For immediate use: Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
Tonight, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was notified that The News & Observer has filed a lawsuit seeking student academic records.
The newspaper is seeking a redacted copy of a spreadsheet that contains information compiled from individual University student transcripts. Those records are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The information sought, even in a redacted form, would allow some students to be identified with reasonable certainty when linked with other previously available information about student-athletes.
“We respect the rights of the news media to seek public records,” said Joel Curran, vice chancellor for communications and public affairs. “However, in this case, we feel strongly that the records in question are protected by the federal privacy law, and we will vigorously defend the privacy rights of our students.”
News Services contact: Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595, firstname.lastname@example.org