Updated November, 2006

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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
2.  Required Definitions
3.  Directory Information Designated by San Francisco State University
4.  Types of Student Education Records Maintained, Officials Responsible and the
     Retention Policy
5.  Fees for Reproducing Copies of Student Education Records
6.  Required Procedures for Review, Expunging and Challenging of Student
     Education Records
7.  Release of Student Education Records Information
8.  Rights of Students to File Complaints
9.  California State University Records Access Manual

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:


2. Required Definitions
In order to implement the rights listed above, San Francisco State University has established the following definition of terms.

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.
 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.

School officials who use student education record information to serve their own personal needs or for purposes which are not related to their job responsibilities do not have a legitimate education interest in the information being used.

"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.


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.

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:


"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.

"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.


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 Maintained, Officials Responsible and the
     Retention Policy
As required by FERPA and in compliance with CSU system policy, San Francisco State University must provide a list of the education records – paper and electronic – that are maintained by the University, the officials responsible for these records and the retention period for keeping these records on file.

Type of Records

Responsible Official

Retention Period


Planning & Management   


SIMS/R (Student Information Management System Database)

Associate Vice President, Enrollment Planning & Management

75 Years

Undergraduate admissions applications and associated documents including transcripts

Director of Undergraduate Admissions

75 Years

Student education records as defined by FERPA in paper and electronic media.  This includes but is not limited to: Permanent Academic Records, all student documents and petitions, faculty census class lists and grade sheets, and miscellaneous documents


75 Years

Veterans records



Financial aid student applications and documents

Director of Student Financial Aid

Date Last Attended plus 3 Years


Education Opportunity Program


Educational Opportunity Program applications & associated documents including transcripts & counseling notes

Director of Education Opportunity Program

Date Last Attended plus 5 Years


Fiscal Affairs


Student loans, promissory notes & related correspondence

Manager Accounts Payable and Collections

5 Years from the date repaid or assigned (to the Department of Education). Updated November 2006

Registration appeals petitions & related correspondence

Student & Auxiliary Services Coordinator

2 Years after petition reviewed.  Updated November 2006

Student billing & financial records


10 Years


Graduate Studies


Admissions applications, transcripts & associated documents.  Degree applications, & associated GAP & Culminating Experience forms.  Petition for Waiver of Graduate Program Regulations.  Updated November 2006.  

Dean of Graduate Studies



Undergraduate Division


ELM Petitions for course substitutions & waivers, Maximum Unit Petitions for undergraduates

Dean of Undergraduate Studies

10 years

Advisee File (includes Strong-Campbell Profiles, notes, Reentry Admissions Program documents), Special Major applications, CEEL Portfolios

Director, Undergraduate Advising Center

5 years except CEEL Portfolio kept indefinitely.


Type of Records

Responsible Official

Retention Period


Housing and Residential Services


Resident hall applications, response form on meningococcal disease information. 
Updated November 2006: Student employment documents (SPAR or EAR form, EEV form, Confidentiality Access & Compliance form, SSA 1945 form, Fingerprinting Clearance documents from UPD).

Executive Director, Housing and Residential Services

Date of Origin plus 7 Years.

Payment records


7 Years.

Behavioral & Incident Reports


Final occupancy of resident or if application denied from future occupancy keeps for 7 Years.


Student Health Services


Student Health Services confidential medical records

Director of Student Health Services

10 Years or 10 years after student’s 18th birthday.


Student Affairs


Records regarding student discipline and student disciplinary hearing documents, including correspondence regarding these actions.

Judicial Affairs Officer – Student Affairs

Date last Attended plus 10 Years

Student counseling files

Director of Counseling & Psychological Services

Date last Attended plus 10 Years

Student disability records

Director of Disability Resource Center

Date last Attended plus 5 Years

Student testing files and scores for EPT, ELM, AP and GRE maintained indefinitely.

Director of Testing Center

75 Years


Colleges of the University


.Each college is responsible for the following documents related to the courses in their departments: 
·         Grade Appeals documents,
·         Graduate Records

CR/NC Petitions, Petition for Incomplete Grade and Independent Study Petitions are kept in the Registrar’s Office and on Web Grades and Colleges do not have to keep these documents.  Updated November 2006.

Associate Dean of each College


Note: Some departments maintain specific student education records in their department.  Refer to the Associate Dean in each College for further information. 

8 Years for all except graduate records, which are retained for 10 Years

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.  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. Updated July 2004.

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 Manual
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 Manual at: