The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 20, 1974, Image 1

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Wednesday, november 20, 1 974
lincoln, nebraska vol. 98 no. 48
Public records law troubles UNL administrators
By Chuck Beck
A public records law which allows college
students full access to their personal files is
unclear and poses problems for university
administrators who must decide how to apply -it,
Kenneth Bader, vice chancellor for
student affairs, said last week.
Bader said three things can be done to
clarify the Family Rights and Privacy Act
which takes effect today: draw up a set of
guidelines, get a legal interpretation or make
an amendment to the public records law to
clarify the measure.
The Family Rights and Privacy Act allows
parents to examine their children's school
files. An amendment to the act, proposed by
New York Sen. James Buckley, extends the
act to college students.
Termination of aid
Buckley's amendment to the law provides
that a student's files will be accessible to him
within 45 days after the student makes a
request to see his file. If the school fails to
comply with the request, its federal aid will
be terminated.
Bader said he is waiting for the
Department of Health, Education and
Welfare (HEW) to draw up a set of guidelines
to clarify the law before the first 45-day
period of the law's enactment is over.
He said he would also support a one-year
delay in the implementation of the measure.
While waiting for clarification, Bader will
"seek legal assistance and a legal Interpreta
tion" of the act, he said.
"We (the university administration)
haven't received guidelines from HEW about
how the measure'works or its intent," Bader
Amendment unclear
Buckley's amendment is unclear on many
matters, he said.
He said notes and letters written about a
student may be construed as belonging to the
student's file. According to Bader, the
amendment to the public records law does
not protect people like doctors, parents or
persons who write letters of
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Ken Bader, vice chancellor for student
Bader said he would not allow certain
information like doctors' notes or letters of
recommendation to be viewed by students
until specific guidelines are established.
Bader said third parties, like doctors who
have written notes about a diagnosis for a
student's illness, must be protected. Doctors
have had a tradition of confidentiality for
notes made about their patients, and this
confidentiality has been upheld in court, he
If letters of recommendation were avail
able to students, the letters would probably
be watered down, containing nothing nega
tive about the student," Bader said.
"This doesn't help the student or the
person giving the recommendation, because
it doesn't present a true picture of the
student. The world doesn't operate like
Financial statements
Parents' financial statements would also
be open to the student's scrutiny as provided
by the measure, Bader said. Many parents do
not want their children to see the parents'
financial records, he said.
Another ambiguity is that a student may
challenge information contained in his files,
he said. This may mean that a student could
conceivably call a hearing to challenge
grades, Bader said.
"The intent of Buckley's amendment was
laudatory, but (UNL) files on students have
been accessible to them for years," Bader
said, adding that Buckley's measure was
"poorly thought out."
Grads ponder options
By Randy Gordon
A recent study released for the
Unicameral projects that student enroll
ments in Nebraska colleges and univer
sities will decline 17 per cent in the next
six years because of a declining birth
rate and a drop in the number of high
school graduates continuing their edu
cation in the state's postsecondary
Telephone interviews with several
Nebraska high school officials show that
most have seen such a trend in their
respective schools, mainly because of
what they call a more realistic appraisal
by students of what postsecondary
schools can do for them.
Ron Houston, director of college
placement at Omaha Westslde High
School, said the trend of fewer high
school seniors continuing their school
ing is evident at Westside, although he
said the decline has been gradual.
Decrease In college-goers
Houston said the number of seniors
cor5tin'j!f?n their education has declined
about 10 per cent over the last five or six
years. But he said about 65 per cent of
Westside's seniors continue their
schooling after graduation.
"Students are increasingly looking for
quicker outlets into the world of work,"
Houston said. "Students are taking a
more realistic view of society and are
more aware of the implications of what
college can do for them."
Houston said the trend may continue
if tuition and board and room costs
continue to rise, and the nation's
economy proves to be unstable.
"Students are taking a look at the
least expensive but best available
options for them," he said.
Draft a cause
Houston said another reason for the
projected decline may be that the
military draft, which was dropped in
favor of a volunteer army, no longer
forces students not wanting to be
drafted to enter a college or university.
Westside had the largest student
enrollment of any high school In the
state last year with 2,454 students,
according to the State Department of
Houston said Westside has a total
enrollment of about 2,500 students this
year, of which 825 are seniors.
Don Darnell, assistant principle in
charge of student services at Lincoln
Southeast High School, said "kids are
more realistic about making choices"
now, and this has contributed to a
decline in the number continuing
postsecondary schooling.
17 per cent drop
Darnell said 92 per cent of South
east's graduates in 1966 chose to
continue some form of schooling, the
highest figure in the school's history.
He said the figure steadily declined to
the current figure of 75 per cent for last
year's graduating class, a drop of 17 per
cent in eight years.
However, Darnell said the number
planning to enter full-time work after
graduation has risen from 4 per cent in
1966 to 22 per cent iast spring.
Likewise, he said the number of
graduates attending four-year liberal
arts colleges declined 20 per cent over
the same period, down to 63 per cent
last year.
"Parents and their students are
looking at college in a more realistic way
than in the past," Darnell said. "It used
to be that the kids listened to mom and
dadthey had things planned out.
'Looking around'
"But now kids are saying that 'well,
after all, it's my life and maybe I should
take some time and get into something I
enjoy doing.' They are looking around
more to find what they are interested in
before they take off and pursue
something at a higher level," Darnell
He said there is also an economic
factor involved, in that students are
reluctant to attent school for four years
only to have difficulty in finding a job
after receiving their degree.
Continued on pg. 3
Regent race undecided
Nothing is definite yet but unofficial figures still
point to Scottsbiuff attorney Robert Simmons and
Minden farmer Robert Raun as winners in the NU
Board of Regents race.
Unofficial figures have Simmons leading
Alliance cattlefeeder John P. Olson by 25,058 to
24,309 in the Sixth District race. In the Seventh
District, Raun has a 325 vote lead over North
Platte attorney Harold Kay, 24,240 vote3 to
Constitutional Amendment One's (the student
regent amendment) defeat is still predicted:
According to Secretary of State Allen Beermann's
office, the Nov. 7 figures stand at 187,315 in favor
of the amendment and 190,123 votes opposing it.
No new estimates have been made since that time.
According to election spokesmen, official results
will be released Dec. 2. Although absentee ballots
have been counted in each county, the abstracts of
the votes from each county still must be tabulated
by the secretary of state's office, the spokesmen
Educators to discuss
Title IX effects
A panel of Lincoln educators will discuss the effects
of Title IX of the 1972 education amendments on public
school programs Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian
Church, 6300 A St.
The meeting, sponsored by the Lincoln Chapter of
the National Organization for Women (NOW), will deal
with Title IX regulations which, with certain
exceptions, prohibit sex discrimination in education
programs or activities which receive federal funds.
The panelists are Pearl Goldenstein, Board of
Education; Carroll Sawin, assistant superintendent for
personnel; Anne Irvine, home economics consultant;
Virgil Home, athletics consultant; and Dean Austin,
physical education consultant.
Title IX regulations, issued by the Department of
Health, Education and Welfare in June of this year, are
now under revision.
ASUN revision hearing Thursday
The ASUN Constitutional Revision Committee will
sponsor an open hearing on revision of the ASUN
constitution ?.i 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the Nebraska
Union, according to David Howlett, ASUN second vice
The purpose of the hearing is to allow students to tell
the committee how they would like the constitution to
be revised, he said Tuesday.
The room number for the meeting will be posted on
the daily events calendar in the Union Thursday.