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We would not disclose the name of the student under FERPA in this scenario.  We are obligated as a public university to comply with the open access laws.  Law enforcement records are governed by other citations in California, therefore we find that they are exempt under the Public Records Act from disclosure.  

Many of our administrative records involve records related to students and we find ourselves often debating the difference between education records, public records and the student's right of privacy as an individual under the state's laws since FERPA and the Information Practices Act tend to involve the same records.    

Best regards,


Paula Johnson, CRM
Director, Policy & Records Administration
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0014
La Jolla, CA 92093
858-534-2552



-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Westlund, Dawn Cheryl
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 8:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [RM] FERPA Poll

This message is to all public universities and/or colleges who must manage records in accordance with both public access laws and FERPA.

Here is the hypothetical scenario:

Student does something off-campus, say at a fraternity house, that requires the University police and then an ambulance to be called.  The incident is listed as "suspicious incident" on the University's police investigation report.  No arrests were made, however the student was transported to the hospital.

Local paper wants the name of the student and requests it through both the University spokesperson and via public records.


Polling Question:  In regards to FERPA only - as a public institution do you deny access to these records under FERPA and classify them as "education records?"

My interpretation of FERPA is law enforcement records are not considered education records according to 34 CFR 99.3.  Under the definition of an education record it states "the term does not include...records of the law enforcement unit of an educational agency or institution, subject to the provisions of 99.8"  See http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/julqtr/pdf/34cfr99.3.pdf.

I am not concerned with the public access laws since every state is different.  I am only interested in hearing how other public universities/colleges interpret FERPA in this situation.  It is also my understanding that a private college would not be subject to disclosure and therefore would not have to contend with public access rights.

Thanks for the input!!

Thanks!
Cheryl Westlund
Public Records & Records Retention Administrator          Purdue University          (765) 494-9218




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