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Academic Affairs Policies
UMB Policy on Confidentiality and Disclosure of Student Records
Academic Affairs | Approved January 1, 1978
(General policy approved by the University Administrative Council January 1978 and revised and updated for specific applicability to UMB, October 2007, May 2008.)
I. It is the policy of the University of Maryland, Baltimore to adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment). As such, it is UMB’s policy:
- to permit students to inspect their education records,
- to limit disclosure to others of personally identifiable information from education records without students’ prior written consent,
- to provide students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate. Each school shall develop policies to ensure that this policy is implemented, and
- to advise students that they may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education to allege a failure by the University to comply with FERPA.
II. It is the Policy of UMB to Permit Students to Inspect Their Education Records
A. Rights of Access
Each student has a right of access to his or her education records, except confidential letters of recommendation received before Jan. 1, 1975, and financial records of the student’s parents.
A student may, in writing, waive his or her right of access to confidential recommendations in three areas: admission to any educational institution, job placement, and receipt of honors and awards. The University will not require such waivers as a condition for admission or receipt of any service or benefit normally provided to students. If the student chooses to waive his or her right of access, he or she will be notified upon written request, of the names of all people making confidential recommendations.
Such recommendations will be used only for the purpose for which they were specifically intended. A waiver may be revoked in writing at any time and the revocation will apply to all subsequent recommendations, but not to recommendations received while the waiver was in effect.
C. Location of Education Records, Custodians, Procedure to be Followed
Requests for access should be made in writing to the appropriate UMB office, as described below. Students should note that the locations of campus offices do change. Consult the UMB website to confirm the current location of any office.
1. ACADEMIC AND REGISTRATION RECORDS are kept by the student’s school or program. Graduate students should check with their professional school as well as the Dean’s Office of the Graduate School.
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
MD –Office of Student Affairs
DMRT - DMRT Program Director
PT – PT Department Chair
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
Office of Records and Registration- 1W05
Office of Academic Affairs - 6th Floor, Dean's Office.
Office of the Registrar – Suite 280
Registration Services – Suite 108
SCHOOL OF PHARMACY
Director, Admissions, Records and Registration - S722
Professional School office noted above and Office of Dean, Graduate School - http://www.graduate.umaryland.edu/
2. FINANCIAL AID RECORDS - i.e., financial aid applications, needs analyses statements, awards made - Office of Financial Aid http://www.umaryland.edu/fin/. Students are not entitled to review confidential financial information of parents or guardians.
3. STUDENT ACCOUNTING RECORDS - i.e., student accounts receivable, records of students’ financial charges, and credits with UMB - Office of Student Accounts - http://www.fincsvc.umaryland.edu/sa/
The University will comply with a request for access within 45 days. In the usual case, arrangements will be made for the student to read his or her records in the presence of a staff member. If facilities permit, a student may ordinarily obtain copies of his or her records by paying reproduction costs. The fee for copies is 25 cents per page. The University reserves the right not to provide copies of transcripts it has received from other educational institutions. Official transcripts (with UMB seal) are provided free of charge upon written request to the Office of Records and Registration http://www.umaryland.edu/orr/
III. It is the Policy of UMB to Limit Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information From Education Records Unless it has the Student’s Prior Written Consent, Subject to the Following Limitations and Exclusions:
A. Directory Information
1. The following categories of information have been designated directory information: name, address, UMB email address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, photograph, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational institution attended.
2. This information may be disclosed even in the absence of consent unless the student elects nondisclosure via SURFS of any or all of the directory categories. This (“opt out” or “directory information hold”) will remain in effect unless the student removes the opt out.
3. The University will give annual public notice to students of the categories of information designated as directory information.
4. Directory information may appear in public documents and otherwise be disclosed without student consent unless the student elects non-disclosure as provided above.
5. The University, through its Registrar, does not sell, publish or otherwise compile or distribute directory lists for purely commercial purposes. Exceptions for other purposes are made on a case by case basis, subject to the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. UMB schools may have policies that are stricter or more permissive.
B. Prior Consent Not Required for Disclosure of Education Records to the Following Parties:
1. UMB school officials who have been determined to have legitimate education interests:
a. A “school official” is a person employed by UMB in an administrative, supervisory, academic, 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); or a person serving on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents 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.
b. 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.
2. Upon request, officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is enrolled. Upon request, and at his or her expense, a student will be provided with a copy of the records that have been transferred.
3. Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of the Office of Education, the Administrator of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Education and state educational authorities, but only in connection with the audit or evaluation of federally supported education programs or in connection with the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements relating to these programs. Subject to controlling federal law or prior consent, these officials will protect information received so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders.
4. Authorized persons and organizations that are given work in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid, but only to the extent necessary for such purposes as determining eligibility, amount, conditions, and enforcement of terms and conditions.
5. State and local officials to which such information is specifically required to be reported by effective state law adopted prior to Nov. 19, 1974.
6. Organizations conducting educational studies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction. The studies shall be conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for these purposes.
7. Accrediting organizations for purposes necessary to carry out their functions.
8. Parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes. (Note: UMB may require documentation of dependent status, such as copies of income tax forms.)
9. Appropriate parties in connection with an emergency where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
10. In response to judicial order or subpoena. UMB will attempt to notify the student concerned prior to compliance so that the student may seek protective action unless otherwise ordered by the court.
C. Prior Consent Required
In all other cases, UMB will not release personally identifiable information in education records or allow access to those records without prior consent of the student. Unless disclosure is to be to the student himself or herself, the consent must be written, signed and dated, and must specify the records to be disclosed, the identity of the recipient, and the purpose of disclosure. A copy of the record disclosed will be provided to the student upon request and at his or her expense.
D. Record of Disclosures The University will maintain, with the student’s education records, a record for each request and each disclosure, except:
- disclosures to the student himself or herself,
- disclosures pursuant to the written consent of the student (the written consent itself will suffice as a record),
- disclosures to UMB instructional or administrative officials, and
- disclosures of directory information.
This record of disclosures may be inspected by the student, the official custodian of the records, and other UMB and governmental officials.
IV. It is the Policy of UMB to Provide Students the Opportunity to Seek Correction of Their Education Records
A. Request to Correct Records
A student who believes that information contained in his or her education records is inaccurate, misleading, or violative of privacy or other rights may submit a written request to the appropriate office specifying the document(s) being challenged and the basis for the complaint. The request will be sent to the person responsible for any amendments to the record in question. Within a reasonable time of receipt of the request, the University will decide whether to amend the records in accordance with the request. If the decision is to refuse to amend, the student will be so notified and will be advised of the right to a hearing. He or she may then exercise that right by written request to the Office of the President.
B. Right to a Hearing
Upon request by a student, the University will provide an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the student’s records. A request for a hearing should be in writing and submitted to the appropriate office. Within a reasonable time of receipt of the request, the student will be notified in writing of the date, place, and time in advance of the hearing.
1. Conduct of the Hearing
The hearing will be conducted by a UMB official who does not have a direct interest in the outcome. The student will have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented by individuals of his or her choice at his or her own expense, including an attorney.
Within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing, the University will notify the student in writing of its decision. The decision will be based solely upon evidence presented at the hearing and will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. If the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it will amend the records accordingly.
3. Right to Place an Explanation in the Records
If, as a result of the hearing, the University decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s rights, the University will inform the student of the right to place in his or her record a statement commenting on the information or explaining any reasons for disagreeing with the University’s decision. Any such explanation will be kept as part of the student’s record as long as the contested portion of the record is kept and will be disclosed whenever the contested portion of the record is disclosed.
V. Right to File Complaint
A student alleging University noncompliance with FERPA may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
A. “Student” means an individual who is, or who has been, in attendance at UMB. It does not include any applicant for admission to UMB who does not matriculate, even if he or she previously attended the University. (Please note, however that such an applicant would be considered a “student” with respect to his or her records relating to that previous attendance.)
B.“Education records” include those records which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained as official working files by the University. The following are not education records:
- records about students made by professors and administrators for their own use and not shown to others;
- UMB police records maintained solely for law-enforcement purposes and kept separate from the education records described above;
- employment records, except where a currently enrolled student is employed as a result of his or her status as a student;
- records of a physician, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional made or used only for treatment purposes and available only to persons providing treatment. However, these records may be reviewed by an appropriate professional of the student’s choice; and
- records that contain only information relating to a person’s activities after that person is no longer a student at UMB.