Faculty and Staff Rights under FERPA

As faculty and staff at Western Michigan University we have a responsibility to follow Federal law and protect the privacy of our students. This responsibility begins with the requirement that we have a working knowledge of FERPA and that we understand how it affects the way we handle student records, grades, GPAs, letters of recommendation and more. The information provided below is meant as an overview of FERPA. If you have a specific question about FERPA please feel free to contact the Registrar’s Office.

Faculty reminders

Grades cannot be directory information and can never be posted in a public setting. An instructor may post grades only if the grades are posted in such a manner that only the instructor and the individual student can identify the individual and his or her grade. Grades should never be posted with any portion of the social security number. The University recommends that such a list not be in alphabetical order.

Papers, graded exam books or lab reports containing student names and grades should never be left in publicly accessible places. Students are not to have access to the scores and grades of others in the class in ways that allow other students to be identified. Student education record information—including grades or GPA's—should not be shared with other faculty or staff members unless their official responsibilities identify their legitimate educational interest in that information for that student.

Information from student education records should not be shared with parents or others outside the institution—including letters of recommendation—without written permission from the student. Anytime there is a question of whether or not student information should be released please contact the Registrar’s Office prior to releasing the information.

Confidentiality policy

Letters of recommendation

Permission to release information

FERPA brochure