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FAQs for Parents

Frequently Asked Questions: Student Accountability for Parents and Family


What if I can’t find/contact my student?

If you cannot find or contact your student and are concerned for his or her safety or well being, please contact the University’s department of public safety (campus police) at 801-581-COPS (2677) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Can I hear the details about my student’s accountability case?

The details and related documents to a student accountability case are confidential and considered as part of the student’s educational record, which is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The university must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31; http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a US federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. For more information see http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

Where do we get a FERPA waiver?

Here is a consent form to release educational records.

What happens during a student conduct meeting?

The student who is accused of a possible violation of the Student Code meets with a student conduct officer who has been appointed by the Dean of Students. This meeting is an opportunity for the student to tell his/her side of the story and answer the conduct officer’s questions about the details of the case. The investigation of the issue may require more than one meeting and at the conclusion, the conduct officer determines if he/she believes that there has been a violation of the Student Code.

If the conduct officer finds that the student has not violated the Student Code, the complaint is dismissed and the matter is closed. If the conduct officer finds that the student has violated the Student Code, the conduct officer may offer appropriate resolution/sanctions to be agreed to by the responding student. If the student agrees to the informal resolution and complies with the terms and conditions set out by the conduct officer, the matter will be closed. If an informal resolution is inappropriate, or the responding student declines to agree to the informal resolution offered, the complaint will be submitted to the Student Behavior Committee.

What happens at a Student Behavior Committee hearing?

The Committee is made up of current students, staff and faculty members who are appointed by the president of the university to serve for a multiple-year term. The Student Behavior Committee will hold a hearing that is closed to the public to discuss the matter with the complaining party and the responding student. Both the complainant and the responding student have an opportunity to give their opinions on the potential violation of the Student Code and answer any questions of the committee members about details of the case. If a majority of the Committee finds that the student is responsible for violating the Student Code, they will recommend behavioral sanctions. The findings and recommendations of the Committee will be presented to the Vice President for Student Affairs who will issue a decision on the matter.

Can I be with my student at a meeting or hearing?

The student may have an adviser with them during a meeting with a conduct officer or a hearing of the Student Behavior Committee. However, the adviser does not speak for the student or represent the student in the process. It is up to the student if they wish to have a parent or family member present.

Are disciplinary results on the permanent student record?

Suspensions and dismissals are reflected on the student’s permanent transcript. Records of proceedings under the Student Code shall be confidential to the extent permitted by law. Records of behavioral misconduct are kept in the office of the dean of students, and a copy may be retained in other academic departments as appropriate.

Will I be notified when my student has been accused of a violation?

The student accused of the violation is who is contacted when we receive a report or complaint. Under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university is allowed (but not required) to contact parents or guardians if the student is younger than 21 years old and has been involved in an alcohol or drug violation.

Should I hire an attorney?

The student accountability process is not a court of law. Attorneys can serve as advisers but they cannot represent the student being accused or speak for him or her and they cannot directly participate in the proceedings of the Student Behavior Committee.

Who do I contact with my questions?

Please call 801-581-7066 to speak with someone in the Office of the Dean of Students or email deanofstudents@utah.edu.

Last Updated: 8/1/19