Degree and Catalog Resources
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (F.E.R.P.A.)
Responsibilities as a Faculty and Staff Member
As an employee of Sam Houston State University, you may have access to Student Records. Their confidentiality, use, and release are governed by FERPA. Your utilization of this information is governed by the regulations and the duties and responsibilities of your employment and position.
Your job places you in a position of trust and you are an integral part in ensuring that student information is handled properly. Students have the right to expect that their academic records are being treated with care and respect.
In general, all student information must be treated as confidential. Even public or “directory” information is subject to restriction on an individual basis. Unless your job involves the release of information and you have been trained in that function, any requests for disclosure of information, especially from outside the University, should be referred to the Registrar’s Office. Release of information contained on a student’s transcript without the written consent of the person identified on the document is in violation of Sec. 438 Public law 90-247.
As university employees, you have an individual computer account, password, and PIN. You are responsible for your account and will be held accountable for any improper use. Protection of your sign-on password and procedure is critical for security. Refer to the Acceptable Use Policy for further details.
Passing Out the Roll Sheet
The latest FERPA guide states the following information related to Students Opting for NO RELEASE In The Classroom Setting:
“Students cannot choose to be anonymous in the classroom setting. If a student has chosen “no release” for his or her directory information, that does not mean that an instructor cannot call on him or her by name in class or that the student’s email address cannot be displayed on an electronic classroom support tool such as a discussion board, blog, or chat feature.”
Based on this information, passing out a list with the student’s name “in a classroom setting” should not be a problem. As always, please make sure to remove other personally identifiable information.
Posting of Grades by Faculty
The public posting of grades either by the student’s name, SamID, social security number, or other personally identifiable information without the student's written permission is a violation of FERPA. Even with names obscured, student identifier numbers are considered personally identifiable information. Therefore, the practice of posting grades by social security number, student identification number, or other personally identifiable information violates FERPA.
The returning of papers via an “open” distribution system, e.g., stacking them on an open table, is a violation of a student’s right to privacy, unless the student submits a signed waiver to instructor for such purpose.