masinter at nova.edu
Fri Feb 22 14:47:12 PST 2008
I see no reason to question the validity of the university's FERPA guide.
FERPA requires the university to have in place a policy to prevent
disclosure of its students educational records and information derived
from educational records (including grades). The guide distributed is the
university's implementation of that policy, so why wouldn't it be
enforceable by the university against you as its employee? To be sure an
offended student cannot sue you for violating FERPA, but that same student
can complain to the Ed. D. office charged with FERPA enforcement, and that
office can bring enforcement proceedings against the university.
FERPA does much more than curtail your freedom to disclose your students'
grades; it is why law schools can no longer disclose the identity of
students the school has determined violated their academic disciplinary
policies prohibiting cheating or plagiarism. Honor Courts now must
operate largely in secret, revealing only the barest details of their
proceedings lest the school violate FERPA.
Michael R. Masinter 3305 College Avenue
Professor of Law Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
Nova Southeastern University (954) 262-6151 (voice)
Shepard Broad Law Center (954) 262-3835 (fax)
masinter at nova.edu Chair, ACLU of Florida Legal Panel
On Fri, 22 Feb 2008, Robert Bradley wrote:
> Recently a quick guide to FERPA for faculty was distributed on campus. One
> of the provisions in the guide states that faculty members can't include
> mention of a student's grades in a letter of recommendation without
> obtaining the written prior consent of the student, according to FERPA.
> I have my own perception as to validity of that provision as it applies to
> individual faculty members given the Gonzaga ruling but was wondering what
> others thought. Reactions can be sent to me directly if desired at
> rbradley at ilstu.edu.
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