Student Records Release
Current and former students, campus offices and departments, and non-affiliated third parties may wish to submit a request to verify if an applicant or honoree violated any policies during their academic career.
Requestors may wish to know if an applicant or honoree violated one or more policies outlined in the Code of Responsibility, Honor Code, or other college policy. Requests may be for the purposes of applications to graduate and professional schools, students looking to transfer to another institution, employment with certain government or independent agencies, or to participate in certain college activities or programs, or hold positions with campus offices or organizations.
The following guidelines are intended to:
- Establish the rights and procedures for students to access and review their own records maintained by the Dean of Students Office.
- Establish procedures authorizing a Dean of Students Office official or designee to release or disclose information to third parties.
- Clarify the circumstances when the Dean of Students Office does not require prior consent before releasing records or disclosing information to third parties.
Student Rights and Disclosures
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, before a college office or
official can honor a request to release educational records or disclose information to a third party,
including records and information maintained by campus student conduct (e.g., for disciplinary matters) offices, a signed Authorization to
Release form is required from current and former students.
Violations of Alcohol and Drug Policies
Under the guidelines of FERPA (as amended), the Dean of Students Office does not require prior consent
before notifying parents and families, the first time and every subsequent time, when students under
the age of 21, are found responsible for violating the college's policies for alcohol and drugs. Students are encouraged to maintain an ongoing, open dialogue with parents and families about their academic progress and personal development. Parental notifications are intended for students and families to have honest conversations about these issues and how their behavior can have an impact on their student's success and experience at Davidson College. For more information about our policies regarding alcohol and other drugs, please review the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy in the Student Handbook.
Access and Review
Students have the right to physically review their own disciplinary or CARE/case management records, in the presence of a
designated college official and during regular business hours. Students are not entitled to review records
that contain personal identifiable information of others. Therefore, if a request is approved records will be redacted (e.g., crossed-out or blacked-out) in compliance with FERPA and general protections of
privacy. Requests to access and review records must be submitted in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Dean of Students Office may comply with the request within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 30 days after receipt of the request. Students will be notified of the date, time, and location of their appointment and are required to present appropriate identification before reviewing their record. At no time will original records be removed from the office. The Dean of Students Office will not accept requests over the phone and will only communicate with students through their Davidson email address.
Disciplinary Clearance and Background Checks
Faculty and staff members may request disciplinary clearance checks to determine eligibility to participate in certain college activities or programs or hold positions with campus offices or organizations (e.g., RLO Student Leaders, Orientation Leaders, Student Government Association, Peer Educators, etc.). Faculty and staff members must first inform and obtain permission from the student explicitly authorizing the release of their disciplinary information from the Dean of Students Office, prior to requesting a release of this information.
A student is in “Good Disciplinary Standing” at Davidson College when they:
- Do not have any outstanding disciplinary charges under the Code of Responsibility (which includes residence life or other college policies) or the Honor Code,
- Do not have any outstanding disciplinary sanctions as a result of being found responsible for violating the Code of Responsibility or Honor Code, or
- Do not have a current disciplinary status (probation, indefinite suspension, definite suspension)
Dean's Certifications and Background Checks
Some graduate, medical/veterinary, and professional schools, state bar associations, or government or
independent agencies require a brief summary statement of a current or former student's disciplinary history for admission or employment.
On occasion, a Dean's Certification will require that the summary statement include both the student's
disciplinary and academic history. In those cases, the academic dean or associate of that student's department is consulted.
In most cases, the third party will provide a form directly to the Dean of Students office, which includes
the student’s signed permission to share the disciplinary history. Summary statements are not considered letters of recommendation and after processing, the forms are sent directly to the entity – not to students.
Process and Timeline
Current and Former Students
Requests from current and former students should be submitted at least one month before a recipient
entity's deadline. Summary statements require seven to 10 business days to complete, and priority will
be given to those students who timely submit, and in the order received. Multiple requests and phone
calls for the same information causes delays. Requests to access and review records must be submitted in writing by emailing email@example.com.
Note: In cases where a Dean of Students hold has been placed on a student's account, students may request an appointment to view their records but requests to release records and/or information to a third party will not be permitted until the hold has been properly removed.
Faculty and Staff
Disciplinary clearances are typically completed within two to three business days from the date the request is submitted. In cases where a campus office or department requires disciplinary clearance checks for multiple student records, completion times will be based on the number of records submitted.
Non-affiliated Third Parties
Third parties (e.g., employers, government agencies, private contractors, parents, etc.) conducting background checks or requesting information about a student's disciplinary history, will not receive
information immediately or over the phone until our office verifies the authenticity of any release, the requester's credentials, and obtain a signed release from the student.
The requestor must provide a business card or badge number, their contact information, and the
recipient or agency's name and address receiving this information by visiting our office in person or
sending relevant documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expunging Student Records
The Dean of Students Office at Davidson College complies with North Carolina state law and Davidson College’s policy and schedule for Record Retention and Disposition. After the minimum retention period for a disciplinary record is reached, said records are disposed of unless they still serve a legal, operational, or historic value.