From the Ivory Tower to the Glass House: Access to 'De-Identified' Public University Admission Records
Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, Vol. 25, pp. 181-197, 2009
18 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 28, 2009
Admissions processes at public universities are too often and too extensively shielded from public view, which minimizes these schools’ accountability to the public and obstructs legitimate inquiry into government policies in politically volatile areas such as affirmative action. though officials of “ivory tower” public institutions often invoke privacy law to justify this shield against disclosure, that law is mistakenly applied in this context. The specter of individual student privacy should not, and need not, prevent the sunshine of public scrutiny from filtering through the glass house of the public university admissions office. This article explains how state and federal laws, including a newly proposed rule of the U.S. Department of Education, already harmonize needs for both privacy and access in permitting or requiring the disclosure of “de-identified” student data.
Keywords: higher education, university, admissions, privacy, FERPA, freedom of information, FOIA, affirmative action, students, law
JEL Classification: I20, I21, I28, I29, J70, J71, J78, J79, L32, K00, K10, K19, K23, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation