Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Certain personally identifiable information about students ("education records") may be maintained at the Office of the President of the University of North Carolina, which serves the Board of Governors of the university system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of the university; or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at the Office of the President are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
FERPA provides that a student may inspect his or her education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student's personally identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student's consent.
A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of the Office of the President or an institution to comply with FERPA.
The policies of the Office of the President of the University of North Carolina concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of the Office of the President may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary of The University of North Carolina, Office of the President, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688.
Further details about FERPA and FERPA procedures at the Office of the President are to be found in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to Legal Section, Office of the President, The University of North Carolina, Office of the President Annex Building, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC (mailing address P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; telephone: 919-962-4588). Information is also available on the U.S. Department of Education FERPA website.
RELEASE OF “DIRECTORY INFORMATION”
The University of North Carolina Wilmington has routinely made public certain information about its students. Typically, UNCW releases the names of students who are selected by the various honorary societies, receive scholarships, make the Dean’s List, hold offices, or are members of athletic teams. The December and May commencement programs publish the names of persons who have received degrees from UNCW during the year.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and University policy define the term “directory information” to include the following information: the student’s name, classification, local address, local or contact telephone listing, UNCW e-mail address, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, place of birth, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. Additionally, weight, height and date of birth for members of athletic teams is released. The university will make public information about each student limited to these categories in ways such as those described above. Of course, information from all these categories is not made public in every listing.
Students can authorize the University to release personally identifiable information from their education record to certain individuals (such as parents) by completing the “Consent to Release Information” form. This allows the university to share student record information without receiving consent from the student each time.
Students who do not wish to have their “directory information” made public without their prior consent or who wishes to end a prior request, must submit a Request to Prevent or Allow Disclosure of Directory Information form to the Office of the Registrar.