A federal law passed in 1974 called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as FERPA) applies to all records maintained by the University. Due to FERPA, the Student Conduct office typically requires written consent from a student before releasing disciplinary record information.
Under the following circumstances, we can release discipline information without a student's consent:
- If an AU official has a legitimate need to know discipline information. For example: if you want to study abroad, hold a leadership position, or if staff members need to discuss a case, we can release information.
- If a student has been found responsible for an alcohol or drug violation and is under 21 (typically, at AU, we notify parents for a second alcohol violation and a first drug violation), we can release discipline information to a student's parents.
- If a student is declared as dependent on their parent's tax return information and that documentation is provided to AU, we can release information.
- The Dean of Students office can contact parents if there is a health or safety emergency.
- Or to appropriate parties in other circumstances as required by law.
The Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services office typically maintains discipline records for a total of 7 years after the last incident (for auditing purposes). Suspension and dismissal cases are maintained permanently.
Law schools and some employers, such as the federal government, will request information about disciplinary records. In those cases, students would need to sign a release before we would release any information. Such a release is typically required as part of the application.
For more information about the disclosure of student records, please see the University's Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records (PDF).