Open Public Records Act

What is the Open Public Records Act (OPRA)?

OPRA is the State statute that replaces the old “Right to Know Law” which governs the public’s access to government records in New Jersey. The law is compiled in the statutes as N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.

Specifically, OPRA is intended to:

  • Expand the public’s right of access to government records
  • Create an administrative appeals process if access is denied
  • Define what records are and are not “government records”
  • Create transparency of public institutions
What is a Government Record?

OPRA specifically defines a government record as:“… any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained
or kept on file…or that has been received in the course of his or its official business …” N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.

Generally stated, a “government record” means any record that has been made, maintained, or kept on file in the course of official business, or that has been received in the course of official business.

Exemptions to government records include, but are not limited to:
  • Inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative or deliberative material
  • Criminal investigatory records
  • Victims’ records
  • Trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information
  • Information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders
  • Information which is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order
  • Computer and building security information
  • Biotechnology trade secrets
  • Personnel and pension records
  • Student Records
  • Any record within the attorney-client privilege
To read a full text version of the Open Public Records act, including all exemptions, please visit the following website: OPRA Information

Who May File an OPRA Request?

Anyone. Although OPRA specifically references “citizens of this State,” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1) the Attorney General’s Office advises that OPRA does not prohibit access to Rowan records to residents of other states.

To file an OPRA request, and view additional information, please use the following link: OPRA Request Form

Please submit all requests to OPRA@rowan.edu or via fax 856-256-4431. 


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Can a School Release Educational Information Without Consent?

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law

To read additional information on FERPA, please visit the following website: FERPA Information