A. Directory Information: information from a student's education record that can be released without additional consent from the student. UTC has established following directory information:
- Address (home & campus)
- Telephone (home & campus)
- UTC ID
- UTC ID photograph
- UTC email
- Dates of attendance
- Classification (e.g., Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Masters, Doctoral)
- Most recent previous educational institution attended
- Major fields of study
- Participation in officially recognized school activities and sports and related photographs
- Enrollment status
- Degrees, honors, and awards
- Weight and height of students participating in intercollegiate athletics
A student's Social Security number is not directory information.
B. Education Records – Records Protected by FERPA: Any record directly related to a student that is maintained by the University or by a person acting for the University. Examples of education records include:
- Class schedules
- Academic history reports
- Degree audit reports
- Class rolls
- Grade rolls
- Advising notes
- Financial records
Records NOT protected by FERPA include:
- Sole possession records (records kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, used only as a personal memory aid, and not accessible or revealed to others – e.g., an instructor's notes)
- Law enforcement records (records maintained by the UTC Police Department for law enforcement purposes)
- Treatment records, including physical health and mental health records created and/or maintained by a University healthcare provider that are used solely for and are available only to healthcare providers for treatment purposes (e.g., treatment records maintained by the UTC Counseling Center and University Health Services)
- Employment records unrelated to the student's status as a student
- Records created or received by the University after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and which are not directly related to the individual's attendance as a student (e.g., alumni records)
- Peer graded papers before they are collected and recorded by faculty
C. Legitimate Educational Interest: A School Official has a Legitimate Educational Interest if the School Official is conducting educational, research, or administrative functions and needs to review an Education Record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities for the University.
D. School Official: any Employee of the University; a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to act or provide a service instead of using University employees (e.g., attorney, auditor, consultant, volunteer, or collection agent), the person is under the direct control of the University, and the person is subject to the same conditions governing the use and redisclosure of education records that apply to other School Officials; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee (e.g., Student Conduct Board, Honor Code Board) or assisting another School Official in performing their responsibilities; or a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other outside party to whom the University has outsourced University services or functions that would otherwise be performed by University Employees, the party is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of education records, and the party is subject to the same conditions governing the use and redisclosure of education records that apply to other school officials.
E. Student: Any person who attends or has previously attended the University as a full-time or part-time student for whom the University maintains education records. A person is considered to be in attendance at the University when the person enrolls with the University to pursue an academic offering, whether or not the academic offering is for credit or no credit, and whether or not the academic offering is offered in-person, by paper correspondence, or through electronic information or telecommunications technologies (e.g., internet video conference, satellite internet). This does not include a person who has been admitted to the University but who has not enrolled with the University.
IV. Custodians of Student Records
The following University offices serve as custodians of the Education Records they maintain and are responsible for the maintenance, amendments, and/or disclosure of such Education Records:
- UTC Counseling Center: custodian of student counseling records maintained by the UTC Counseling Center.
- Department of Housing & Residence Life: custodian of student housing records.
- Office of the Bursar: custodian of student business and financial records.
- Office of the Dean of Students: custodian of student emergency release records.
- Office of the Dean of the Graduate School: custodian of graduate student admissions, academic and demographic records.
- Office of Financial Aid: custodian student financial aid records.
- Office of Student Conduct: custodian of student disciplinary records.
- Office of the University Registrar: custodian for all student academic and demographic records, as well as training, compliance, and oversight in accordance with this policy and federal and state student privacy laws, including FERPA.
- Office of Undergraduate Admissions: custodian for all undergraduate student admissions records.
- University Health Services: custodian for student health and medical records maintained by University Health Services.
- UTC Police Department: custodian of student law enforcement records.
V. Access to Student Records by Student
A. Review and Inspection of Education Records
a. A student has the right, upon request, to inspect and review their Education Records, except:
- The financial records of the student's parent(s);
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the University's records prior to January 1, 1975;
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the student's education records on or after January 1, 1975, respecting admission to the University, application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition if the student has signed a waiver of access rights. The University shall not require any student to waive access rights. A party from whom a recommendation is sought may require such a waiver. A student who has signed a waiver shall be notified by the University of the names of parties providing confidential letters and statements of recommendation. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation shall be used only for the purpose for which they were solicited; and
- Records that personally identify other students even if the student also is personally identified, in which case the University will permit access only to that part of the record that pertains to the inquiring student.
a. A student wishing to inspect or review their Education Records shall submit a request in writing to the Office of the University
Registrar or other appropriate student record custodian under Section IV.
1. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the
student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
b. The appropriate University official will make arrangements for the student to inspect and review their Education Records
within forty-five (45) days calendar days following the date in which the appropriate University official receives the student's
request for access.
c. The appropriate University official will notify the student of the time, place, and manner in which their Education Records may
d. A student shall not be charged a fee to review and inspect their Education Records.
e. Reasonable requests by a student for an explanation or interpretation of their Education Records shall be granted.
VI. Amendments to Education Records
- A student has the right to request the amendment of their Education Records if the student believes the Education Record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. However, the substantive judgment of a faculty member about a student's work, expressed in grades and/or evaluations and correctly recorded, is not within the purview of this right.
a. A student who wishes to amend an Education Record should write a Letter of Request to the appropriate University official,
with a copy to the University Registrar. The student's letter should clearly identify the part(s) of the Education Record the
student is requesting be amended, as well as why it should be amended.school official determined to have a legitimate
b. The appropriate University official shall, within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the student's request, write a Letter of
Decision to the student, with a copy to the University Registrar. If the University determines that the Education Record should
not be amended as requested, the University Official shall include the student's right to appeal in the letter.
a. A student may appeal the decision of the University not to amend an Education Record by submitting a Letter of Appeal to
the University Registrar.
(1) The University Registrar shall notify the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who will appointment
a Hearing Officer.
(2) The University Registrar shall gather information from the student and the applicable University official and forward it to
the appointed Hearing Officer.
b. The Hearing Officer shall send a Notice of Hearing, which includes the date, time, and location for the hearing, within thirty
(30) days of the receipt of the student's Letter of Appeal. This notice
shall be sent to the student, appropriate University official, and University Registrar.
c. At the hearing, the student may:
(1) Present evidence relevant to the issue(s) raised.
(2) At the student's own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of student's own choice, including
d. The Hearing Officer shall render a decision within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the hearing.
(1) In reaching their decision, the Hearing Officer shall only consider the evidence presented at the hearing.
(2) The Hearing Officer's decision shall be summarized in a Notice of Decision, will be based solely on the evidence presented
at the hearing, and will consist of a written statement summarizing the evidence and stating the rationale for the decision.
This notice shall be sent to the student, appropriate University official, and University Registrar.
a. If the decision is in favor of the student, the Education Records will be amended in accordance with the decision of the
b. If the decision is against the student, the student has the right to submit a statement commenting on the information in the
record or a statement setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the Hearing Officer, or both. The
statement will be maintained as part of the student's Education Records and will be released whenever the record(s) in
question is disclosed.
(3) A record of the hearing shall be maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.
(4) The decision of the Hearing Officer is final.
VII. Release of Education Records to Third Parties
The University will not disclose personally identifiable information from a student's Education Records without the prior written consent of the student,
except as authorized by FERPA and state privacy laws.
B. Release without student's written consent
- FERPA authorizes the University to disclose personally identifiable information from a student's Education Records without the prior written consent of the student when the disclosure is:
a. To School Officials with a Legitimate Educational Interest.
b. To officials of another higher education institution (upon that institution's request) to which a student seeks or intends to
enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or
transfer. This includes sending disciplinary or health records, as well as updated or corrected information.
(1) The student shall be provided with written notification of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure.
(2) The University is not required to obtain the written consent of a student before it responds to the request of another
institution to explain the meaning or validity of an Education Record sent.
c. To authorized federal, state, or local government officials.
(1) The University official who is responsible for the maintenance, amendments, and disclosure of an Education Records
subject to the request shall notify the Office of the General Counsel prior to the release of information.
d. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
(1) Release shall be made only after a reasonable attempt is made to notify the student of such order or subpoena unless
applicable law or the order or subpoena by its terms prohibits contacting the student. The University may also refrain
from notifying a student if it receives an ex parte order obtained by the United States Attorney General (or designee not
lower than an Assistant Attorney General) concerning investigations or prosecutions of an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. §
2332b(g)(5)(B) or an act of domestic or international terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2331.
(2) The University official who is responsible for the maintenance, amendments, and disclosure of an Education Record for
this request shall notify the Office of the General Counsel prior to the release of information.
e. To an appropriate party in connection with an emergency that the student is or has experienced.
(1) The Office of the Dean of Students will make the determination of an emergency based on the totality of the
circumstances, including whether or not (i) there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the
student or other individuals; and (ii) the party's knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety
of the student or other individuals.
(2) An appropriate party may be a parent, guardian, or next of kin of a student, even if the student is not a dependent of the
party for federal tax purposes.
f. To a party who is identified as the provider or creator of an Education Record.
g. To persons or organizations in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid, if information is necessary
for such purposes as to determine eligibility, the amount of aid, conditions of the aid, or the enforcement of the terms and
conditions of the aid.
h. To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
i. To the parent of a student who is a dependent of the parent for federal tax purposes, as defined by Section 152 of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1954. However, FERPA does not require the University to disclose information to parents, and the
University presumes that students are independent (i.e., non-dependent) and does not release information based on a
student's tax dependency status.
j. To organizations conducting a study for, or on behalf of, the University for the purpose of developing, validating, or
administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, or improving instruction, if the study is conducted in a
manner that does not permit personal identification of students by individuals other than representatives of the organization
and the information is destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted.
k. To Veterans Administration (VA) officials pursuant to Title 38, section 3690(c), United States Code.
l. To a court of law, without a court order or subpoena, when such records are (i) necessary to defend the University when a
student initiates legal action against the University; or (ii) relevant for the University to proceed with a legal action as a plaintiff
against a student.
m. To an alleged victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense (or to the alleged victim's
next-of-kin if the alleged victim dies as a result of the crime or offense), but only the final results of the disciplinary proceeding
conducted by the University with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of whether the University concluded a
violation was committed. Information disclosed will be limited to the name of the student being disciplined (as applicable), a
description of the violation committed, and any sanction imposed. The University may not disclose the name of any other
student, including a victim or witness, without the prior written consent of the other student. Additional information may or may
not be released in connection with other federal or state laws. Part of this disclosure is required by Tennessee law.
n. To a parent or guardian of a student regarding the student's violation of any federal, state, or local law, or University rule or
policy, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if (i) the University determines that the student
has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession; and (2) the student is under the age of 21 at
the time of the disclosure to the parent. This disclosure is required by Tennessee law.
o. To the appropriate governmental officials and/or the public concerning registered sex offenders, provided to the University
under the Wetterling Act, including information made available under state sex offender registration and community
p. To any person, upon request, the Directory Information of a student, unless a student has signed and filed a valid request to
withhold Directory Information with the Office of the University Registrar.
(1) In order to restrict Directory Information from being published, students must sign and file the Request to Withhold
Directory Information by the date designated in the Office of the University Registrar's Annual Notification of FERPA
(2) A student may not request that their Directory Information be withheld to prevent disclosure of the student's name, e-mail
address, or other identifiers in a class in which the student is enrolled.
(3) The University shall continue to honor a student's request to not release their Directory Information after the student no
longer attends the University, if the request was made while the student was in attendance at the University and the
request has not been rescinded.
(4) A student's Social Security number and other non-Directory Information will not be used either alone or in combination
with other data to identify a student when disclosing or confirming Directory Information, unless the student has provided
written consent. Instead, other Directory Information must be used to identify a student.
(5) When a person submits a request for a student's non-Directory Information along with a request for the student's
Directory Information, the person will be informed that the University has not used the non-Directory Information to locate
a student's records and that the University's response does not confirm the accuracy of any non-Directory Information
supplied with the request for the Directory Information to the extent the disclosure of such non-Directory Information is
authorized by law.
- The University official responsible for the maintenance, amendments, and disclosure of an Education Record shall maintain a record of requests for any access to and disclosures of information from a student's Education Record, for as long as the Education Record is maintained. The record shall be kept with the student's Education Record maintained by that University official and shall be available only for inspection by the student, the University official, or School Officials with a Legitimate Educational Interest.
a. A record of requests for access to and disclosure of shall include the:
(1) Name of the party who requested access to and/or was disclosed the Education Record.
(2) Information, if any, that was disclosed to the party who requested the Education Record.
(3) Legitimate interest that the party had in requesting access and/or being disclosed information from the Education Record.
b. When the University discloses personally identifiable information from a student's Education Record pursuant to the
emergency exception, the University must include in the record of the disclosure:
(1) The articulable and significant threat to the health or safety or the student or other individuals that formed the basis for the
(2) The party to whom the University disclosed the information.
c. Record keeping is not required if the request was from, or the disclosure was to:
(1) The student;
(2) A School Official determined to have a Legitimate Educational Interest;
(3) A party with written consent from the student;
(4) A party seeking Directory Information; or
(5) A grand jury or law enforcement agency pursuant to a judicial order or subpoena that by its terms requires nondisclosure.
- When Education Records are released to any third party, a written statement shall accompany the release stating that the release is conditional upon the third party not permitting any other party to have access to the records without the student's written consent.
a. This requirement does not apply to:
(1) Disclosures made pursuant to court orders, lawfully issued subpoenas, or litigation;
(2) Disclosures of Directory Information;
(3) Disclosures made in connection with a disciplinary proceeding;
(4) Disclosures made to parents of a violation of law, rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled
substance, if the student is under age 21 at the time of the disclosure;
(5) Disclosures made to a party who is identified as the provider or creator of an Education Record.
VIII. Record Retention for Education Records
The University will generally retain a student's Education Records for a period of seven (7) years after the student's last date of enrollment with the University, unless required to retain the records for a longer period of time by law or University policy.
IX. Complaint Procedure