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Dean of Students

Frequently Asked Questions for Dean of Students:

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How can I visit Oakland University's campus?
Oakland is happy to give future students and their families a tour of campus. Please contact us at (800) OAK-UNIV for campus visit information.
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How does technology impact FERPA on OU's campus?
Each department should establish appropriate procedures to protect the confidentiality of its electronic and paper records, educate faculty and administrators about the procedures, and make sure the procedures are enforced. The same principles of confidentiality that apply to paper documents apply to electronic data.
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If you have a question about Oakland University's FERPA policy, contact the Dean of Students Office, 144 Oakland Center, at (248) 370-3352.
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What are educational records?
Educational records are broadly defined and include those records directly related to a student and maintained by OU or a person acting for OU, such as a faculty member or other employee. FERPA covers records, files, documents, student papers and tests, and data directly related to students and maintained in any medium, except as may be specifically excluded by law. FERPA does not require OU to keep or maintain any particular record.
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What documents can be removed from an educational record prior to student review?
  • any information pertaining to another student
  • financial records of the student's parents
  • confidential letters and statements of recommendation when the student has waived in writing the right to see them

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What is directory information?
OU may disclose the following information about a student, unless the student has specified that directory information not be released. The following items are designated directory information:
  • name
  • address (local and home)
  • telephone (local and home)
  • degrees, honors and awards received, including scholarships and eligibility for inclusion in national honor societies
  • degrees for which the student has applied
  • major field of study
  • enrollment status
  • dates of attendance
  • class code
  • most recent educational agencies or institutions attended
  • weight and height of members of intercollegiate athletics teams
  • photographic and electronic images
  • date and place of birth

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What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, provides an OU student with the right to inspect and review his/her educational record and, with certain exceptions, to limit disclosure of information from that record.
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What is New Student Convocation?
Convocation is a formal ceremony designating the beginning of a new student's academic career. All new students and their families are invited to attend Convocation at the beginning of fall semester. For more information, contact Orientation and New Student Programs at or (248) 370-GOLD.
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What is not included in an educational record?
  • sole possession records or private notes held by educational personnel that are not accessible or released to  any other person 
  • law enforcement or campus security records used solely for law enforcement purposes  
  • employment records relating to students who are employed by the institution (unless employed because they are students)
  • medical and counseling records used in treatment and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment
  • OU records containing only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at the institution (e.g., alumni records)
  • student theses and dissertations

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What is Oakland University's total enrollment?
For the most up-to-date information on total enrollment, visit OU's Fast Facts page.
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What is Orientation and New Student Programs (ONSP)?
Orientation and New Student Programs (ONSP) is designed to assist new students and their families with their transition to Oakland University. ONSP coordinates orientation programs for students and parents, Collegiate Communication 101, Connections, New Student Convocation, and The Oakland Parent.
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What is personally identifiable information?
  • the student's name
  • name of the student's parents or other family members
  • address of the student or student's family
  • a personal identifier, such as a social security number or student number
  • a list of personal characteristics

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What is the average age of Oakland University students?
More than 63 percent of Oakland University's undergraduate students are between the ages of 17-22. For more information about OU students, see the student profile section of the Future Students site.
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What is the Oakland University Conduct Code?
The Conduct Code applies to all students at Oakland University. The code is set forth in writing to give students general notice of the conduct expected of them. The Conduct Code covers academic and non-academic misconduct. All students are encouraged to read the Conduct Code and Judicial System as set forth in the Student Handbook.
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What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
OU has a low student-to-faculty ratio.
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What is Welcome Week?
Welcome Week is a week of activities for students that begins on the first day of classes in the fall semester. Coordinated by the Center for Student Activities, this week includes information tables to help students locate classes and services, social activities, study skills workshops, and campus lectures. For more information, please contact the Center for Student Activities.
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When do you need consent to disclose personally identifiable information from an education record, including transcripts?
Except for specific exceptions (listed in #10), a signed and dated consent must be obtained from students for the release of information from education records, specifying what is to be released, the reasons for release, and to whom, with a copy of the record sent to the student if he or she desires. OU may not require a written consent as a condition of providing a service or program.
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When is the student's consent not required to disclose information?
The 12 exceptions are:

1.   to school officials (defined in policy) 
2.   to schools in which a student seeks to enroll
3.   to federal, state and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs
4.   in connection with financial aid
5.   to state and local authorities pursuant to a state law adopted before November 1974 requiring the disclosure
6.   to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational institutions if the students identity will be closely held and destroyed when no longer needed
7.   to accrediting organizations
8.   to comply with a judicial order or subpoena when the student has advance notice
9.   health or safety emergency
10.   directory information requests 
11.   results of disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of violence
12.   to parents or legal guardians of a student, information regarding any violation of federal, state or local law, or any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21 proper requests from the U.S. attorney general in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes

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Who is protected under FERPA?
Students who are currently enrolled at OU or were formerly enrolled regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied but never attended OU are not protected under FERPA.
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Who may be provided with a student's educational records?
  • the student and any party who has the student's written consent
  • school officials who have legitimate educational interests as defined in FERPA 
  • the court, in response to a judicial order or subpoena, however, a reasonable effort must be made to notify the student before complying with the order 

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