Policy on Public Records Containing Sociological Information

I. Purpose

The Maryland Public Information Act (Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, Section 4-101 et seq. (the “MPIA”) provides for broad access to government records. Section 4-330 of the MPIA requires custodians of records to deny access to the part of a public record that contains sociological information if the custodian has adopted rules or regulations that define sociological information.

The purpose of this policy is to define Sociological Information that shall be excluded from inspection and disclosure as part of a public record under the MPIA.  The exclusion of Sociological Information from public disclosure and inspection will serve to preserve personal information of members of the university community and help prevent identity theft.

II. Applicability

This policy applies to records relating to members of the Bowie State University community (“Member(s)”), including students, employees, vendors, visitors, donors or participants in University programs or events and individuals using University facilities.

III. Policy

Pursuant to the MPIA, Bowie State University shall deny access to public records or portions thereof containing Sociological Information of BSU community members as defined herein. Sociological Information shall include the following information maintained by BSU:

  1. Social security number
  2. Date of Birth;
  3. Personal address; Personal phone number; electronic mail addresses, and social media account information;
  4. Any score from a GED certificate;
  5. Transcript or information obtained from a high school, college or other approved educational institution;
  6. Information regarding marital status, domestic partnership, dependents or relatives and related employment benefits election;
  7. Scholarship, stipend and financial aid information;
  8. Information about a Member’s race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy status, age, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability or genetic information;
  9. Identity of Member’s relatives, emergency contacts, or representatives;
  10. Religious preference, membership, and attendance;
  11. Personal relationships, beliefs, and values;
  12. Medical or psychiatric history;
  13. Program participation and community experiences and activities;
  14. Financial information, including income (excluding state salary), assets, liabilities, and credit card and other banking information;
  15. Information regarding disciplinary status except where Bowie State University has determined that a Student-Member committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense;
  16. Applicant information for employment, admission, scholarships, or awards, including those of applicants who were either not chosen, not admitted, or chose not to matriculate;
  17. Class or employment attendance information;
  18. State residency classification;
  19. Immigration status, passport and visa numbers;
  20. Military service;
  21. Driver’s license number;
  22. Information obtained through employment coaching or surveys;
  23. Donations, gift agreements, communications, and contact information for Members who have made charitable donations;
  24. Student education records of a deceased student;
  25. Records which contain political opinions, philosophical beliefs, and club/union membership;
  26. Unique biometric data biometric information including an individual’s physiological, biological, or behavioral characteristics, including an individual’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), that can be used, singly or in combination with each other or with other identifying data, to establish individual identity;
  27. Internet or other electronic network activity information, including browsing history, search history, wireless network location data and information regarding an individual’s interaction with an internet website or application; and
  28. Records not related to the transaction of Bowie State University business; and
  29. Workday ID, Employee ID, Campus ID and photo.

IV.    Related Policies

USM BOR Policy on Inspection of Public Records: https://www.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionVI/VI500.pdf

APPROVED: October 13, 2021