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Office of the Registrar

East Tennessee State University


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the students education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

    Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. 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.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the students education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

    If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the students education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception, which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Tennessee Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the university discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Personally identifiable information may also be released without the prior written consent of the student under one or more of the conditions listed below:
     a.  The university will notify a parent or legal guardian of a student who is younger than 21 and is found guilty of a university disciplinary violation governing the use or possession of alcohol or drugs.  Notification will occur when the university alcohol or drug offense is in violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, except as prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)..
     b.  Upon request the University will disclose the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of any crime of violence (as that term is defined in Section 16 of Title 18, United States Code) or a non-forcible sex offense, if the University determines as a result of the disciplinary proceeding that the student committed a violation of the institution's rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense. The information shall include only the name of the student, the violation committed and any sanction imposed by the University on the student. The University may include the name of any other student such as a victim or a witness, only with the written consent of that other student.
    c.  The University will notify the alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense (or if the victim is deceased, as a result of such crime or offense, to the next of kin) of the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding conducted against the alleged student perpetrator.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by East Tennessee State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO)
    U. S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue SW
    Washington, DC 20202

Directory Information

ETSU may release directory information including student names, addresses (e-mail, mailing, and campus box), major, and phone number. In addition, ETSU may also release other directory information. Other directory information is defined as: enrollment status, dates of attendance, classification, previous institution(s) attended, awards, honors (includes Deans List), degrees conferred (including dates), and sports participation information.

If students prefer not to have these items released, they may fill out a form to prevent disclosure of this data. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar and must be submitted no later than the last day to add a course for the Fall term. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed each academic year. A form submitted the last term a student enrolls will remain in effect until the student re-enrolls.

***Other records offices in the university may have other definitions of directory information.  Please check the Pharmacy or Medicine web sites for specific information as to their definitions.

FERPA & Virtual Learning During COVID-19

Online FERPA Training Video

FERPA General Information 
Parents' Guide to FERPA: Rights Regarding Children's Education Records
Fast FERPA Facts for Faculty

FERPA Brochure

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