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Safeguarding Student Records

An important message from Patricia M. Jasper, Campus Counsel.

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA) prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable student records except under limited circumstances.

The term "student records" should be considered to include such records as homework, examinations, term papers, and the like, whether graded or ungraded. When such records are personally identifiable by name, initials, name abbreviation, or a number which is known to others, such records must be maintained in confidence unless the faculty member, instructor, or TA, or other University employee has the express consent of each student to treat the records in a non-confidential way. In this regard, a student number and/or a social security number are considered personal identifiers. When such records are ready for disposal (for example, exam papers that students have declined to pick up at the end of a quarter), they should not simply be placed in a stack in a hallway where others might peruse them. They should be disposed of in a manner that maintains their confidentiality.

The following links provide additional information and guidance on the proper manner in which student records should be treated, including the disposition of student work:

Disclosure of student records (see Appendix IX).

Dealing with student exams.

Disclosure of information from student records.

Student grievance procedure.

Student record destruction procedures (go to RMP-2, pages 20-22).

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