Record Retention & Reporting Policy
Retention and Reporting of Disciplinary Records
All student disciplinary files (paper and electronic formats) that involve matters resolved by the Division of Student Affairs are kept and maintained by the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (formerly Judicial Affairs) and are considered educational records subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and University policy.
Disciplinary matters that result in suspension or exclusion are kept permanently and will be reported to external third parties (such as graduate schools, employers, or licensing agencies) as required or permitted by law and University policy.
Disciplinary matters that do not result in suspension or exclusion are kept until a student’s graduation plus an additional amount of time as specified by law or University policy (generally seven years) but will not be reported to external third parties unless required by law.
The University may also report disciplinary matters that remain unresolved and pending at the time a student left or withdrew from the University, as required or permitted by law and University policy. Records of pending matters are kept indefinitely; once resolved, they are kept and maintained according to the policies stated above.
Any response to a request for student disciplinary records will include a statement explaining the University’s policy regarding retention and reporting of disciplinary records.
- Northwestern University FERPA Policy - overall policy governing the access and disclosure of student records - from the Registrar's Office
- FERPA FAQ's for Faculty & Staff - from the Registrar's Office
- Consent Form for the Release of Personal Information/Education Records (.pdf format) - from the Registrar's Office
- FERPA Guidance - from the U.S. Department of Education