Sharing Student Conduct Records Procedure

Responsible Division Division of Student Affairs
Responsible University Office Student Conduct
Responsible Officer(s) Director
Contact Person Jeanne Meyer, jeanne@niu.edu
Primary Audience Student
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 08-23-2018
Last Review Date 08-23-2018
Policy Category/Categories Student Affairs

The procedure outlined below is in alignment with the Student Information and Records Policy which is owned by Records and Registration.

Purpose

As required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the following guidelines and procedures are intended to:

  • Ensure the confidentiality of student conduct records;
  • Establish the rights of students to inspect and review their educational record, including their student conduct record;
  • Clarify the circumstances under which educational records may be released to third parties;
  • Establish the appropriate procedures for students to correct inaccurate or misleading data within their student conduct record.

Students may find their rights and responsibilities under this procedure in the Registration Agreement presented to students prior to online registration each semester. Copies are available in the Dean of Students Office and Registration and Records.

Access to Student Conduct Records

Access and Review

Students have the right to physically review their own educational record, including their student conduct record, in the presence of a designated university representative

  • Students should submit all requests for access to their student conduct record in writing to the Student Conduct Office. Requests may be submitted in person or electronically to judicial@niu.edu.
  • Students are required to present appropriate identification before reviewing their record.
  • The Student Conduct Office may comply with the request within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 45 days after receipt of the request.
  • Original records may not be removed from the office where the records are maintained.

Copy of Records

  • Where circumstances effectively prevent students from exercising their right to inspect and review the record in person, the university will provide a copy of the records requested.
  • Students may be required to pay a fee for copies of their education records, including their student conduct records.
  • Students may be denied a copy of their educational record including, but not limited to their student conduct record, in cases where an administrative hold has been placed on their account.
  • Students may view requested records but will not be permitted to obtain a copy until the hold has been properly removed.

Limitations of Access to Student Conduct Records

Students are not entitled to review the following:

  • Financial records and information of their parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Confidential letters or materials placed in their educational records if the student has voluntarily submitted a written waiver.
  • If the student has waived the right to review, the university will provide the student, upon request, the names of the individual who provided letters and statements.
  • The student retains the right to revoke any waiver with respect to any action occurring after the revocation.
  • Revocations must be made in writing to the Student Conduct Office.
  • Educational records that contain information about more than one student.
    • Each student may inspect and review or be informed of only the specific information about that individual student.
    • The requested record may be censored (e.g. crossed-out or blanked-out) to protect information about the other student(s).

Disclosure of Information From Education Records to Third Parties

Disclosure Not Requiring Prior Consent

Student Conduct may disclose personal identifiable information from a student's educational record, without consent, only if the disclosure meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • The disclosure is to a university official who has a legitimate educational interest in the records.
  • The disclosure is to a parent/guardian of a student (1) who is defined as a dependent under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or (2) is in regard to the student's violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the university governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the university has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent/guardian.
  • The disclosure is to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, including an IRS summons.
  • The university initiates legal action against a student or parent/guardian, the university may disclose the student's educational record that is relevant to the action to the court without a court order or subpoena.
  • The disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency, if knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other individuals.
  • The disclosure is to faculty and/or other educational institutions concerning the disciplinary action taken against the student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or wellbeing of that student, or another.

Disclosure Requiring Prior Consent

  • Except as listed above, all requests for student information other than directory information must be accompanied by the consent of the student.
  • Consent can be provided using the standard Northern Illinois University Authorization for the Release of Non-Directory Student Information.
  • Students are responsible for checking with the relevant custodian of records to determine whether the office/department/unit has a specific consent form that they require. 

Amending an Educational Record

  • Students have the right to request an amendment to their educational record if they believe it is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights.
  • Students should refer to the Northern Illinois University Catalog for procedures to amend an educational record. 

Collection and Disclosure of Student Conduct Records

Collection and Maintenance of Specific Data

  • Student Conduct will collect and maintain particular information, related to individuals who are involved with an incident, over which Student Conduct has jurisdiction.
  • Information is obtained through Registration and Records. 

Type of Information Collected by Student Conduct

  • Incident reports filed with Student Conduct;
  • Student demographic information including name, address, phone number;
  • Membership association with student organizations and academic-linked entities;
  • Charges issued;
  • Student Conduct findings;
  • Student Conduct sanctions. 

Process to Request Information from Student Conduct

  • Any individual or organization with a legitimate educational interest in a student conduct record may request records.
  • Requests are made by contacting the Student Conduct Office. 

Process for Sharing Student Conduct Records

  • The Dean of Students or designee shall approve all requests for sharing student conduct records of student organizations and academic-linked entities.
  • The process for sharing student conduct records of student organizations and academic-linked entities shall be reviewed annually.

Record Retention

All information collected is maintained in accordance with applicable law, including, but not limited to:

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1232)
  • Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (815 ILCS 530)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 European Union)
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