North Carolina State University
SACS Compliance Certification
August 15, 2003

Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs 3.9.2 (student records protection)
The institution protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of its student records.

Compliance
North Carolina State University is in compliance with this standard.

Explanation
NC State University protects the security, confidentiality, and integrity of its student records by adhering to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  NC State University Administrative Regulation 11.00.1, Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA or Buckley Amendment) requires employees and agents of NC State University to comply fully with this law.  For more information on how the university protects student data, see Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs # 11

In addition to complying with FERPA, some departments in the Division of Student Affairs follow additional regulations or procedures to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of their student records, as seen in the following examples:

Student Health Services employs Administrative Regulation 11.45.6, Release of Medical Information, to ensure that medical information is not released without proper authorization from the patient or legal guardian, currently dated and signed, unless there is a statute otherwise.

The Counseling Center employs the following procedures: information shared by students in a counseling session or via testing is held in strictest confidence.  This information is not disclosed outside of the counseling center or student health services without written permission, with the following exceptions:

  • Abuse of children or disabled adults: if staff members believe that a child under the age of 18 or a disabled adult is being abused or neglected, they are legally obligated to report it to the appropriate state agency.
  • Imminent harm to self: if staff members believe that a student is in danger of physically harming him/herself and if he or she cannot or will not follow treatment, staff members may arrange an off-campus evaluation and/or contact a member of the student’s family to help protect the student.
  • Imminent harm to others: when a student makes credible threats against others or has a history of physically violent behavior, and when staff members believe that the student presents an actual threat, staff members may be required to take action (including contacting the police, notifying the other person, seeking involuntary hospitalization, or some combination of these actions) to insure that others are protected. 

Besides these units, other offices within the division follow appropriate policies regarding student records.  For instance, the Office of Student Conduct has a records retention statement to address the handling and purging of records.  According to this policy, records are maintained for five years past the date of resolution, at which point, the record is purged.  However, suspension and expulsion records are permanent and never purged. Given the confidentiality of these records, the office of student conduct maintains student files in locked file cabinets in a locked office.

When duly elected students are given access to these records or adjudicate disciplinary hearings—as in the case of elected members of the Student Judicial Board—those students are given training and orientation on confidentiality issues by professional staff. 

In the case of international scholars, the Office of International Scholar and Student Services (OISSS) maintains various structural and policy safeguards to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of international scholar and student information.  Federal law requires the university to maintain paper files on all international scholars and students, and these files are stored permanently in a locked room with an electronic alarm system.  A secure file server, available only to those with authorized user IDs and passwords, protects the electronic data on international scholars and students.  In addition, the OISSS staff does not release any verbal or written information on international scholars and students, except where required by the Department of Homeland Security.  Federal requests for information are handled by the director and assistant director of OISSS after consulting with the university’s legal counsel.

References


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Last Modified: Wednesday, 11-Mar-09 15:03:15