Non-disclosure Requests

Non-disclosure Requests

Non-disclosure is a university practice that limits the disclosure of information in a student’s disciplinary record to external parties such as graduate and professional schools. The practice is intended to assist students when they have demonstrated a past mistake was isolated, not-repeated, and learned from.

The university will not disclose information contained in a student’s disciplinary record if (1) the student requests non-disclosure, and (2) the information qualifies for non-disclosure.

Request Non-disclosure

Frequently Asked Questions

What disciplinary information qualifies for non-disclosure?

Only low-level violations will be subject to non-disclosure. Low-level violations are those that are relatively common among new college students and receive less severe sanctions. These types of violations are usually sanctioned with a warning, short-term probation, and/or educational requirements after participating in an administrative resolution of the alleged violations.

What disciplinary information will not qualify for non-disclosure?

Violations that were sanctioned with long-term probation (beyond one year), suspension, expulsion, removal from University Housing, or revocation of admission or degree will not be subject to non-disclosure. When these sanctions are issued, the violation has either been repeated or is more serious because it has impacted more than just the offending student. Additionally, any case that is adjudicated by the University Conduct Board is not eligible for non-disclosure.

Is there a limit to the number of violations that qualify for non-disclosure?

Yes. A student can have no more than two (2) cases on record. This limit was established to acknowledge that a student could be found in violation for two relatively minor offenses and never receive more than one year of probation. This often occurs when the first violation receives a warning.

The intent of non-disclosure is to provide some relief when a student can demonstrate they made one or two isolated or minor mistakes. When students are sincere in their desire to learn from a mistake, they tend not to repeat them.

When can non-disclosure be requested?

A request for non-disclosure may be submitted any time after graduation or in the two semesters before graduation provided that at least four (4) months have passed since the last disciplinary incident for which a student was found responsible.

This time frame is intended to provide enough time for the university to determine that a mistake has not been repeated.

What happens if my request is approved?

The university, through its Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), will not disclose information in your disciplinary record to third parties that inquire about your disciplinary record. Instead, SCCS will issue the following statement:

“The university has determined that information regarding disciplinary action against this student, if any, does not warrant disclosure to external parties.”

What happens if my request is denied?

The university, through its Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), will disclose information in your disciplinary record to third parties that inquire about your disciplinary record. In most circumstances, the following information will be disclosed:

  1. The violation(s) for which you were found responsible;
  2. The date of the violation(s);
  3. The sanctions imposed; and
  4. Whether the sanctions have been completed.

Before this information is shared, you will need to provide your consent in writing to the agency or institution that is seeking the information.

Are there any exceptions to non-disclosure?

Yes. Sometimes the university must disclose all information in your disciplinary record. This is often true for students seeking security clearances as part of their employment. Students entering the military or government service are often subject to complete disclosure requirements. Before disclosure occurs you will have consented in writing to the disclosure and that consent overrides any approved non-disclosure. You will be notified in writing that the university intends to disclose information notwithstanding your approved request.

How should I answer questions on applications that ask about my disciplinary history at the university?

Depends on the question. Sometimes applications are interested only in serious infractions that result in suspension, expulsion or removal. Sometimes questions are framed more broadly asking about any disciplinary action taken. If the question is broadly-framed and your request for non-disclosure has been approved, you may indicate you have not been disciplined because the university will not disclose any.

Are adverse disclosures likely to reduce my chances at graduate or professional school?

It is difficult to say and depends on other information in your application. If you are an otherwise strong and competitive candidate (you have very good grades, entrance exam scores, and co-curricular experiences, letters of recommendation) disclosing an isolated and relatively minor mistake will probably not be too detrimental. Often, you will be given an opportunity to explain the mistake and show how you have grown from the experience.

However, if you are not as strong or competitive the disclosure could be one way a selection committee could eliminate your candidacy when you are mostly the same as other similarly situated applicants.

Is non-disclosure an expungement?

No. The university is obligated to retain some disciplinary records for designated periods of time by university policy and Federal law. For example, the Clery Act requires the university to keep liquor law violations for seven years after the violation is adjudicated. The Code of Conduct establishes a seven-year threshold for conduct records based on the Clery Act. The Board of Regents has set a six-year records retention requirement.

Except in cases of university expulsion and suspension, conduct records are eliminated after seven years.

Is non-disclosure automatic?

No, your request can be denied. Decisions regarding non-disclosure are discretionary and not a matter of right. Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The decision-maker considers many factors about a student’s disciplinary record in making a decision. Some of those factors include: (1) whether your conduct victimized another; (2) the harm that was caused; (3) the existence of a pattern of violations and/or accusations; (4) timing of violations (early vs. late in enrollment; violations bunched together, etc.); and (5) student attitudes regarding the process to resolve the alleged violation.

What is the purpose of non-disclosure?

The university recognizes that students make mistakes and they should be afforded some grace in navigating this transition in their life. When students make a commitment to mature and grow from a mistake, the university wants to support and encourage that growth. The non-disclosure policy exists for that reason. When a student’s conduct is inconsistent with this purpose, the request is less likely to be approved.