Trinity University
Faculty and Contract Staff Handbook

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(6)    Instructional Policies, Responsibilities, and Guidelines













For a summary of recent changes to this chapter, see Chapter 9A: Summary of Recent Revisions to this Handbook.

Contents of this page: 

  1. Purpose

  2. Definition

  3. Availability of Records

  4. Custody of Records

  5. General Rules of Policy


The purpose of record keeping at Trinity University is to advance the education of its student constituents and to serve their need for records in perpetuity.


Records are defined in several ways. Permanent records are those records which are officially a result of a student’s enrollment at Trinity University, are kept in perpetuity, and are safeguarded in the Registrar’s Office. Temporary records are the supportive records of progress of enrolled students; such temporary records are kept in the various offices whose functions dictate the nature and length of storage of records. Ancillary records are records kept by the faculty and staff members regarding individual students, and are regarded as private records.


Under the provisions of Federal Law 93-380, the following records are open to inspection by students upon specific request according to procedure defined below:

The following records are not open to inspection:

In cases where records are not open for inspection, the custodian of the records is encouraged to discuss information and answer questions of students without display of records.


The following indicates the official custody of supervision of records:

Academic Records Registrar
Personal Records Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Financial Aid Record Director of Financial Aid
Financial Records Comptroller
Teacher Education Records Chair, Department of Education
Pre-Medical Students Records Chair, Health Professions Advisory Committee
Admissions Records Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Student Retention
Graduate Records Graduate Admissions Office (Registrar’s Office)


A.    A student may waive the right to inspect any record but may not be required to waive his/her right as a condition of any decision.

B.    A copy of the University policy on records is to be made available to all students upon request.

C.    Letters of recommendation written by faculty members are regarded as ancillary records unless copies are furnished to the Office of Student Affairs, the Graduate Admissions Office or other offices, and are made a part of records in this manner.

D.    Where student names are part of a list of names, public posting of names may violate the rights of others. Posting of grades is forbidden unless the right of privacy in this manner is waived in writing. The right of any student who does not waive the right of privacy must be respected.

E.    Records may be released to school officials and instructors within the University without specific student permission, provided that the purpose of inspection of the student’s records is specifically related to his/her educational progress.

F.    Release of records to others without student request of approval is expressly forbidden except to certain officials of the United States as defined in the law and to financial aid officers or representatives of agencies administering financial aid grants which the student holds or for which the student has applied. (As a matter of practice, the student should be encouraged to approve the release of records for financial purposes.) Other exceptions include parents of a student claimed as an exemption under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, law enforcement officers or officers of courts armed with a legally issued subpoena (provided that the student is notified of the legal order before the record is released), and accrediting agencies and others involved in improving instruction and validation of testing programs, provided that such studies avoid personal identification of students.

G.    Information may be released in bona fide emergencies involving student health and safety provided that due consideration is given to the seriousness of the threat to health and safety, the necessity of records in meeting the emergency, the ability of the person to whom release is made to deal with the emergency, and the extent to which time may be a factor in the emergency. Responsibility for the release of such personal information is that of the President of the University, who may delegate such authority to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students as part of his/her regular duties.

H.    Federal or state officials may have access to records for the purpose of evaluating and auditing the effectiveness of federally supported educational programs.

I.    A written record shall be made of each inspection of a student’s record by a government official or representative of an accrediting agency. The listing shall include the name of the person inspecting the record, the reason for viewing the record, and the date of viewing. The written record shall become a part of the student’s record folder in the appropriate office.

J.    When a transcript of an academic record is released to a third party, even at the student’s request, extra precautions shall be made to guard against unauthorized release of information to other parties, and a statement regarding the requirement of limited access to the record and forbidding further release shall be made a part of the record.

K.    Student listings may be recreated in whole or in part from computer files. Extra precautions are required to guard against unauthorized access by any party using the services of the Office of Information Technology Services or employed by Information Technology Services. Student records of any kind should be run by Information Technology Services only by proper authorization by a University officer, and the careful disposition of all copies should be made to avoid unauthorized circulation.

L.    Students may gain access to their records in the appropriate Trinity University office by signing an official request to see their own records, allowing adequate time (not to exceed 45 days) for reply from the custodian of the records. Such viewing of the records must be in the presence of the designated custodian or his/her deputy, who will ensure that the student does not alter or remove any part of the record. If the student desires to copy any part of the Trinity University record, he/she must pay the established charge for copying.

M.    Academic transcripts used in registration or advising or in applying for a major should bear an appropriate stamp to indicate that the record was released to a student for his/her personal use.

N.    Challenge to any part of a record must be made in writing and addressed to the appropriate custodian, specifying the point of challenge and the justification for such challenge. The custodian of the records must immediately notify the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, who shall arrange a hearing to be held within 10 class days from the date of challenge. The hearing shall be conducted before a committee composed of one representative from the Office of Faculty & Student Affairs and one representative from the Office of Student Affairs, the Chair of the Faculty Senate (who shall preside), a faculty member named by the student, and a faculty member named by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Decision shall be made by simple majority, and a record of proceedings shall be made. Appeal of the decision may be made to the President of the University with further right of appeal to the Review Board set up by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources.

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This page was last modified on 06/01/12

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Trinity University
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San Antonio, Texas  78212-7200