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Senators make changes to amendment after journalism advocates voice concerns with previous draft

(07/30/14 12:00pm)

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday will not aim to redefine what records schools can withhold under federal student privacy law, an issue that worried journalism and open-government advocates when an earlier version of the bill was released.

New York Times resubmits request for public records on University of Oregon sexual misconduct case after previous records were heavily redacted

(07/25/14 12:00pm)

A local prosecutor has declined an appeal from The New York Times seeking to compel the University of Oregon to turn over complete public records about a sexual misconduct investigation involving three UO men’s basketball players, prompting the newspaper to submit a new request.

Gonzaga University v. Doe

(08/27/14 7:33pm)

The question of private action was raised in 2002, when former Gonzaga University student Ru Paster, identified in court documents only as John Doe, said university officials violated the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, when they passed on unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations to the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

State ex rel. The Miami Student v. Miami University

(09/05/14 3:58pm)

In 1996, two reporters at The Miami Student newspaper requested disciplinary records from the University of Miami of Ohio's campus court proceedings, but were denied. The university claimed the records were protected by FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Although The Miami Student reporters did not request the names of students who had been disciplined, the university said that disclosing the records could risk identifying specific students' records. The newspaper argued the records were public under Ohio's public records law.

The News and Observer Publishing Co., et al. v. Baddour

(09/05/14 5:05pm)

The News & Observer, along with seven other North Carolina and national media groups, including The Daily Tar Heel, requested access to records from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after football players were accused of receiving improper benefits from agents. A university tutor was also accused of providing inappropriate assistance on academic assignments and providing illegal benefits for players.

FERPA amendment would establish ‘safeguards’ for student data privacy

(11/10/14 11:35am)

As the prevalence of student data collection in educational institutions increases, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act’s use is once again in question. And while the proposed changes may not further restrict journalists’ access records, they also don’t alleviate any challenges.

Following ‘no-contact’ order saga, Baylor U. student court denies press coverage

(02/23/15 1:08pm)

Chief justice Cody Coll told the student reporters that they could not photograph or record the court hearing Tuesday because it violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the federal student privacy law. The reporters were also asked to delete all information gathered before their dismissal from the court.

FERPA defense play: Universities often cite the federal student privacy law to shield athletic scandals

(03/31/15 11:14am)

At the University of Oregon, Vanderbilt University and the University of Montana, FERPA was cited to withhold records and information related to sexual assault allegations. FERPA was even cited at Florida State University to withhold records about Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston, who has been accused of sexual assault in December 2012.

Accessing personnel records: A balancing act between privacy, public’s right to know

(04/08/15 4:54pm)

This article looks at the frustrating obstacles journalists often face in trying to obtain access to personnel-related records from college and schools. While the law sometimes entitles these agencies to withhold highly embarrassing or confidential documents, it’s an oversimplification to say – as many agencies do – that “personnel” is a blanket excuse for denying a public-records request.