Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, and the Texas Public
The University will not permit access to or the release of personally identifiable information contained in student education records without the written consent of the student to any party, except as follows:
Additionally, any law enforcement information provided by state law enforcement agencies concerning registered sex offenders may be released from the UT Pan American Police Department. The police department can be contacted at 956-665-7151.
The University will release information in student education records to appropriate University or University of Texas System officials as indicated in No. 1 above when there is a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or 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); a person serving on The University of Texas System Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Where required by regulations, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by the custodian of the public record for each student and will also be made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. If the University discovers that a third party who has received student records from the university has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of this policy, the university will determine any future access by that third party and may take further appropriate action. Respective records are no longer subject to audit nor presently under request for access may be purged according to regular schedules.
At its discretion, the University may release directory information which shall include:
Students may have directory information withheld by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing. Requests for nondisclosure will be honored by the institution until such time that the student grants permission, in writing, to release the information.
Access to File
Upon written request, the University shall provide a student with access to his or her educational records. The Vice President for Business Affairs at UT Pan American has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions files, academic files and financial files. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the Vice President for Business Affairs listing the item or items of interest. Education records covered by the Act will be made available within 45 days of the request.
A list of education records and those officials responsible for the records shall be maintained at the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs. This list includes:
Educational records do not include:
Challenge to Record
Students may challenge the accuracy of their educational records. Students who believe that their educational records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or their rights, may discuss their problems informally with the department that generated the record in dispute. If an agreement is reached with respect to the student’s request, the appropriate records will be amended. If an agreement is not reached, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and he or she will be informed by the head of that department of his or her right to a formal hearing.
Students’ requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Vice President for Business Affairs who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place and the time of the hearing. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the student’s expense. The hearing officer who will adjudicate such challenges will be appointed by the vice president for Business Affairs in non-academic matters and by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs in academic matters.
Decisions of the hearing officer will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, consist of the written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decision of the hearing officer, if the decision is in favor of the student. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the hearing officer, or both.
The statements will be placed in the education records, maintained as part of the student’s records and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.
Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may request, in writing, assistance from the president of the University.
Students may have copies of their educational records and this policy. These copies will be made at the student’s expense at rates authorized in the Texas Public Information Act. (There is no charge for student transcripts.) Official copies of academic records or transcripts will not be released for students who have a delinquent financial obligation or financial “hold” at the University.
Complaints regarding alleged failures to comply with the provisions of the FERPA may be submitted in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.