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Reports to OSACR will result in the creation of a student conduct record, which is considered an education record.

Understanding Conduct Records

OSACR recognizes that parties and other participants are often concerned about the privacy of information. Student conduct records are considered education records and are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As such, information gathered by OSACR may be shared with those who have a “need to know” the information to facilitate the student conduct process, provide support to those involved, and/or make mandated reports (e.g., reporting sexual harassment or child abuse). The University may also need to disclose information to comply with the law (e.g., response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order). 

Reports will result in the creation of an education record in the name of the Respondent. These records, including any additional relevant documentation, will be maintained for a minimum of seven years in accordance with state and federal law. The University reserves the right to keep records for a longer period of time as deemed necessary. For example, pending cases may be retained indefinitely and cases that have an associated registration hold may be held for as long as the hold is in place. If applicable, an education record in the name of the Complainant and/or Impacted Person will be maintained for the same period of time. Upon the finding of a violation of this Code, the Respondent’s education record will also be considered a student conduct record and may be disclosed in accordance with written procedure.  

Penn State is committed to the privacy and security of our students. The University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records (AD11) complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).  

Typically, student conduct records will not be released to an external third party unless the student consents, or in certain circumstances when permitted or required by University policy or law. Student conduct records may be disclosed for as long as they are maintained. The University will not disclose “non-reportable” records (see: External Non-Disclosure Request) or pending conduct matters to an external third party unless required by law, such as in response to a subpoena or court order, or when other lawful disclosure is appropriate. 

  • A student may request to review a copy of their own student conduct record or request their records be sent to a third-party, by following the process outlined here.
  • Penn State departments with a legitimate reason for checking the conduct history of a student may do so by filling out this form.
  • Background investigators may request records in person, via e-mail, or via fax (814-863-2463) and must include a signed release of information from the student.  

As permitted by the Code, the Senior Director may designate student conduct records as non-reportable for external disclosure. First-time violations which result in a conduct warning will be automatically designated as “non-reportable.” A respondent may also request that the Senior Director designate certain records as “non-reportable."  

Non-reportable for external disclosure means that, while the University will continue to maintain the record in accordance with standard practice, the University will not disclose those records to an external third party (e.g., transfer institution, future employer, graduate school, etc.) except as required by law (e.g., court order). Should a student be found “in violation” for subsequent student conduct code violation(s) after a request is approved, the “non-reportable” record may be reinstated as a student conduct record that may be disclosed to external third parties. The student would be notified of such a change. 

Students can submit a request no sooner than one year from the date of the final decision letter. Student conduct matters that fall under these categories will generally not be considered for external non-disclosure. 

  • Matters which resulted in indefinite suspension or expulsion 
  • Findings of Discriminatory Misconduct 
  • Repeated violations of a similar nature 

Typically, the Senior Director, or designee, will decide whether to grant the request within 30 business days.  

While reviewing the request, the Senior Director or designee will consider: the nature of the original violation; the student’s level of reflection and growth from the original violation to the present; subsequent conduct matters; and any other relevant factors determined at the sole discretion of the Senior Director, or designee. The Senior Director, or designee, may request an in-person or virtual meeting with the student prior to rendering a decision. 

The Senior Director’s decision is discretionary and may not be appealed for any reason.