Staff handling of student data
As an IU staff member you are responsible for ensuring you understand FERPA regulations and IU policies and procedures related to the safeguarding and release of student information. The following resources are here to help you!
The FERPA Tutorial is designed to give staff a base-level knowledge of the rules governing release of student information. The tutorial must be completed before access to student records is granted. The tutorial will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
Take the FERPA tutorial for staff
Best practices & procedures
A student may file a formal restriction on the release of all or some of his/her directory information at any time. Once a restriction is filed, the affected directory information becomes confidential.
If you have online access to the Student Information System (SIS), you will notice a privacy shade icon associated with their account. When you see this icon on any page, it indicates that the student has filed a restriction on the release of specific information to third parties. In order to find out what information is releasable, click the privacy shade icon.
You may use IU email to communicate about a specific student with another IU school official if the employee has a legitimate educational interest to view the information. You must ensure that you do not communicate any critical data (SSN, bank account information, driver’s license, etc.) or share restricted information with those who do not have a business need for the data. In addition, it is important to review that you have selected the correct recipient as we have several students and affiliates with similar names in the address book, and a common mistake is to select the wrong recipient and provide restricted data to a student or official that does not have a business need. If you are communicating about several students >100, please use Secure Share for critical data: At IU, what is Secure Share, and how do I use it?
Student Information System access
IU has specific procedures regarding faculty and staff access to student information and student systems. Details should be discussed with the school dean or the unit's Access Coordinator.
Letters of recommendation
Written permission from the student is required for a letter of recommendation if any information included in the recommendation is part of the "education record" (grades, GPA and other non-directory information) or pertains to student performance, such as his/her rank in the class. Statements made from personal observation or knowledge do not require a signed release.
Questions? Contact your campus registrar for information regarding student privacy