To:Richard Bayer, Dean of Admissions and Records
Copy:Clifton Woods, Provost
Bob Glenn, Faculty Senate President
From:Toby Boulet, Subcommittee Chair
Date: November 16, 2000
Subject:UT's New Policy on Access to Student Records

The Faculty Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate has formed an ad hoc subcommittee charged with clarifying various aspects of the subject policy. As chair of that subcommittee, I ask you to help us by responding to the following questions.
  1. What is the procedure by which a faculty member can verify the grade that he or she gave to a student whose major is outside the faculty member's academic unit?

  2. When a student from outside an academic unit seeks to enter that unit, faculty must evaluate the student's academic record. (This happens when a student changes major or applies to a graduate program.) How can faculty gain access to the records in such cases?

  3. When an academic unit offers a course that services students from a variety of colleges, the students may be assigned to different instructors based on their academic records. (The English composition program is an example of this.) What is the procedure by which the necessary access to records can be gained?

  4. It is common to find that a committee composed of faculty from several academic units decides the distribution of scholarship funds and scholastic awards. Each member of such a committee needs to review the academic records of all students who are candidates for these awards. Since this requires that faculty members review records of students outside their academic units, what is the procedure for authorizing this access?

  5. Should a faculty member be accused of violating the new policy, what are the procedures for establishing the truth or falsity of the accusation?

  6. Should a faculty member be found to have violated the new policy, what are the rationale and procedure for determining the penalty for that violation?
In discussions of these matters among members of the Faculty Affairs Committee, a question much broader than any of those above has arisen. The "Buckley amendment" addresses the issue of inappropriate revelation of confidential information contained in student academic records. The new UT policy addresses the issue of inappropriate access to such information. But while restricting access may serve to heighten faculty and staff awareness of the confidentiality of student records, it cannot prevent inappropriate revelations by those who still have access. Since the burden of new procedures that the new policy requires is significant, is it worth the price?


To:Toby Boulet, Subcommittee Chair
From:Richard L. Bayer
Re:UT's New Policy on Access to Student Records
Date:December 6, 2000

In reply to your memo to me dated November 16, 2000:
  1. A faculty member may verify their own grades by writing to the University Registrar requesting confirmation and verification of grades.

  2. Faculty may advise a student from outside their unit a number of ways. Faculty who have access to student records via SAMS have been given a new transaction called STUDENT AUTHORIZE PRINT. This transaction permits the faculty member access to the student's academic record at their workstation. The student must provide their SSN and PIN to the faculty member. Or, the faculty member can request that the student provide a copy of their academic history before the meeting.

  3. If I understand your question regarding access to student records that cut across disciplines the Office of the University Registrar will provide student data to a faculty member who can show that an "educational need exists" and has the approval of their Dean.

  4. In the case where faculties are making scholarship decisions a number of options are available. Access could be broader (from unit level to college level) for the chair of the scholarship committee or the chair of the scholarship committee could request through the University Registrar copies of the scholarship candidate's academic records.

  5. At present, no policies are in place should a faculty member be accused of violating the new policy. However, the Provost will discuss this matter with the President and the President of the Faculty Senate, Bob Glenn.

  6. Same as above.
I hope I have answered your questions. Please feel free to contact me if you require further information.

Cc Clif Woods, Provost
Bob Glenn, President of Faculty Senate
Monique Anderson, University Registrar

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