Student Privacy Rights Policy
and Procedures at San Francisco
State University
November 2014
Registrar’s Office

The Board of Trustees of the California State University recognizes that the right of privacy is an inalienable right protected by Article 1, Section 1of the California State Constitution. Under the authority delegated to the Chancellor in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 42396.5, Executive Order 796 (January, 2002), was issued for the implementation of the policy for the administration of student records consistent with the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232g) and the regulations adopted there under (34 C.F.R.99).
Executive Order 796 states: “Each campus shall adopt a written policy statement establishing procedures by which the campus intends to comply with FERPA and this executive order.  These procedures shall include a requirement to periodically review campus information management practices concerning student records at least every two years or more often as the need arises.”
As required by EO 796, the Registrar is responsible for the biannual review of this document.  The document establishes the language and procedures by which the campus guarantees student education record privacy rights and complies with FERPA, California state law and EO 796. This document establishes the following:

1. Student Privacy Rights
In compliance with FERPA and EO 796, San Francisco State University current and former students have the following rights regarding their student education records:

Annual Notification to Students
Consistent with its obligations under FERPA, San Francisco State will notify students of their rights once per academic year through email, by publication in the SF State Bulletin and on the Registrar’s Office web site.
2. Required Definitions
In order to implement the rights listed above, San Francisco State University has established the following definition of terms.
"Access” means a personal inspection and review of a student record or a copy of a student record, by oral, written or electronic means of the contents of a student record.
"Disclosure" means the permitting of access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of education records of the student or the personally identifiable information contained therein to any party, orally, in writing, by electronic means, or by any other means.
Education Record
"Education record" means any information directly related to a student which is maintained by San Francisco State University or by a party acting for the University, whether recorded by handwriting, computer media, e-mail, print, tapes, film, microfilm, microfiche, video or audio tape, or other material means.  For the purposes of this document, certain information in an education record is excluded from this definition. These exclusions, which are also contained in FERPA, include:

Legitimate Education Interest
"Legitimate education interest" means an official need to review or access a student education record by an official or employee of the University in order to fulfill a professional responsibility; to perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contractual agreement; to perform a task related to the student's education; to perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or to provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

Officials and Employees
"Officials and employees" means those persons who are employed by the University in administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff positions, or who are officers or agents of the University.

Personally Identifiable Information
"Personally identifiable" information in a student education record is information which enables another party to personally identify the student whose record is being reviewed. Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to:

All personally identifiable information not included as directory information is confidential and shall be disclosed by the University only with the written permission of the student or exceptionally as required by FERPA.
"Student" means any individual who is or has been in attendance at San Francisco State University and for whom the University maintains education records. In addition to matriculated students who are admitted to the University to pursue a degree objective, the term includes any person who is or has been enrolled in a non-matriculated status in either the state-supported summer semester or self-support courses through the College of Extended Learning, regardless of the physical location of the program.
The term does not apply to applicants for admission to any component unit of the University (such as the various degree programs, departments, or schools which comprise the University) even though such applicants are enrolled and in attendance at another component unit of the University.  However, as a matter of policy, San Francisco State University does not release personally identifiable information about applicants to the University.
   3.  Directory Information Designated by San Francisco State University
Directory information means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  The University may disclose directory information without a student's written permission when it has given public notice to students of the types of information the University has designated "directory information" and has provided students with the opportunity to restrict the disclosure of directory information. Under the terms of FERPA, San Francisco State University has identified as “directory information” the following from a student’s education record:

* Unauthorized users cannot access non-directory information solely with the SFSU ID number.
Note: Effective September 2005, "directory information" for student employees in CSU Collective Bargaining Unit 11 consists of the information noted above as well as: mailing address; telephone number, department employed; and student employee's status as a student employee (i.e., TA, GA, ISA).
San Francisco State University has chosen to consider the "directory information" noted above to constitute a single category available for release to the general public unless the student requests in writing that the University withhold this information from release. All other information in the education record of a student at San Francisco State University is considered restricted information that will not be released to third parties without the prior written consent of the student or as required under FERPA.
A student has the right to refuse to permit the release of directory information, by informing the University Registrar in writing. The University maintains only one category for the designation of directory information, and, therefore, the student must designate either all directory information may not be released or all directory information may be released.
4.  Types of Student Education Records, Location and Responsible Official 
The Responsible Official is the person who possesses the records or is in charge of the office that possesses the records and is responsible to ensure proper access control and disposal of the records as designated by Executive Order 1031, .  The following is a list of the major types and locations of records that San Francisco State University maintains, including the responsible official for the respective type of record.     

Type of Student Records

Responsible Official


Advising Center Advising Records   

Director, Undergraduate Advising Center

ADM 210A

Academic Department Records

Associate Dean of each college

College Office/Individual Department Offices

Academic Records

University Registrar

SSB 303

Alumni Records

Vice President, University Advancement

ADM 151

Campus Solutions – Student Information System

Associate Vice President & CIO

ADM 101

Counseling & Psychological Services

Director, Counseling & Psychological Services

SSB 208

Student Disciplinary Records

University Coordinator of Student Judicial Affairs

SSB 403

Educational Opportunity Program Records

Director of Education Opportunity Program

EOP Office, SSB 201

Extended Education Records

Director CEL

Downtown Center

Financial Aid Records

Director of Student Financial Aid

SSB 302

Financial Accounts

Director, Student Financial Operation & Business Systems

ADM 350

Graduate Academic Records  

Dean of Graduate Studies

ADM 254

Housing Records 

Executive Director, University Property Management

Mary Ward Hall

Library Records

University Librarian

LIB 340

One Card Records

Director, Student Financial Operation & Business Systems

ADM 350

Student Programs Campus Organization Records

Dean of Students

SSB 403

Student Counseling Records

Director of Counseling & Psychological Services

SSB 208

Student Disability Records

Director, DPRC

SSB 110

Student Health Records

Director, Student Health Services

Student Health Center

Student Information Management Database (SIMS) – legacy system

Associate Vice President & CIO

ADM 101

Teacher Credential Records

Associate Dean, College of Education

BH 505

Test Records

Testing Officer

SSB 101

University Police Public Safety Records

Chief of Police

Corp Yard

Veterans Records

University Registrar

SSB 303

  5.  Fees for Reproducing Copies of Student Education Records
Each campus official responsible for student records under his/her authority may charge a fee for copies of student records make for students.  Fees shall be based only on the cost of reproduction and the labor involved in reproduction.  The fees may be set on a per unit basis, e.g., cost per page.  No fees may be charged to students to search for and retrieve student records.  Fees for reproduction of official transcripts shall be charged at the rates authorized for the campus by the Chancellor’s Office.
6.  Required Procedures for Review, Expunging and Challenging of Student Education Records
Procedures for current and former students of San Francisco State University to review their student education records and to implement the requirements of FERPA and EO 796 are based on those privacy rights and procedures afforded students in FERPA.  The following section establishes procedures for the implementation of student privacy rights and includes the following procedures:

Rights of Students to Inspect and Review their Education Records
San Francisco State University shall permit all current and former students to inspect all student education records relating to them with the exception and limitations specified in FERPA.
Access to inspect education records shall be granted to students no later than 15 working days following receipt of the request.  San Francisco State University shall inform the student of the location of the requested record if not centrally located, and provide qualified personnel to interpret the record where appropriate.
Rights of students to have access to inspect and review their student records generally includes the right to a copy of such records provided fees for reproduction are paid.
Rights of Student to Waive their Rights to Inspect and Review their Education Records
Students may waive their rights to inspect and review confidential letters or recommendations regarding:

Waivers may apply to confidential letters and recommendations only if:

For specific procedures and requirements pertaining to these exclusions, refer to FERPA.
Rights of Students to Request Amendment of their Education Records
San Francisco State University provides students with the opportunity to amend the contents of their education records which the students consider to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights. The University has established the following procedures for students to request in writing that their education records be amended. A request to amend an education record must be submitted in writing and must be based on one or more of the following allegations regarding the record:

This procedure for students to amend their San Francisco State University education records does not include student appeals to contest the assignment of grades, academic probation, disqualification actions resulting from the assignment of grades, or administrative academic probation.
Request by Student to Amend or Delete Education Records
To request amendment or deletion of information in the student education record, the student must do the following:

Review and Decision by the University Registrar
In response to the submission of a written request for amendment of an education record, the University Registrar shall:

Procedures for a Formal Hearing
A decision to deny amendment of student education record can be appealed by the student affected to the Vice President of Student Affairs.  The procedure is as follows:

Rights of San Francisco State University to Expunge Student Education Records
San Francisco State University may destroy student records it determines are unneeded except for those student records required to be maintained by system wide policies.  No student record shall be destroyed if there is an outstanding request from a student to inspect and review the record.
7.  Release of Student Education Records Information Without Consent
The University may disclose records subject to FERPA to third parties without a written consent from the student under the following circumstances:

Release of Student Education Records Information With Consent
Except as provided by FERPA, San Francisco State University shall obtain the electronic signature or written consent of a student before disclosing personally identifiable information that the University has not designated as directory information.  Even parents are not permitted access to their son or daughter's education records unless the student has provided written authorization permitting the parents' access.  Electronic signatures are acceptable according to FERPA as of May 2004.
The written consent shall be signed and dated by the student and shall include:

The electronic or written consent document shall be maintained permanently on file as reference that the student has given permission to disclose non-directory information.  Consent is not required where the disclosure is made to the student personally.
Log to be Maintained by Responsible Campus Officials
“Access Log” means a record of requests for access to review and disclosures from the student education record, as required by FERPA and EO 796, maintained by San Francisco State University.  This Access Log must list all persons, agencies, or organizations which have requested and received information from the student record and the purpose for which these parties requested the information released.  As required under FERPA, the access log is considered a part of the student's education record; therefore, it will be retained for the same period as the education records to which they refer are retained by the University.
The access log shall not include data accessed by the student, parties to whom directory information is released, parties for whom written consent for access has been executed by the student, or officials and employees having a legitimate education interest in the record.  Access will be made in compliance with requirements of FERPA for access to the student record.

8.  Right of Students to File Complaints
Complaints involving the policies and procedures established herein or their implementation, may be filed with the federal office in charge of FERPA:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
(202) 260-3887 (voice)         FAX:(202) 260-9001
Individuals who use TDD may call the
Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

9.   California State University Records Access Policy
For an overview of the major statutes governing access to records in the possession of San Francisco State University, please refer to the California State University Records Access policy at