Parents & Families

Student Conduct

How can I learn how my student is doing? ~ Show Answer

The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. Communicating with young adults isn't easy. They're not always as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturation. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insights usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.

Does the University have a written policy about information from student records that can be shared with parents? ~ Show Answer

Yes. Like other colleges and universities across the country, Butler University is subject to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also called "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment"). FERPA sets privacy standards for student educational records and requires institutions to publish a compliance statement, including a statement of related institutional policies.

Where can I find out more information about FERPA? ~ Show Answer

FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The department maintains a  FERPA website (with links to FERPA regulations).

What records does FERPA cover? ~ Show Answer

The privacy protection FERPA gives to students is very broad. With limited exceptions discussed below, Part 99.3 of the FERPA regulations gives privacy protection to all student "education records." Education records are defined as "[t]hose records that are directly related to a student and [are] [m]aintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution." Examples of student records entitled to FERPA privacy protection are grade reports, transcripts and most disciplinary files.

What does it mean to say a record is "protected" by FERPA? ~ Show Answer

Unless personally identifiable information from a student's education record falls under a specified exception, the information cannot be released to third parties (including parents) without signed and dated, written consent from the student.

What are the exceptions to FERPA's coverage? ~ Show Answer

There's a detailed list of exceptions at Part 99.3 of the FERPA regulations ("education records" defined) and at 99.31. Perhaps the most important exception allows disclosure in the event of a health or safety emergency.

I had easy access to my student's school records. Why don't I have the same access to records kept by the University? ~ Show Answer

Under FERPA, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school setting are transferred to students,once a student has turned 18 or is attending any post-secondary educational institution. See FERPA regulations Section 99.3 ("eligible student" defined) and 99.5 (a) ("rights of students").

I've seen press reports about a new FERPA provision allowing notice to parents when a student violates drug or alcohol laws. What position has the University taken on this new rule? ~ Show Answer

Part 99.31 (a) (15) (i) of the FERPA regulations authorizes - but does not require - disclosure to parents of "the student's violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if--(A) The institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to that use or possession; and (B) The student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent."

The vice president for student affairs or designee has the authority to notify parents or guardians when students under the age of 21 are found to have committed violations of University policies related to the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or drugs. The notification is permissive and at the discretion of the University. The notification of parents is indicated when: (1) the violation involved harm or threat of harm to persons or property; (2) the violation involved an arrest in which the student was taken into custody; (3) the violation resulted in the student being suspended from the University and/or dismissed from residence halls; (4) the student has shown a pattern of violations - even if they are minor. Two or more violations associated with alcohol use would be reasonable cause for notice; (5) the student who committed the violation became physically ill and/or required medical intervention because of consumption of alcohol and/or drugs; and/or (6) the violation involved the possession of drugs.

Where can I obtain more information regarding Student Conduct at Butler University? ~ Show Answer

Parents may visit the Parents section of the Butler University  Student Conduct Website to obtain more resources for guiding students through the conduct process.