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Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for Faculty, Staff, and Student Employees

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  This includes but is not limited to Social Security numbers, class rolls, advising files, tests, degree audits, and a student’s class schedule.  These rights are listed below.  As an employee of Murray State University you are expected to comply with this federal law.  The Registrar’s Office is the official source for all student data, and the Registrar is the authorized party to determine right of access to student data.  Murray State identifies faculty members as school officials with a right to access certain specified student records based on an appropriate “need to know.” 

Before an employee can gain on-line access to data he/she must participate in FERPA training provided online by the Registrar’s Office.  
Key points to keep in mind when working with students or student records are:  
  • do not post grades;
  • do not post or share your password with anyone;
  • unless you are positive of a student’s identification, ask for an ID with photo before discussing or releasing any information about that student to that student;
  • keep all confidential documents in a secure location;
  • refrain from discussing confidential information in public places such as hallways, restaurants, classrooms, common areas and office spaces that are not secure;
  • do not let other students or employees see information for which they have not been authorized;
  • do not allow students to look through a stack of tests or degree audits for their specific documents;
  • get signed permission forms before preparing letters of recommendation, and keep those forms for at least one year after the student has left the University or one year after the letter was written, whichever is later;
  • include confidentiality/FERPA issues in the training or performance evaluations for any student workers or employees that you supervise;
  • since you are given access to student data only for your professional needs, refer third-party requests for student data  to the Registrar; and
  • when in doubt contact the Registrar for guidance on issues that relate to confidentiality of student records. 
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Modified 9/22/2016
Article ID: 884