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Fundamental Principles


Fundamental Principles

Eastern Kentucky University has a long and distinguished tradition of higher education. Its students, faculty, and staff form an academic community which, while sharing certain characteristics with other types of human associations, organizations, and societies, is rightly considered unique as a community and should be governed, respected, and supported as a university community.

Formally, Eastern Kentucky University’s purpose has been defined in part as being:

            To provide for its students those intellectual and cultural pursuits which will develop in them habits of scholarship and intellectual curiosity; which will provide for them a deep understanding of American democracy and their role in maintaining its strength and vitality; which will imbue them with an understanding of man and his aspirations: and which will enable them to communicate effectively and efficiently.

In order to promote and protect its purpose, Eastern Kentucky University has an obligation to maintain an atmosphere of academic freedom, to set and maintain standards of scholarship and conduct for students of the University, and to provide avenues for responsible student citizenship in the academic community. While the University must retain the responsibility for the structure and functioning of the academic community, it encourages constructive student advice and opinions for University improvements.   Go to top

 Fundamental Rights of Students

In determining the standards to be set and the manner in which sanctions shall be imposed, the University takes cognizance of certain fundamental rights, freedoms and responsibilities of students:

  1. As citizens, students enjoy the same freedoms as are guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and have the same duties and responsibilities, as do other citizens.
  2. Admission to the University and the University’s services, facilities, and activities is open to all students without regard to race, creed, or national origin.
  3. The freedom of students to learn and to evaluate ideas and concepts is basic to the educational process and is dependent upon general conditions conducive to the learning process in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and respect such general conditions is shared by all members of the academic community.
  4. Students are free to discuss, to express opinions and to hear expression of diverse opinions. Such expression of opinions and discussion must be accomplished without disrupting operations of the University. As part of the freedom to learn, students have a right to hear the widest expression of opinion. Speakers invited to the campus offer opportunities of the presentation and examination of ideas. Such speakers represent their own points of view and not those of the University or their sponsors within the University. The freedom to hear all sides should be coupled with a responsibility to make visible the determination to examine thoroughly more than one side.
  5. Students have a right to be evaluated in courses solely on the basis of their performance in meeting appropriate academic criteria established for the course.
  6. Students are free to form and join associations with other University students provided such organizations are cognizant with the purpose of the University and conform to established University regulations and public laws. Membership in non-university organizations is assumed by the students as citizens and not as students or representatives of the University.
  7. In the administration of disciplinary measures, the accused student shall be accorded procedural fairness. In such situations, whether formal or informal, the fundamental principles of due process shall be recognized.
  8. Provisions of the Family Educational and Privacy Act of 1974 [FERPA] Public Law 93-380 are recognized.  Go to top

The Basis for Standards in the University Community

Certain fundamental concepts are recognized as forming the basis for standards of conduct developed as a result of the University’s educational obligations:

  1. The academic community requires responsibility and a system of order supportive of the educational process which is the purpose of the University. Order implies non-disruptive conduct an observance of the law, a state of peace, and freedom from disorder. Disruption of the education process by a member or group of members of the community denies to all other members the pursuit of their individual educational purposes.
  2. The University community, existing within a democratic society, can be maintained only through respect for law in addition to the maintenance of and working for laws and regulations worthy of respect. Obedience to national, state and local laws and to University regulations is expected of each member of the academic community.
  3. The University welcomes into its community those who sincerely share and agree to advance its purposes. The purposes may be measured partly by the individual’s adequate preparation and respect for truth, honesty, and integrity in the university community as a whole.
  4. Ethical and moral standards, evolved in society over the centuries, are a part of the fabric of culture. The anonymity of the University community cannot free the individual or the institution from many conventional expectations relative to behavior or social relationships. Each member of the university community is expected to give consideration to the highest standards of conduct and character.

While the University may appear to be set aside from the larger community of which it is a part, it is created and financially supported by that larger community and has responsibilities to it. Each member of the academic community must recognize the unique relationship to the larger community. Each individual must take responsibility for his or her own actions and values and for recognizing that his or her actions and values reflect upon the University community.  Go to top

Privileges and Responsibilities of the Citizens of the University Community

When becoming part of the University community, the student enjoys social, cultural, and education opportunities. He or she also assumes the role of a citizen of the community and agrees to abide by the regulations and standards of conduct operative in the University community. Much more important, his or her assuming the role of citizen of the University community implies a positive responsibility toward the well being of the entire life of that community. Responsible citizenship in the University community may be looked upon

  1. As a duty and obligation similar to the requirements of the members of any community;
  2. As an opportunity for educational growth and preparation for local, state, national, and world citizenship; and
  3. As a means of personal fulfillment, enrichment, and growth through participation in the decision-making processes in the academic community.

Responsible citizenship results from student initiative and cannot simply be decreed by the University faculty and staff, no matter how well meaning they may be. Effective campus citizenship and responsibility encompass every aspect of student life and activity. A student’s personal responsibility may be demonstrated and exercised through diligence and alertness in the academic pursuits, as well as in effective and constructive action in recognized student organizations and other co-curricular activities. Students are encouraged to exercise their right to discuss matters that concern them and to initiate changes by means of communication with appropriate members of the faculty and administrative staff. In this way students may call attention to potential problem areas and desirable changes and may contribute to the overall educational and social effectiveness of the University. Many official channels are also available for the exercising of campus citizenship. Through election by fellow students or through various processes of appointment, students are chosen to represent other students and also to present their own views in meaningful contributions to the goals, policies and governance of the University. Among the many avenues for such contribution and influence are the following:

  1. Student participation on hearing committees or the Student Court may aid in the smooth functioning of University procedures and regulations and help assure the just and fair treatment of students accused of violations. Through active Hall Councils and the Residence Life Council, students may review, recommend and help formulate policies affecting student life in the housing units.
  2. Through University student publications the student may contribute to the vital flow of information and discussion of opinion essential to a democratic society and to an effective institution of higher learning. Students serve on the staff and as editors of each other's publication or may contribute material for publication. They serve on Editorial Boards and participate in making policies for the publications.
  3. The Student Government Association is the representative organization of the student body, and is comprised of the Student Senate, Student Court, Residence Life Council, and Student Activities Council.  Coordinated and led by an executive branch, SGA brings into focus the interests, concerns, and hopes of all the students in the University community, and by means of decisions and resolutions can give effective voice to the carefully considered opinions of the student community.  Its beneficial influence in the University community springs from and is enhanced by its insights into the needs and problems of students, the educational goals of the University and the University’s potential contributions to the Commonwealth.
  4. The elected president of the Student Government Association is by virtue of his/her office, a member of the Board of Regents. In this capacity he or she has the opportunity and the responsibility to represent the opinions, feelings and suggestions of the entire student body to the institutional governing board.
  5. Students serve on various official University boards and committees. Through this participation students perform an invaluable function of improving communications between the students and the University faculty and staff; they bring the opinions and concerns of the entire student community into focus on particular areas of committee responsibilities, the better to define and to achieve the goals of the University as a whole and to enrich the individual lives of all members.  Go to top

Student Records

Provision of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Public Law 93‑380
This is to serve notice to all students of Eastern Kentucky University of the rights and restrictions regarding the maintenance, inspection, and release of student records contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The University is composed of five colleges and offers a wide variety of services to students. Each college and service requires the maintenance of some records concerning students enrolled in a particular college or participating in a nonacademic service. The location and type of record maintained by the University depends upon the field of study or service in which the student is enrolled. The following is a list of the types of records maintained by the University for students.

  1. Grade reports
  2. Transcripts
  3. Curriculum information
  4. Applications for Graduation
  5. Correspondence with students, if any
  6. Withdrawal records, if applicable
  7. Admission forms
  8. ACT scores
  9. Student teacher evaluations, if applicable
  10. Letters of recommendation, if applicable
  11. Nominations for awards, if applicable
  12. Biographical data
  13. Evaluation forms, if applicable
  14. Weekly student teacher logs, if applicable
  15. Midterm evaluation, if applicable
  16. Records of school visitations, if applicable
  17. Physical Education requirement waivers
  18. Field training evaluations and correspondence, if applicable
  19. Professional conduct agreements and liability insurance coverage
  20. Disciplinary Records, if applicable

Access to Records

In general, the records maintained by the University are available only to the student, to University personnel with legitimate educational interests, to other institutions where the student is seeking financial aid, and to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S., the Secretary of Education or and administrative head of an education agency, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal supported programs, and as provided by Section 164.283 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. However, information may be released by the institution to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons. Records may also be furnished in compliance with a judicial order or pursuant to a subpoena or with the consent of the student.

Students may inspect and review all records pertaining to them within forty-five (45) days of making request for same, except for (1) records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting or assisting in a professional capacity in connection with treatment of the student (except that the student may have these records reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional designated by the student), (2) financial records of the student’s parents, (3) confidential letters and recommendations put in the files prior to January 1, 1975, and (4) confidential recommendations relations to admission, applications for employment, or honors, if the student has waived his right to review such records. Where a particular record cannot be reviewed by a student without revealing confidential information relating to other students, the records custodian will inform the student, upon request, of the contents of the records pertaining to that student.

Parents of dependent students have a right to information concerning their children’s grades without having to gain the student’s consent.

Directory Information

The University may release information without the student’s consent where the information is classified as “directory information.” The following categories of information have been designated by the University as directory information: name, address (excluding EKU residence hall room number), telephone listing (excluding cell phone), email address, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, academic level (undergraduate or graduate), academic class (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior), dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received, student photo or likeness, and the most recent previous education institution attended by the student. Students who do not wish such information released without their consent should notify the Student Records Office in writing. Any such request should be sent to Office of the Registrar, Office of Academic Records/Transcripts, Eastern Kentucky University, Student Success Building Room 239, CPO 58, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, Kentucky 40475-3158.  Go to top

Parental Notification 

In 1998, FERPA was amended to permit institutions of higher education to disclose to a parent, parents, or legal guardian of a student, information regarding any violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, regardless of whether that information is contained in the student’s record, if:

  1. The student is under the age of 21; and
  2. The institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards may notify and disclose to a parent/s, or legal guardian* of a student who is under the age of 21, information regarding such violations.

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Notification of Rights under FERPA for Postsecondary Institutions

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect.
    The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advice the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
    If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes and disclosure without consent.
    One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
    Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S Department of Education concerning allege failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue
    Washington, DC 20202-4605  Go to top

Procedures for Challenge

A student who believes that any record maintained by the University pertaining directly to that student is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violative of the right of privacy of the student as provided by Title IV of Pub.L. 90‑247, as amended and Pub. L. 93‑380, as amended by Senate Joint Resolution 40 (1974) may request a hearing before a panel of three persons appointed by the President of the University. The panel may direct that appropriate action be taken to correct, explain, or expunge the record(s) challenged.

Request for hearings should be addressed to the Office of University Counsel; Eastern Kentucky University; Coates Room 205; CPO 40A; 521 Lancaster Avenue; Richmond, Kentucky 40475-3102.  Go to top

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