The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, and the Texas Public Information Act, Texas Government Code §552.001 et seq., are respectively federal and state laws that provide for the review and disclosure of student educational records. In accordance with these laws, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has adopted the following policy. Individuals are informed of their rights under these laws through this policy, which is included in the UTRGV Handbook of Operating Procedures and this catalog.

The University will not permit access to or the release of personally identifiable information contained in student education records without the written consent of the student to any party, except as follows:

  1. To appropriate University officials who require access to educational records in order to perform their legitimate educational duties.
  2. To officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, is enrolled in or receives services from, upon request of these officials.
  3. To federal, state or local officials or agencies authorized by law.
  4. In connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
  5. To accrediting organizations or organizations conducting educational studies, provided that these organizations do not release personally identifiable data and destroy such data when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was obtained.
  6. To the parents of a dependent student as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
  7. In compliance with a judicial order or subpoena provided a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance, unless such subpoena specifically directs the institution not to disclose the existence of a subpoena.
  8. In an emergency situation if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
  9. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence, the results of the alleged perpetrators disciplinary proceeding may be released.

Additionally, any law enforcement information provided by state law enforcement agencies concerning registered sex offenders may be released from the University Police Department. The police department can be contacted at 956-665-7151 (UTRGV Edinburg campus) or 956-882-8232 (UTRGV Brownsville Campus). The University will release information in student education records to appropriate University or University of Texas System officials as indicated in no. 1 above when there is a legitimate educational interest. 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 University of Texas System Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official 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 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.

Where required by regulations, a record of requests for disclosure and such disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records shall be maintained by the custodian of the public record for each student and will also be made available for inspection pursuant to this policy. If the university discovers that a third party who has received student records from the university has released or failed to destroy such records in violation of this policy, the university will determine any future access by that third party and may take further appropriate action. Respective records no longer subject to audit nor presently under request for access may be purged according to regular schedules.