University of Washington Policy Directory

Print This Page
*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Washington Administrative Code

Title 478 WAC - University of Washington


Chapter 478-140 WAC: Rules and Regulations for the University of Washington Governing Student Education Records

WAC 478-140-018: Education records — Student's right to inspect.


(1) A student has the right to inspect and review his or her education records except where otherwise provided in this chapter.

  (a) The term "education records" means those records, files, documents and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the university.

  (b) Types of education records, and the university officials responsible for those records, include, but are not limited to:

    (i) Official transcripts of courses taken and grades received, records relating to prior education experience, and admission records. The executive director of admissions and records, whose office is located in Schmitz Hall, is responsible for the maintenance of such records. In addition, the director of graduate admissions, whose office is located in Loew Hall, is responsible for the maintenance of certain admission and current education status records for graduate students, as are the admission directors of the professional schools of dentistry, law, medicine and pharmacy.

    (ii) Tuition and fee payment records. The manager of the student accounts office, located in Schmitz Hall, is responsible for the maintenance of such records.

    (iii) Student disciplinary records. The vice president for student affairs, whose office is locatedin Schmitz Hall, is responsible for the maintenance of such records.

    (iv) Education records relating to a student's particular field of study may be maintained by the departments and colleges throughout the university. Where such education records are so maintained, the respective chair or dean of the department or college is responsible for maintenance of the records.

  (c) The term "education records" does not include:

    (i) Any record of instructional, supervisory, administrative or educational personnel which is in the sole possession of the maker thereof and not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute. For the purposes of this subsection, substitute means:

      (A) A person who is providing instruction in place of or as assistant to the regularly assigned faculty member in a course in which knowledge of the performance of individual students is essential to the provision of instruction, or

      (B) A person who is supervising a student's thesis or research progress in place of or as an assistant to the regularly assigned faculty member during a prolonged absence.

    (ii) Records created and maintained by the University of Washington police department for the purposes of law enforcement, except that education records created by another university department remain education records while in the possession of the police department.

    (iii) Records made and maintained in the normal course of business which relate exclusively to the person's capacity as an employee and are not available for any other purposes; however, records concerning a student who is employed as a result of his or her status as a student (e.g., graduate student service appointments) shall not be considered to relate exclusively to a student's capacity as an employee.

    (iv) Health care records on a student that are created or maintained by a health care provider or health care facility in connection with the provision of treatment to the student, and are not available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, the student, or a health care provider of the student's choice (see also chapter 70.02 RCW).

    (v) Records of an institution which contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at the university (e.g., information pertaining to the accomplishment of an alumnus or alumna).

(2) (a) Confidential recommendations, evaluations or comments concerning a student, shall nonetheless be made available to the student, except as provided in (b), (c) and (d) of this subsection.

(b) The student may specifically waive his or her right to inspect and review education records where the information consists only of confidential recommendations respecting the student's:

    (i) Admission to the University of Washington or any other educational institution, or component part thereof, or

    (ii) Application for employment, or

    (iii) Receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.

  (c) A student's waiver of his or her right to inspect and review confidential statements shall be valid only if:

    (i) The student is, upon request, notified of the names of all persons making confidential statements concerning the student, the dates of such confidential statements and the purpose or purposes for which the statements were provided, and

    (ii) Such confidential statements are used solely for the purpose or purposes for which they were provided, and

    (iii) Such waivers are not required as a condition for admission to, receipt of financial aid from or receipt of any other services or benefits from the university, and

    (iv) Such waiver is in writing and signed and dated by the student.

  (d) Such a waiver may be revoked, in writing, by the student; however, the revocation will be effective only for confidential statements or records dated after the date of the revocation.

  (e) Confidential recommendations, evaluations or comments concerning a student prior to January 1, 1975, shall not be subject to release under WAC 478-140-018 (2)(a); however, upon request the student shall be notified of the names of the authors of all such confidential records, the dates appearing on such confidential records and the purpose for which each such confidential record was provided. Such records shall remain confidential and shall be released only with the consent of the author. Such records shall be used by the university only for the purpose or purposes for which they were provided.

(3) Where requested education records include information on more than one student, the student making the request shall be entitled to inspect, review or be informed of only the specific portion of the record about that student.

(4) A student may not inspect and review education records that are or contain financial records of his or her parents.

(5) Students may obtain copies of their education records. Charges for copies shall not exceed the cost normally charged by a University of Washington copy center (except in cases where charges have previously been approved for certain specified services).

  (a) The university may refuse to provide copies of education records including transcripts and diplomas in the following circumstances:

    (i) If the record is a secure exam as determined by the department that maintains the exam, so that the integrity of such exams may be protected;

    (ii) If the student has outstanding debts owed to the university, so that the university may facilitate collection of such debts;

    (iii) If disciplinary action is pending or sanctions are not completed.

  (b) The university must provide copies of education records, subject to the provisions of (a) of this subsection, in the following circumstances:

    (i) If failure to do so would effectively prevent the student from inspecting and reviewing a record;

    (ii) When records are released pursuant to a student's consent and the student requests copies; and

    (iii) When the records are transferred to another educational agency or institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll and the student requests copies.

(6) The office of the registrar is the only office which may issue an official transcript of the student's academic record.

(7) Student education records may be destroyed in accordance with a department's routine retention schedule. In no case will any record which is requested by a student for review in accordance with WAC 478-140-018 or 478-140-021 be removed or destroyed prior to providing the student access.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130. 03-12-007, § 478-140-018, filed 5/22/03, effective 6/22/03; 99-12-110, § 478-140-018, filed 6/2/99, effective 7/3/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.20.130 (1). 79-05-025 (Order 79-1), § 478-140-018, filed 4/18/79; Order 75-3, § 478-140-018, filed 5/22/75; Order 75-1, § 478-140-018, filed 3/5/75.]