Confidentiality of our students' records
As an employee of the university, you play a critical role in maintaining the confidentiality of our students’ educational records and upholding the students’ rights to privacy.
If you ignore your responsibilities:
- Students can file formal complaints against IU
- A data breach can occur imposing costs to the institution and personal fines to you
- Disciplinary action can occur including termination of access or employment
Follow these steps to ensure you are adhering to FERPA:
- Read and comply with the Release of Information policies at IU which instruct you to not provide data to third parties without consulting with the data stewards and receiving appropriate approval.
- Access student records only if you have a legitimate educational interest to do so. Casual access for personal reasons or just out of curiosity is a FERPA violation.
- In the event of an emergency that could result in harm to a student or the campus at large, disclose information to authorities and emergency personnel that is necessary to resolve the situation. Always make sure to document the disclosure by recording what information was provided: when, to whom, and why.
- Do not provide student schedules or assist anyone other than university employees in finding a student on campus. In the event of a family emergency, contact the IUPD for assistance.
- Do not discuss the academic progress of any student with anyone other than the student or an authorized school official without the student's written consent.
- Do not post personal information about students, including grades, in a public place (e.g. school hallway or website). Never allow students to pick up their academic work by sorting through stacks of materials that include classmates’ work.
- Verify if a student has filed FERPA restrictions before providing directory information to anyone without school official status and legitimate educational interest.
- Dispose of material containing confidential student information (tests, papers, class rosters, student bills) by shredding or placing them in a receptacle intended for the disposal of confidential information.
- Obtain written consent from a student before providing confidential information in a letter of recommendation.
- Document and store the information related to any unauthorized data disclosures if your department is involved in an incident.
- Report practices that could lead to a FERPA violation
- Remain in compliance and retain your access to student data, by taking the FERPA Tutorial every two years.