Policy and Procedure
|MEMORANDUM TO:||All Holders of Mississippi State University Academic Operating Policy and Procedure Manual|
|SUBJECT:||AOP 12.13 -Academic Records|
The purpose of this Academic Operating Policy and Procedure (AOP) is to clarify policies and procedures which relate to academic records at Mississippi State University.
This AOP will be reviewed every four years or whenever circumstances require an earlier review by the University Registrar with recommendations for revision presented to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The University recognizes that the maintenance of student information and educational records is necessary and vital to assist the student’s education and development and to provide opportunities for University research and policy formulation. The University recognizes its obligation to exercise discretion in recording and disseminating information about students to insure that their rights of privacy are maintained.
The University will furnish annual notification to students of their right to inspect and review their educational records/the right to request amendment of educational records considered by them to be inaccurate or misleading or that violate privacy or other rights; and of their right to a hearing should the University decline to amend such records. The annual notice will be published in the University’s bulletin. The University utilizes The Guide for Retention and Disposal of Records as published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers as the policy for disposal of student records.
The following guidelines have been developed to insure the privacy rights of students. For the purposes of the policy statement a student is defined as an individual who has been admitted and has been in attendance in a component unit of the University. Classification as a student in one component unit of the University (e.g., an undergraduate program) does not infer that the person has been accorded the rights outlined below in other component units (i.e. graduate studies, professional schools, branch campus).
Student Access to Records:
Students have the right to be provided a list of the type of educational records maintained by the University which are directly related to the student; the right to inspect and review the contents of these records; the right to obtain copies of these records; the right to a response from the University to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of these records; the right to an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of these records; and if any material or document in the educational record of a student includes information on more than one student, the right to inspect and review only the part of such material or document as relates to the student.
Students do not have access to: financial records of their parents; confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the educational record prior to January 1, 1975, provided such letters or statements were solicited or designated as confidential and are not used for purposes other than those for which they were specifically intended; confidential recommendations, if the student signed a waiver of the right of access, respecting admission, application for employment, and the receipt of an honor or honorary recognition. See 20 U.S.C. §1232g.
Students do not have access to: instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel records which are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a substitute; Campus Security records which are maintained apart from educational records, which are used solely for law enforcement purposes, and which are not disclosed to individuals other than law enforcement officials of the same jurisdiction; employment records except when such employment requires that the person be a student; and the Alumni Office records.
Students do not have access to physical or mental health records created by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional acting in his or her capacity or to records created in connection with the treatment of the student under these conditions which are not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing treatment. These records may be reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional of the student’s choice. See 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.
Procedures for Access:
Students should contact the appropriate office to inspect and review their records. An office may require that a University official be present when a student inspects and reviews his educational records. Any questions concerning a student’s access to records should be directed to the Registrar.
Release of Directory Information:
Directory information may be released by the University without the student’s written consent. Directory information consists of the following items: name; home address; local address; email address; name and addresses of parents or guardian; classification (freshman, sophomore, etc.); major and minor fields of study; dates of attendance; full- or part-time status; degrees, awards and honors, and dates awarded; rank in class; previous institutions attended; and permanent address (address at time of admission application) (this address is not updated after admission). Directory information does not include social security number, PINs, date of birth, and test scores. Participation in recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and other similar information is considered directory information. See 20 U.S.C. §1232g.
A student may deny the release of directory information by requesting that the information not be released. This should be done at registration time. The student who is in attendance must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing to deny the release of this information. To deny the release of participation in recognized activities, the student must notify the Provost and the Academic Dean in writing. To deny the release of athletic information the student must notify the Director of Athletics in writing. To deny the release of directory information a student must give the above notification prior to registration. A former student, one who is not in attendance, must contact the appropriate offices above to deny the release of directory information.
Student Directory Information will be made available to private businesses, religious organizations, and other non-university organizations in the following manner: (1) the Campus Directory for the current school year is available for purchase in the MSU Bookstore. While the Campus Directory is believed to be accurate (some students may have requested their names not be listed), the University is not responsible for inaccuracies in the data; (2) a list or computer labels will not be available to any non-university group; (3) appeals will be handled by a subcommittee composed of the Registrar, the Director of Admissions, and the Director of the Office of Graduate Studies.
Release of Educational Records:
The University will release a student’s educational record(s) upon the student’s written request. The student must:
1. Specify the records to be disclosed.
2. Include the purpose or purposes of the disclosure.
3. State the party or parties and the address to whom the information is to be disclosed.
The student shall, upon request, receive a copy of the record that is to be disclosed. It is University policy to furnish single copies of a student’s record at no charge except for the standard transcript fee, if applicable.
The University may release students’ educational records to the following without prior written consent:
1. University officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. University officials are defined as teachers, administrative personnel and other employees except personnel of the security or law enforcement unit of Mississippi State University who in the performance of their normal duties require access to student records. If University officials are required in the performance of their duties to review the educational records of a student, this will be considered to be a legitimate educational interest.
2. Officials of another school in which the student intends to enroll upon request of the transfer school.
3. Government representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, the U.S. Commissioner of Education, the Director of the National Institute of Education, the Assistant Secretary for Education, State educational authorities, and State officials to whom such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed by State law adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
4. Appropriate authorities in connection with financial aid with the understanding that only the necessary records will be released.
5. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the University or its agencies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction and student life provided that the studies will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by individuals other than representatives of the organization and provided that the personally identifiable information furnished will be destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted.
6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
7. To parents of a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue code of 1986. University officials may release educational records to parents on the basis of written certification from the parent that the student is a dependent as defined under the Code.
8. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena with the understanding that the student will be notified in advance insofar as possible.
9. To appropriate parties to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals in emergencies with the understanding that only information essential to the emergency situation will be released, that information will only be released to a party who would be in a position to deal with the emergency, and that the student will be notified insofar as possible of the information released, the purpose for the release, and to whom the information was released.
No personal information on a student will be released without a statement from the University to the party receiving the information that no third party is to have access to such information without the written consent of the student.
This policy is adopted pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (20 U.S.C. §1232g), and is not intended to impose any restrictions or grant any rights not specifically required by this Act.
Disciplinary Suspension and Expulsion:
The following information will be recorded on a student’s academic record:
1. Permanent Expulsion – a “W” grade will be recorded on the permanent record for each course on the student’s schedule at the time of expulsion. “Permanent Expulsion” and the effective date will also be placed on the permanent record. This will remain on the permanent record indefinitely or until an appeal is held by the Dean of Students and the expulsion is approved for removal. In a case of appeal and approval by the Dean of Students to remove the expulsion, the words “Permanent Expulsion” will be replaced by the word “Withdrew.”
2. Disciplinary Suspension – a “W” grade will be recorded on the permanent record for each course on the student’s schedule at the time of suspension. “Disciplinary Suspension” and the effective date will also be recorded on the permanent record. Students may petition the Dean of Students to have “Disciplinary Suspension” removed from the permanent record. If the Dean of Students approves the request, the words “Disciplinary Suspension” will be replaced by the word “Withdrew.”
3. Credits earned at another institution while on disciplinary suspension or dismissal may never be transferred or posted to the Mississippi State University record.
For information about this policy, contact the responsible/reviewing department hyperlinked above.