Guidelines for Student Information
These guidelines reflect the university practice regarding the release of information about students.
Use of the Student Information System
Staff and faculty may have access to students' records for legitimate University purposes. Do not release this information to anyone else without the student's permission.
Students will, on submission of a signed request and payment of the fee, have the right to receive transcripts of their own academic record. These transcripts will be marked "Issued to Student". Such right will not apply to students in debt to the University but they will still have the right to inspect and review their records. No partial transcripts of records will be issued. The Registrar's Office will not provide students or third parties with copies of other documents on file, such as transcripts from other institutions.
The Registrar's Office is responsible for releasing final grades to students. Grades are not to be posted in a public area. Students can obtain final grades from the Registrar's Office through secure web access.
Student exams and assignments are personal information. They may include the student's name, identification number, and personal views or opinions. Exams and assignments should be returned only to the student who wrote the paper and not to other individuals, unless written permission has been given from the author. Any material that contributes to a student's grade must not be left in a public place for pick up.
Students have the right to inspect their academic record, except for personal information that is evaluative or opinion material compiled solely for the purpose of admission to an academic program. Copies of Reference letters can be released to the student with the permission of the writer.
Disclosure to Third Parties
The following information is considered public information and may be released without restriction:
Information will be released without student consent to persons in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena or as required by federal or provincial legislation.
Necessary information may be released without student consent in an emergency, if the knowledge of that information is required to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons. Such requests should be directed to the Registrar.
Disclosure to faculty, administrative officers, and committees of the University. Information on students may be disclosed without the consent of the student to University officials or committees deemed to have a legitimate educational or institutional interest.
Other than in the situations indicated above, information on students will be released to third parties only at the written request of the student, or where the student has signed an agreement with a third party, one of the conditions of which is access to their record. (e.g. financial aid). In order to release information about a student's record or performance to a third party, the student must provide written consent.
A request from a student for access to his/her own file can be processed without a Freedom of Information request. Students have the right to inspect their academic record except for personal information that is evaluative or opinion material compiled solely for the purpose of admission to an academic program and to challenge contents, which they believe to be inaccurate. The file must be reviewed first by the Registrar to determine if it contains any exemptions as stated in the FOIPOP legislation (e.g. third party personal information). It is expected that the student will view the file in the Registrar's office under the supervision of an employee of the Registrar's Office. No records may be removed from the file.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) and Student Information FAQs
Yes, all records in the custody and control of the University regardless of media or subject or location are covered by the Act. These include records in the offices of University employees. It does not include records that do not relate to University business or matters.
To ensure that University-wide issues concerning records collection, creation, use, and disposal are dealt with in a systematic fashion, the University has created a records management unit within the University Archives.
Yes. A faculty member is permitted to ask a student for personal information if s/he can demonstrate that the information relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the course or program. S/he would also have to inform the student of the purpose for which the information is required.
The student may refuse to provide the information and a faculty member cannot compel the student to provide the information, only advise them of the consequence of not providing the requested information.
No, if there is the possibility that a student could be identified. Grade distribution can be done in a number of ways other than actually posting the grade in a public place. For example, distributing grades in class, asking students to stop by during office hours, or leaving sealed, identified envelopes with Departmental Secretaries for students to pick up at their convenience. If a faculty member wishes to post grades using a students A number they must advise the students that this will be done and provide an alternative if a student objects.
Yes. The FOIPOP Act does not prevent students from reading their essays aloud in class.
The FOIPOP Act states that the University must protect personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, or destruction. As a result, the practice of placing graded course work in a public place for pickup is not acceptable unless the student has consented in advanced to this method of distribution. Examinations and assignments should be returned directly to the students. Students should not be allowed to handle academic work other than their own.
Teaching or research assistants are considered employees under the FOIPOP Act and as such are granted access to any personal information required to perform their duties. The Act does not prevent this group of students from collecting, marking, or distributing student work as assigned by faculty. As with all employees, these students have a responsibility to protect personal information.
Papers, assignments, and mid-term tests/examinations are returned to students through the term. They are either returned directly to the student or the student has notified where and when such work can be retrieved. This term work is considered to be the property of the student and the student is ultimately responsible for its long-term retention. Nevertheless, the University has the responsibility to ensure that the student has had ample opportunity to retrieve term work and to ensure that the work is secure until retrieved. Instructors should, therefore, retain, papers, assignments, and mid-term tests that have not been picked up by students for a reasonable length of time - suggestion: three months during the regular academic year or over the summer break, if left at the end of the winter term. Final examinations should be kept for at least one year. Students should be informed about the retention policy which individual faculty members have developed for work handed in to them.
No. The FOIPOP requirement to retain final examinations for one year is intended to allow an individual to examine this record and review the information used to make a decision about him or her. It does not affect the University's policy and appeal of grades which is clearly delineated in Academic Regulation 11.
No. The fact that access to student information is possible does not mean that all faculty and staff members should have access to all student information. Faculty and staff should only have access to information that they require to perform their stated duties as an employee of the University. For example, staff may access information for the purposes of academic planning, student advising, and other legitimate academic reasons which are deemed to be in the best interest of the student and the academic programmes of the University.
No. Questions to be used on an examination or a test are exempt from the FOIPOP Act. The University may also refuse to disclose details of specific tests or examinations if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the use or results. The University may release test or examination questions if there is no intention to use or re-use them in the future.
Yes. The FOIPOP Act allows individuals, subject to limited and specific exemptions, a right of access to personal information about themselves that is held by the University.
Yes. If the supervisor used the student's personal information to make a decision that directly affects the student, the supervisor should retain that information for a period of one year.