OFFICE OF COMMUNITY STANDARDS AND STUDENT CONDUCT

Code of Conduct

Section XIV - Student Disciplinary Files and Records

A. Disciplinary File

An incident file is created in the name of each student or student organization alleged to have violated the Code and follows the student or organization through any conference or hearing.

B. Disciplinary Records

A student is considered to have a disciplinary record when any of the following occurs: (1) a hearing panel or conduct officer finds the student responsible for violating one or more of the policies set forth in Section V of the Code and any appeal taken by the student results in an affirmation of the hearing panel's or conduct officer's decision or the student is the subject of a hearing pursuant to Section 3345.23 of the Ohio Revised Code and is found guilty of the charges that gave rise to the hearing.

C. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The following information is published as a public service for the Wright State University community. Federal regulations require annual notice to students on this subject.

Wright State University has for many years regulated access to student records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended sets forth requirements designed to limit the disclosure of student educational records. The law governs access to records maintained by educational institutions and the release of information from those records.

This information includes the regulations designed to explain the rights of students with respect to records maintained by the university. This information also outlines the university's procedures to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Copies of FERPA, the federal regulations adopted pursuant to it, and this notice are available for review in the Office of the Registrar. A digest version of FERPA can be found in the Student Handbook and Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

   1. Definition of Educational Record
"Educational Records" include, with certain exemptions as listed below, those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, and are maintained by any employee of the university. The following categories of information are not considered "educational records:"
  a. Records created by university personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker, are not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person.
  b. Records maintained by the University Police Department for law enforcement purposes.
  c. Records maintained or made by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional, professional in training, or paraprofessional acting in his or her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity or maintained or used solely for the purpose of treatment or accommodation. (e.g., records in Disability Services, Psychological Services, and Health Services).
  d. Records exclusively containing information about an individual after he/she is no longer a student (e.g., Alumni Association). Records of that individual while a student, continue to be considered educational records.

   2. Release of Record Without Consent
Prior consent is not required and the university may release information without consent in the following circumstances:
  a. Requests from faculty and staff of Wright State University who have a legitimate educational interest on a "need to know" basis. This includes student employees of the institution who may be authorized by the university to conduct official business. Legitimate educational interest includes performing a task related to the regular duties of the employee, the student's education, the conduct of a student, a service or benefit for the student, or maintaining safety and security of the campus.
  b. Requests in compliance with a lawful subpoena or judicial order upon the condition that a reasonable attempt to notify the student is made in advance of the compliance of the subpoena unless specifically prohibited by the subpoena or judicial order.
  c. Requests in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid if the information is necessary for the purposes of determining eligibility for the aid, determining the amount of the aid, determining the conditions for the aid, and/or enforcing the terms and conditions of the aid.
  d. Requests by state authorities and agencies are specifically exempted from the prior consent requirements of the act. Organizations conducting studies on behalf of the university, if such studies do not permit the personal identification of students to any persons other than to representatives of such organizations, and/or if the personal identification data is destroyed when no longer needed are also exempt.
  e. Information submitted to accrediting organizations.
  f. Requests by parents or legal guardians of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code defines a dependent as, any son, daughter or dependent of the taxpayer who receives over half of his/her support, for the calendar year in which the taxable year of the taxpayer begins.
  g. In the case of emergencies, to appropriate persons to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
  h. In cases where a student who is under 21 years of age (at the time of notification) has committed a violation of law or university policy pertaining to drugs or alcohol.
  i In cases where a student is found responsible for a violation of the University's Code of Student Conduct pertaining to an act of sexual or physical assault.
  j. To authorized federal officials who have need to audit and evaluate federally supported programs.
  k. Requests for "Public Information" (see section 3).
  l. Information requested by officials of other institutions in which the student seeks or intends to enroll provided the University gives the parent or eligible student, upon request, an opportunity for a copy of such records and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the record.

Note: Degrees (any honors, majors, minors, and specializations) are considered Public Information since they are conferred in a public ceremony. Additionally, the University reserves the right to verify the accuracy of any information contained in either what is believed to be an official university document (e.g., a transcript or diploma) or is provided to a third party.

   3. Public Information
Wright State University, in accordance with the Act, has designated the following information about students as Public Information (directory):
  a. Student's name
  b. All addresses including e-mail
  c. Telephone listings
  d. Major field of study
  e. Number of hours registered
  f. Full or part-time status
  g. Class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, or professional)
  h. Dates of attendance
  i Degrees awarded and total hours earned
  j. Special honors and awards
  k. Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by student
  l. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  m. Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Information identified as public information will be released without the student's consent. Students, however, have the right to have this information withheld from the public if they so desire. Each student who wants this information to be withheld (including items to be published in the Student Directory) shall so indicate by completing a "Request to Prevent Release of Public Information" form which can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. At least 10 business days should be allowed for processing of these requests.

Note: Each fall semester, the University publishes a telephone directory that is made public. This directory contains name, home and local addresses, e-mail address, and local telephone. To keep this information from being printed in the directory, a student must notify the Office of the Registrar (in the manner described above) no later than the first Friday after the start of the fall semester. Because the directory is published only once a year, requests to change a student’s information release status after the first Friday of fall semester (or in subsequent semesters), will not be reflected in the printed directory. However, changes will be applied to the student information system and affect disclosures from it.

   4. Consent for Release of Record
Students wishing to have information released must submit, in writing, a request to the director or designee of the appropriate department/school/college maintaining the record, listing the specific information the student wishes to be released and to whom it is to be released.

   5. Procedures for Review of Record
All records pertaining to students, which are maintained in University offices, are official University records, and as such, remain the property of the University. Each university unit has an obligation to keep a record of requests and disclosures of student record information except when the request is from the student, a university official with a legitimate educational interest, related to a request with consent from the student, or someone requesting directory information. A student has the right to review the record of requests and disclosures pertaining to that student.

Requests to review records must be made separately, in writing, to each office maintaining records. That office has 15 days to respond to requests to review and inspect. However, arrangements will be made as expeditiously as possible. In the event that the student's only access to his/her records is through the mailing of such records, a fee may be charged unless the student can prove that the fee effectively prevents him/her or an eligible parent from exercising their rights.

Information contained in educational records will be fully explained and interpreted to students by University personnel assigned to, and designated by, the office holding the record. Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains information about more than one student, disclosure cannot include information regarding the other student(s).

   6. Exceptions to Right to Review Record
Students are granted the right to inspect and review all of their educational records, except the following:
  a. Financial records of parents
  b. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in educational records prior to January 1, 1975.
  c. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honoraryrecognition placed in educational records after January 1, 1975, for which the student has waived his/her right of access.

   7. Waiver of Right to Review Record
Students may waive their right of access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation. Even if the student signs a waiver, upon request, the names of all persons making confidential recommendations will be made available. The University may not require a student to waive his or her right of access for receipt of University benefits or services.

   8. Right to Challenge Record
Students have the right to challenge the content of their educational records if they consider the information contained therein to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate. This process includes an opportunity for amendment of the records or insertion of written explanations by the student into such records. (See Section IX for more information)

Note: The right to challenge grades does not apply under FERPA unless the grade assigned was inaccurately recorded, under which condition the record will be corrected.

   9. Procedures for Challenging Information in Record
Students challenging information in their records must submit, in writing, a request for a hearing to the director or designee of the appropriate department/school/college maintaining the record, listing the specific information in question and the reasons for the challenge. The director or designee shall notify the Office of the Registrar that a request for a hearing has been submitted. The Office of the Registrar will convene a panel of three university personnel who do not have a direct interest in the outcome, to conduct a hearing. Students shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the reasons for the challenge. The panel will render a decision, in writing, noting the reason and summarizing all evidence presented within a reasonable period of time after the challenge is filed. Should the decision of the panel find in favor of the student, the record shall be amended accordingly.

Note: The School of Medicine and the School of Professional Psychology have separate procedures for challenging and adjudicating record disputes. Please refer to that specific school's student handbook for more information.

   10. Appeal of Hearing Decision
In the event that the hearing panel denies a student's request to change information within his/her record, an appeal may be made. All appeals shall be in writing, and submitted to the Office of the Registrar within 10 business days of the hearing decision. An appeals panel of three disinterested senior University officials shall hear the appeal. A decision by the panel will be rendered, in writing, within a reasonable period of time to the student. Should the appeal be in favor of the student, the record shall be amended accordingly.

In the event that the appeal is denied, the student may choose to place a statement with the record commenting on the accuracy of the information in the record and/or setting forth any basis for inaccuracy. When disclosed to an authorized party, the record will always include the student's statement and notice of the panel's decision, as long as the University maintains the student's record. Additional information regarding hearings can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

   11. Concerns or Suggestions
A student who has a concern or suggestion is encouraged to contact the head of the department/school/college to attempt to resolve the issue. If any student has reason to believe that the university is not complying with the Act or this policy, he/she has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605

   12. Type, Location, and Custodian of Student Records
Wright State University does not maintain educational records in one central office. Educational records are maintained in a variety of departments, colleges, and schools. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for further information regarding educational records.

D. Records Maintenance and Storage

The existence of all student disciplinary records and the contents of such records are kept and maintained by the director or designee in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, all state of Ohio laws, and Wright State University's records retention policy.

The director or designee shall retain all files at least through the end of the fiscal year in which the incident occurred. The disciplinary records of students or organizations who have had a notation placed on their transcript due to academic dishonesty, have been removed from an academic college, suspended, dismissed, de-registered, found guilty in a court of law of the charges giving rise to a Section 3345.23 hearing, or who have failed to successfully complete all of their disciplinary sanctions, shall be retained indefinitely. At the close of each academic year, the director or designee will review all student disciplinary records for the purpose of eliminating those records that document disciplinary action taken against a student or student organization. Records may be eliminated if at least three of the criteria listed below are met:

  1. The student has not been registered for classes at the University at any time during the prior five academic years or, if a student organization is the subject of disciplinary record, five full academic years have passed since the organization fully satisfied the terms or conditions of all sanctions imposed upon it.
  2. The student or student organization has no outstanding financial or conduct obligations to the university (e.g., personal growth workshop, educational sanction).
  3. The student or student organization has not been suspended, de-registered, or found guilty of the charges giving rise to an ORC Section 3345.23 hearing.
  4. One calendar year has passed since the student has graduated.

E. Record Elimination

A student or alumna/alumnus may request that the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee eliminate an incident or incidents from his or her disciplinary record and file kept within the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. This request must be in writing and may not be submitted earlier than two years from the time of the original incident(s). The decision to eliminate a record will be based on the violation(s), the individual's disciplinary history, and evidence of appropriate behavior since the violation occurred. Permanent expulsion may not be eliminated from a student's record.

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