Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

MSU Billings Student Policies & Procedures Handbook

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Part III.  Student Records

  1. General Policy
    Policies and procedures concerning student records are based on respect for the privacy of the individual.  To minimize the risk of improper disclosure, academic records are maintained separately from misconduct records.  The conditions for access to each are set forth in this Handbook.

    Transcripts of academic records include information about a student’s academic status, except in cases where a student was suspended for misconduct reasons.  Upon graduation, notations of misconduct suspension are removed from the permanent academic record.  Information from misconduct and counseling files is not made available to unauthorized persons on campus or to any person off campus without the expressed written consent of the student involved, except under legal compulsion or where the safety of other persons may be involved.  See “Release of Information” note in General Bulletin for details.

    Montana State University Billings maintains students’ records in various academic and administrative offices on campus.  The chief administrative officer in each office is responsible for the student records under his or her control and for the release of information in those records.

    Generally, the student’s social security number and/or birth date is used for matriculation and record identification purposes.  However, a randomly generated identification number is assigned to each student for registration and records.

    Departments and Types of Records

    Academic Chairpersons: Academic records
    Admissions & Records & Registrar: Academic records/Admissions records      
    International Student records
    Athletic Department: Student Athlete records
    Business Office: Financial Obligatory records
    University Police: Campus Security records
    Career Services: Job Placement records
    College Deans: Academic records
    Disability Support Services: Disability Documentation
    Financial Aid & Scholarships: Financial Aid records
    Graduate Office: Academic/Admissions records
    Housing & Residential Life: Housing/Misconduct records
    Human Resources: Personnel records of employed students
    Student Health Services: Medical records/Counseling records
    Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: Student Code Compliance records

    The procedures set forth on the following pages apply to all persons formerly or currently enrolled at Montana State University Billings.
  2. Address of Record
    1. Students must maintain an address of record in the Admissions & Records Office.  The address, unless otherwise indicated, is public information and shall be used for official notification, including notification of misconduct procedures.
    2. Students must notify the Admissions & Records Office of any change in address.
    3. Students living in the residence halls must notify the Office of Housing and Residential Life of any change in permanent home address.
  3. Student Access
    All current and former students of the University have the right to access their “educational records” as provided by law.
    1. Students may obtain copies of records relating to themselves at their expense.  The reproduction charge shall not exceed the actual cost to the University.
    2. The University will respond to all requests for explanations and interpretations of records or information, if the response does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
    3. A student may waive the right of access to confidential letters of recommendation in the areas of admissions, job placement, and receipt of awards.  A student seeking employment through Career Services may sign a waiver.  Personally identifiable information such as rank in class, personal conduct, grade point average, academic progress, etc. shall not be released to non-authorized personnel without the expressed written consent of the student.
  4. Records Not Accessible to Students
    1. Instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel records, and the student’s educational personnel records, are the sole possession of the author and not revealed to any person other than a substitute (i.e., grade books, notes of observation, and notes for recollection purposes).
    2. Employment records of a University employee who is not a student.
    3. Student health records, as contained in the Health Care Information Act (Section 5016-5012).

While not considered “educational” records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the mentioned statute still allows the patient, in most instances, to access his/her records.  The general rule of confidentiality contains an exception when the patient or someone authorized to act on his/her behalf submits a written request for and consent to the release of her/his records.  Consent must be in writing and signed by the patient, or legal guardian if patient is a minor.  A physician shall furnish copies of medical records requested in accordance with the consent provided, except if the physician determines that access to the information would be harmful to the physical, mental, or emotional health of the patient.


  1. Authorized Non-Student Access to Student Records
    Educational records (or personally identifiable information within a record) may be released without the written consent of the student to:
    1. Officials, faculty, and staff employed by the University, if they have a “legitimate educational interest”.
    2. Officials of other educational institutions in which the student intends “or seeks” to enroll, if the student is notified of what is being released and given a copy if desired.
    3. Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, and administrative heads of educational agencies, or state educational authorities.
    4. Individuals needing this information in connection with a student application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
    5. Organizations, such as Educational Testing Service administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction.  The organizations must not show the personally identifiable information to outsiders and the information must be destroyed when no longer needed for audit, evaluation, or compliance with federal requirements.
    6. Accrediting organizations.
    7. Appropriate persons, if necessary, to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
    8. Individuals requiring such information by means of a judicial order or any lawfully issued subpoena, on condition that the student is notified by the University of all such orders and subpoenas in advance of compliance.

Next:  Part IV.  Student Complaint Procedures