Hamline Policies

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Student Rights and Responsibilities: Undergraduate

Owner: Undergraduate faculty, HUSC

Pertains to: Undergraduate students and student records

Description: Hamline University, by vote of the undergraduate faculty and student congress, endorses the principles embodied in the Joint Statement on the Rights and Freedoms of Students document drafted by several national associations. The purpose of this document is to apply to Hamline University, in practice, the principles outlined in the joint statement.


Hamline University, by vote of the undergraduate faculty and student congress, endorses the principles embodied in the "Joint Statement on the Rights and Freedoms of Students," drafted and approved by the American Association of University Professors, the United States National Student Association, the American Association of Colleges, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the National Association of Women Deans and Counselors. The purpose of this document is to apply to Hamline University, in practice, the principles outlined in the "joint statement."


"Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students and the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the academic community, students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to teach and freedom to learn depend upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility." (From "The Joint Statement on the Rights and Freedoms of Students.")

Concerning Access

Hamline University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status in its education and employment programs or activities. The facilities and services of the university are open to all its students consistent with the requirements of their individual academic programs or legitimate extra-curricular activity. Students have the responsibility to use these facilities and services for their intended purposes and not to abuse or destroy them.

Concerning the Academic Program

A. Access to Information

Hamline students are entitled to full and accurate information concerning the academic program, and to reasonable access to counsel by qualified personnel concerning regulations, requirements, and the design of academic programs. Academic regulations and requirements are published in the Bulletin supplemented by periodic printed materials concerning modifications or changes prescribed by the faculty. Students may not be penalized by changes in academic regulations of such a nature as to diminish their academic progress or jeopardize their timely graduation. Students may petition for a waiver of regulations wherever they are able to demonstrate that an alternative procedure of their own design better satisfies the needs of their individual academic program, consistent with the goals and purposes of the university. Petition forms are available in the registrar’s office. Students have the responsibility to acquaint themselves fully with the academic regulations of the university, to properly fulfill them and, when in doubt, to seek the counsel of the appropriate faculty member or administrative officer.

B. Protection of Freedom of Expression  

In the classroom or in conference, Hamline students enjoy freedom of discussion, inquiry and expression. They may take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and may reserve judgment on matters of opinion. They may not be penalized for exercising these freedoms. At the same time, students have the responsibility, within the limits of their own abilities, to achieve competence in the content and methodology of each discipline studied.

C. Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation  

Where Hamline students believe they have been subjected to prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation, they may seek redress of their grievance by petitioning the instructor of the course in question. If dissatisfied with the result, they may take their case to the chairperson of the department and, if still dissatisfied, to the appropriate dean of the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. If the instructor and department chairperson are one and the same, the dean may be consulted as the second level of appeal. Students are responsible, however, to satisfy those requirements and maintain those standards of academic performance established for each course of instruction in which they are enrolled.

D. Protection Against Improper Disclosure  

Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations are properly the private concern of the student. Where members of the Hamline faculty or staff, in their roles as instructors, advisors, and counselors, become party to such information, it is to be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character of individual students may be provided under appropriate circumstances such as in letters of reference, recommendations relating to other educational institutions or positions of employment and the like. Where such disclosure occurs, however, it should be with the consent of the student, such consent being given, where possible, in person or in writing.

Concerning Student Records

A. Management  

Many offices of the university must, from time to time, and for varying durations, maintain files concerning students. The contents of such records vary according to the responsibilities of the office maintaining them. Likewise, the handling of such records varies to some degree between offices, including access, duration of record maintenance, and the like. In general, Hamline adheres to the statutory provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, found on policies website, of 1974 (The Buckley Amendment), as amended, in the management of student records.

B. Directory Information  

Under the provisions of the Buckley Amendment there are no restrictions on the release of "directory information," provided that students are advised by the university in advance on the nature of the directory information and are permitted to restrict the release or disclosure of information in the category. Student "directory information," also known as "public information," is defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy statement.

C. Context

Following is a listing of those offices which maintain files concerning students, together with a generalized listing of the content of the files in each case, uses of the information, and duration of maintenance.

Admission. The admission office files contain application forms and supporting materials and correspondence submitted by the student, or on the student’s behalf, leading to admission to Hamline university. Admission files are maintained only until the student is accepted and thereafter become a part of the student’s permanent record in the registrar’s office. An enrolled student may view letters of recommendation written during the time of application if the student has not waived his/her right of review. 

Academic Advising. The Center for Academic Advising Office maintains files which include correspondence concerning students received by, or generated within, the office, including letters approving leaves of absence, special academic programs, probationary status, suspension for academic reasons. These materials are available directly only to the dean’s staff, and are maintained as long as a student is enrolled at Hamline. Thereafter, any pertinent material becomes part of a student’s permanent record in the registrar’s office, and the balance is destroyed. 

Faculty Advisors. Faculty advisors maintain files on each of their advisees. The Center for Academic Advising Office provides faculty advisors with copies of advisee’s academic record and other related academic materials. The record provided to faculty advisors is for the use of the faculty member to advise the student in academic or career-related issues. Faculty members may keep portions of an advisee’s file to use as reference in letters of recommendation; however, the files are generally returned to the Center for Academic Advising Office to be destroyed upon the advisee’s graduation or withdrawal from the university. 

Financial Aid. Financial aid records contain the Family Financial Statement and supporting materials used to determine the student’s qualification to receive financial aid and the extent of aid to be given. They are available directly only to the financial aid director and his/her staff. The keeping of financial aid records is governed in part by stipulations of civil law where government funds are disbursed by the university. Such records must be maintained permanently. If a student withdraws from Hamline, financial records are actively maintained for five years pending possible readmission and thereafter are permanently destroyed. 

Credential Files. The Career Development Center credential file procedures comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. All credential file users, with the exception of medical school applicants, are encouraged to setup non-confidential, "working credential files" which maximize student/alumni control and access to the information contained in the file. Credential information will not be released to employers, parents or spouses without written student/alumni authorization. 

Registration and Records. The registration and records office is the repository of permanent files concerning Hamline students. Such files contain the following:
a. Application of admission;
b. Letter of admission;
c. Admissions documents (supporting material);
d. Permanent record of all work toward graduation;e. Evaluation of transcripts from other institutions;
f. Petitions approved for exceptions to normal academic regulations;
g. Letters pertaining to academic status;
h. Test profile sheets;i. Withdrawal and readmission papers. 

Student Accounts. The Student Accounts Office records are restricted to student billing information and any correspondence relating to it. Such records are directly available only to the office staff and pertinent information is released only to persons with a legitimate reason to be aware of it. Student Accounts’ records are maintained throughout the student’s stay at Hamline and must be kept active for one year for auditing purposes. They are then put on microfiche and stored in the university cashier’s safe. Records are kept for a period of seven years.