FERPA for Faculty and Staff
Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
UW-Parkside and all institutions of higher education are required to notify enrolled students at least annually of their rights under FERPA. See the full annual disclosure text.
Educational records are all the records maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside about individual students, with seven exceptions:
- Personal notes from faculty and staff
- Employment records
- Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
- Campus Police records
- Financial records of a parent or spouse
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in your records before January 1, 1975
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admissions, employment or honorary recognition placed in your records after January 1, 1975, for which you have waived the right to inspect and review
Directory Information (Public Records)
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside, in accordance with FERPA, has designated the following categories of information about individual students as public, or directory information. This information is routinely released to any inquirer unless a student specifically requests that a FERPA hold be placed on your record. The following is a list of directory information:
- Student name, address, telephone number and email address
- Date of birth
- Initial Registration date, Enrollment status (full/part-time) and withdrawal dates, dates of attendance
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Height and weight of members of athletic teams
- Degrees and dates of graduation including anticipated graduation dates
- Awards received including academic awards
- Most recent education institution attended
Non-Directory Information (Private Records)
The following categories of information are considered private, or protected, by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside:
- Social Security Number (or other national ID number)
- SOLAR identification number
- "P number" (from Ranger Card)
- Place of birth
- Residency status
- Marital status
- Married name or previous name
- Parents' name(s) and address(es)
- High school units
- Transfer credits
- Courses completed
- Grades Credits and grade points
- Grade point averages
- Current class schedule
- Advisor's name(s)
- Academic actions
- Current disciplinary actions
Private Records are releasable only to the following parties:
- Individual students
- Dean's Office
- University of Wisconsin-Parkside departments
- Individuals with an educational need to know
Who Can Request Access?
Under FERPA, prior written consent** must be obtained before your educational record may be disclosed to a third party, unless they are exempted from this provision. Information will be released without your prior written consent to the following groups or individuals:
- UW-Parkside faculty and staff with legitimate educational need to know.
- Representatives of agencies or organizations from which you have received financial aid, including banks or other lending agencies from which you have guaranteed student loans.
- Officials of other educational institutions in which you intend to enroll.
- Individuals or groups specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement.
- Federal and state officials and organizations conducting studies on behalf of UW-Parkside and accrediting organizations
Note: UW-Parkside student organizations seeking student information must contact the Registrar to request student directory information.
Instances in which prior written consent is not required:
- Requests in connection with an emergency, if such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students.
- Requests in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order.
- Requests for public records information (see above), if not restricted by a student through a FERPA hold.
Location of Records
Educational records are not stored in a central location on campus. Requests to review your records must be made in writing and presented to the appropriate office. That office will have up to 45 days to honor a request to review "official records, files and data directly related to them". For most students these offices will include the Office of the Registrar, college dean, major department, Student Financial Services, Dean of Students or Residence Life.
Correction of Information
A student may request to have records corrected that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. Requests to change and to challenge the information deemed erroneous or misleading should be made in writing and directed to the dean or director of the appropriate office so that a hearing can be scheduled. In most cases, the decision of the dean or director will be final. If the student finds the decision unsatisfactory, they may place a statement in their file setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision. A student's right to challenge information of records does not extend to review of grades received unless the grade assigned by the professor was inaccurately recorded in the student's records.
FERPA Rules for Faculty, Staff and Student Employees
The following basic rules should be followed by UW-Parkside faculty, staff and student employees:
Rule #1: FERPA recognizes a person enrolled in post-secondary education as a "student" and provides that individual certain rights, regardless of age. Therefore, a parent does not have an inherent right to access his/her child's educational records.
Rule #2: Faculty, staff and student workers have access to educational records for the sole purpose of performing their jobs professionally and responsibly. They have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality of educational records in their possession, regardless of the medium in which the records are presented.
Rule #3: Educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without written consent of the student, with the exception of unrestricted Directory Information. It is the responsibility of faculty, staff and student employees to verify that student Directory Information is not restricted (with a FERPA hold) before releasing it. Student records with a FERPA hold will display this privacy shade in SOLAR.
Rule #4: School officials, including field supervisors for student teachers and student interns, must protect the privacy of educational records and not disclose personally identifiable information about a student or permit inspection of the student's records without his or her written consent.
The student's written, signed, and dated consent must contain three elements:
- Specify the records to be released (e.g. grades; notes based on observations; general assessment of performance of student in a class or in a field-based experience )
- Identify the party or class of parties to whom the records should be released (e.g.: prospective employer, official, scholarship committee member)
- Indicate the reason for the release.(e.g.: an application for employment, admission into a graduate program, application for a scholarship or grant)
Note: A letter of reference written on behalf of a student by a cooperating teacher, supervisor or other person does NOT provide that person with the authorization to disclose educational records or to discuss the student's performance even if the letter welcomes telephone calls or other inquiries about the student.
Key things to remember:
- Official transcripts of student academic records may be released only through the Office of the Registrar.
- Posting educational records (e.g. grades) using the student's name, student id number or any portion of the social security number violates FERPA.
- In an emergency situation, a student may be reached through either the Dean of Students Office (Wyllie Hall 340, 262-595-2598) or through University Police (Tallent Hall 188, 262-595-2455).