Family Rights and Privacy Act Policy

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, 20 USC § 1232g, commonly referred to as the “Buckley Amendment” or “FERPA”) Suffolk University has adopted the procedures below to protect the privacy rights of its students. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Education records are defined as records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution.

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day Suffolk University receives your request for access. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, identifying the records you wish to inspect. The Registrar’s Office will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, clearly identifying the records that you want to have amended and specifying the reasons you believe them to be inaccurate. The Registrar’s Office will notify you of its decision and, if the decision is negative, of your right to a hearing regarding your request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you at that time.
  3. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Suffolk University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605

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

One such exception permits Suffolk University to disclose personally identifiable information in education records to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” A “school official” is any person employed by Suffolk University in any administrative, supervisor, academic or research, or support staff position; any person or company with whom Suffolk University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on Suffolk University’s Board of Trustees; or any 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 educational record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.

Another exception permits Suffolk University to disclose your “directory information” to anyone within the Suffolk University community and to the general public. Suffolk University has designated the following as directory information: name, address, e-mail address, telephone listing, photograph, date and place of birth, grade level, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, degrees, honors and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended. All other student information will not be released to students, parents, or outside agencies unless accompanied by a written release of information, signed by the student, which complies with the requirements of FERPA, unless the disclosure of information is authorized by FERPA.

Students may request that directory information not be released to any person without their prior written consent by completing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form, available in the Registrar’s Office. Students may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively.

Suffolk University also discloses education records without a student’s consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Information on other exceptions authorizing Suffolk University to disclose education records without a student’s consent is available through the Registrar’s Office.

Suffolk University Law School publishes directory information to members of the Law School community in order to foster community and further the educational objectives of the Law School. In particular, the Law School includes directory information in the following internal publications and databases:

Suffolk University Law School publishes an annual directory which includes the following information about entering students: name, photograph, year/section, and undergraduate institution. This directory is distributed to all law school faculty, administration and staff for internal use only. Please complete a Student Directory Opt-Out Request form to opt-out of inclusion in the directory.

Canvas: Suffolk University Law School maintains Canvas, which is a course learning management tool. When students post a message to a discussion board, their name and e-mail address will appear, unless they post anonymously. Students may also choose to include additional information (for example, address or telephone number) and may make this contact information available to members of the class or those in the directory on the Canvas system. Please complete a Student Directory Opt-Out Request to opt-out of inclusion in Canvas.

We encourage all students to participate in these methods of communication; however, we recognize your right, under FERPA, to “opt-out” from the release of directory information. Please note that, even if you opt-out, photos and all other directory information will always be available to law school faculty, administration and staff with legitimate educational interests as defined by FERPA.

Those wishing to withhold information and/or photos from the above directories must submit a completed Student Directory Opt-Out Request to the Academic Services Office no later than Friday of the first week of classes.