I. Scope

Student rights and the publication of directory information as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

II. Background

Per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, “directory information” is information contained in the education records of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Typically, “directory information” includes information such as name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and dates of attendance. A school may disclose “directory information” to third parties without consent if it has given public notice of the types of information which it has designated as “directory information,” the parent’s or eligible student’s right to restrict the disclosure of such information, and the period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information designated as “directory information.”

III. Policy Statement

Earlham College routinely shares basic directory information about students with members of the Earlham community and in College press releases in accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Each semester, Information Technology Services creates an on-campus directory, listing students’ names, local addresses, email addresses and drawer numbers for on campus use only. All students enrolled at Earlham must have a current address on file to enable contact in case of an emergency.

Throughout the year, the Marketing and Communications Office incorporates directory information into news releases about students’ accomplishments. Marketing and Communications defines directory information to include the following items:

Marketing and Communications defines directory information to include the following items:

  1. Student name
  2. Student’s hometown, state or country
  3. Identity of parents, guardians or next of kin
  4. Major field of study and year of graduation
  5. Dates of attendance, and degrees and awards received
  6. Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  7. Participation in officially recognized college activities and sports
  8. Photographs (as available)
  9. Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Such information as students’ names, major fields of study, year of graduation, dates of attendance, degrees/awards and participation in activities are typically used in media releases, publications, event programs and lists for on-campus office use.

Except when required to do so by law, Earlham does not provide directory information in response to requests from off-campus sources, individuals, or vendors. Questions concerning enrollment or degree verification should be referred to the Registrar’s Office.

IV. Non-Disclosure of Directory Information

Students have the right to refuse permission to print their directory information. Students may withhold directory information from publication on campus and/or from distribution to the media by filing the Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form with the Marketing and Communications Office. When this form is filed online, the Marketing and Communications, Student Life and Registrar’s offices are notified. Student Life retains the directory information and shares it only with those on-campus individuals who have a legitimate educational interest in the student. Marketing and Communications excludes that student in its news release process.

Directory information for students who have requested non-disclosure is viewed as confidential and is not released.

FERPA permits disclosure without consent to College officials with legitimate educational interests or “need to know.” A College official is a person employed by Earlham in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including College law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (i.e. attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.

In an emergency, information may be disclosed to protect the health or safety of the student or another person.

V. Reviews and approval

Adopted for federal compliance in 1975

Last administrative review: January 2023

Policy specifications

Last revision: 01/20/2023
Responsible office: Registrar
Information Technology Services
Marketing and Communications
Approved by: Finance and Administration
Approval date: 02/01/1975
Effective date: 02/01/1975
Related policies: Confidentiality of Educational Records
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/directory-information-policy