Faculty and Staff Rights under FERPA

As faculty and staff at Western Michigan University, we have a responsibility to protect the privacy of our students as well as to follow federal law. This responsibility begins with the requirement that we have a good knowledge of FERPA, that we understand how it affects the way that we handle student records, grades, GPAs, letters of recommendation, etc.

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 at (269) 387-4300.

Faculty reminders

Since grades can never be directory information, they can never be posted in a public setting. An instructor may, however, post grades 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 by any portion of the SSN. Additionally, it is recommended that such a posted 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 GPAs, 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 on 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