose personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record, except directory information or under the circumstances listed above, except with the student’s prior written consent. The written consent must include the following:
      1. A specification of the information the student consents to be disclosed; and
      2. The person or organization or the class of persons or organizations to whom the disclosure may be made; and
      3. The date of the consent.
    5. The student may obtain a copy of any records the USF System discloses pursuant to the student’s prior written consent.
    6. The USF System will not release information contained in a student’s education records, except directory information, to any third parties except its own officials, unless those third parties agree that they will not re-disclose the information without the student’s prior written consent.
    7. The USF System may release any and all information to individuals known and designated by the student to receive his/her information upon the student duly executing a FERPA Waiver Request Form authorizing the USF System to disclose their information to those whom the student has authorized. The FERPA Waiver will remain in effect while the student is actively enrolled in the USF System or until such authorization is revoked.
  9. Records of Requests for Access and Disclosures Made from Education Records.
    1. All requests for disclosures of information contained in a student’s education record or for access to the record made by persons other than University officials or the student or those requests accompanied by the student’s prior written consent will be submitted to the FERPA Coordinator or appropriate records custodian. The FERPA Coordinator or appropriate records custodian will approve or disapprove all such requests for access and disclosures and, except for requests for directory information, he/she will maintain a record of these actions.
    2. This record of requests/disclosures shall include the following information:
      1. The name of the person or agency that made the request.
      2. The interest the person or agency had in the information.
      3. The date the person or agency made the request.
      4. Whether the request was granted and, if it was, the date access was permitted or the disclosure was made.
    3. The University will maintain this record of requests/disclosures as long as it maintains the student’s education record.
  10. Procedures to Request Amendment of and Challenge Education Records.
    1. Students have the right to, in accordance with this Regulation, request amendment of and challenge the content of their education records.
    2. Definitions.
      1. The term “incorrect” is used herein to describe a record that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other rights of students. A record is not “incorrect,” for purposes of this Regulation, where the requestor wishes to challenge the evaluation reflected by the grade an instructor assigns for a course.
      2. The term “requestor” is used herein to describe a student or former student who is requesting the University to amend a record.
    3. Students who believe that their education records contain information which is incorrect should informally discuss the problem with the record custodian. If the record custodian finds the information is incorrect because of an obvious error, and it is a simple matter to amend it to the satisfaction of the requestor, the record custodian may make the amendment.
    4. If the record custodian cannot amend the record to the requestor’s satisfaction or if the record does not appear to be obviously incorrect, the record custodian will:
      1. Provide the requestor a copy of the questioned record at no cost; and
      2. Ask the requestor to initiate and provide the record custodian a written request for the amendment; such written request must identify the information which the requestor believes is incorrect, must state why such information is incorrect, and must be dated and signed by the requestor.
    5. The record custodian will send the request, together with a written explanation of his/her refusal to amend the record to the requestor’s satisfaction, to the FERPA Coordinator. The FERPA Coordinator will examine the request, discuss it with appropriate USF System officials, including the person who initiated the record, the USF System General Counsel, and other persons who might have an interest in the questioned record. At the conclusion of this investigation, the FERPA Coordinator will summarize his/her findings, make a recommendation for USF System’s action, and deliver the request, the record custodian’s written explanation, his/her summary of findings, and his/her recommendation to the USF System President (President).
    6. The President will instruct the FERPA Coordinator whether the record should or should not be amended in accordance with the request. If the President’s decision is to amend the record, the FERPA Coordinator will advise the record custodian to make the amendment. The record custodian will advise the requestor in writing when he/she has amended the record and invite the requestor to inspect the record.
    7. If the President’s decision is that the record is correct and should not be amended, the FERPA Coordinator will prepare and send the requestor a letter stating the decision. Parents and eligible students who need assistance or who wish to file a complaint under FERPA or the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) should do so in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, sending pertinent information through the mail, concerning any allegations to the following address: Family Policy Compliance Office; U.S. Department of Education; 400 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, D.C. 20202-5920; Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).
    8. In the event the education records are not amended to the requestor’s satisfaction, the requestor shall have the right to place with the education records a written statement explaining, commenting upon, or disagreeing with information contained in the education records. This statement shall be maintained as part of the student’s education record for as long as the USF System maintains the questioned part of the record. Whenever the questioned part of the record is disclosed, the student’s written statement shall also be disclosed.
  11. Right of Waiver of Access.The USF System may request a waiver of access to evaluations and letters of recommendation related to admissions, employment applications and receipt of honors. While such a waiver may be requested, requests for waivers do not constitute a pre-condition for admission, financial aid, or any services or benefits. Upon request, students who have waived access to such items can receive a listing of all individuals providing confidential recommendations or evaluations.

Authority: Art. IX, Sec. 7, Fla. Constitution; Fla. Board of Governors Regulation 1.001; 1002.225, 1006.52 FS.

History – New (BOT approval) 4-19-83, Formerly 6C4-2.021, F.A.C., Amended 3-15-92, 1-7-93, Formerly 6C4-2.0021, F.A.C., Amended 10-3-12 (Technical), Amended 11-10-15 (Technical).