Are student conduct records protected by FERPA?

Yes.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education, including Montana State University. Relevant student conduct records and related information shall be made available to assist in recommendation of an appropriate sanction.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. 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 Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official (including student staff) in performing his or her tasks.

More information about FERPA, including a copy of the nondisclosure form, is located on our website.

How do I release student conduct records?  

The Office of the Dean of Students is typically asked to release student conduct records for the following purposes:  undergraduate transfer to another institution, graduate/professional/law school admission, admission to the Bar (by state), or security clearances for employment (typically federal), etc.

Students who wish to sign a release granting permission for other parties to have access to academic, advising, financial (student aid or billing), and conduct records my do so by contacting the Office of Admissions and Records (McMullen Hall, 1st Fl.). By signing this form, the student authorizes University personnel to release confidential information to designated person(s) such as parents. 

How long do you keep my student conduct record?

Student conduct records are kept for seven years from the date of the last entry in the file, at which point they are destroyed.