Rights and Privacy
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ensures confidentiality of student educational records and restricts disclosure to or access by third parties, except as authorized by law. Parents of dependent students, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, are accorded full access by the University to their dependents' educational records, with certain exceptions, and they may receive, each semester, copies of their dependents' grade reports from the Office of the University Registrar. The University assumes that its undergraduate degree candidates are financially dependent unless the parent or the student informs the University Access Officer, in the Office of the University Registrar, that the student is financially independent. Students may provide this notification to the Access Officer via the Financially Independent Student form, a copy of which may be secured from the Access Officer in the Office of the University Registrar. Students have the right to inspect their educational records, with certain exceptions. If they believe these records are inaccurate, they may request an amendment and, if denied, have the right to a hearing and to place a letter of disagreement in their file if the outcome of that hearing is negative. Students are eligible under the Act to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office, Federal Office Building, Number 6, Room 3021, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202, if they believe Boston University failed to comply with the requirements of the Act.
The University's policies and procedures for implementation of this Act are enumerated in the Notification of Student Rights Regarding Educational Records, and copies are available to students at the Office of the University Registrar, 881 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor, Boston, MA 02215.
The University does not release personally identifiable information contained in student educational records, except as authorized by law. Boston University has designated certain types of personally identifiable information as "directory information." It includes the student's name, local or dorm address, primary contact phone number and e-mail address, College of registration, degree program and major and minor, dates of attendance, part- and full-time status, degrees, honors and awards received, and hometown for press releases. Students may restrict release of this information, if they wish, and this data will not be released by the University, except as authorized by law. If you wish to restrict the release of this information, you may do so by using the Student Link, by completing the information on the back of the Summer Registration Form, or by visiting the Office of the University Registrar.
Students are informed of their rights under this law by the University Registrar. The parents of incoming freshmen and transfer students each year are informed of their rights under this law, and how to exercise them, by the President.
The Student Activities Office (Associate Director, GSU, 775 Commonwealth Avenue) and the Athletics Department (Director, 285 Babcock Street) may release or publish personally identifiable information on students who participate in officially recognized activities and sports. If students wish to restrict release and/or publication of this information, they should contact the Student Activities Office and the Athletics Department directly.
Equal Opportunity Policy
Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital, parental, or veteran status. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities, including admissions, financial assistance, employment, housing, athletics, and educational programs. Boston University recognizes that nondiscrimination does not ensure that equal opportunity is a reality. Because of this, the University will continue to implement affirmative action initiatives that promote equal opportunity for all students, applicants, and employees. Inquiries regarding the application of this policy should be addressed to Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, 25 Buick Street, Boston, MA 02215; 617-353-4477.
Boston University provides reasonable accommodations to eligible individuals with disabilities in conformance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Requests for disability accommodations must be made in a timely fashion to the Office of Disability Services, 19 Deerfield Street, Boston, MA 02215; 617-353-3658 (Voice/TTY). Students seeking accommodations must submit appropriate medical documentation and comply with the policies and procedures of the Office of Disability Services.
Grievance Procedures in Cases of Alleged Discrimination
University policy and federal law prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, age, sex, or disability.
When a student has reason to believe that his or her rights have been denied by reason of discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ethnic origin, age, sex, or disability, he or she may file in writing a formal grievance with the Provost. The grievance statement should be as specific as possible regarding the action(s) that precipitated the grievance: date, place, and people involved; efforts made to settle the matter informally; and the remedy sought.
The Provost shall forward a copy of the grievance statement to the appropriate individuals within one week of the receipt of the statement. If a complaint raises an academic question, the grievance statement will be forwarded to the dean of the appropriate School or College, unless he/she is the subject of the grievance. In such cases, the Provost will investigate the complaint. If the complaint arises from a nonacademic unit, the grievance statement will be forwarded to the administrative head of the unit, unless he/she is the subject of the grievance. In such cases, the Provost will investigate the complaint. If a student's grievance alleges discrimination on the basis of disability, the Director of the Office of Disability Services, who is the University's Compliance Officer for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, will also be provided with a copy of the grievance and will be involved in resolution of the grievance as appropriate. The Provost, dean, or administrative head shall investigate the matters set forth in the written grievance. In conducting this investigation, the Provost, dean, or administrative head may forward a copy of the grievance statement to the persons whose actions (or inactions) are the subject of the grievance, and may request a written response to the grievance from appropriate individuals in the University. The Provost, dean, or administrative head may also choose to interview witnesses, to meet with concerned parties, to receive oral or written presentations, and to make other appropriate independent inquiry. Within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the grievance, the Provost, dean, or administrative head will make a decision as to the merits of the student's grievance and the appropriate resolution of the situation. If resolution is not possible within forty-five (45) days, the Provost, dean, or administrative head shall inform the student of the reasons for delay.
Copies of the decision by the Provost, dean, or administrative head will be sent to the student, the Provost (when not issued by him/her), the Director of Disability Services where appropriate, and the President. A copy may also be sent to the department and/or the persons whose actions (or inactions) are subject of the grievance as appropriate. In the event that the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance, appeal may be made to the Provost (unless the Provost has already decided the case) and, from there, to the President.
A record of all formal grievances will be kept on file in the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students.
A record of all grievances alleging disability discrimination will also be kept on file in the Office of Disability Services.