Confidentiality of Student Records & FERPA
The University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of student education records and monitoring the release of information from those records. Faculty and staff with access to student education records have a legal responsibility to protect the privacy of students by using information only for legitimate educational reasons to instruct, advise, or otherwise assist students. FERPA also assures certain rights to students regarding their education records. These rights do not transfer to parents, guardians, spouses, or other family members without the express written permission of the student.
Please review http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/admissions/ferpa for Faculty and Staff
- Grades: Students' scores or grades should not be displayed publicly. Even with names obscured, UH Numbers are considered personally identifiable information and must not be used. If scores or grades are posted, use some code known only to the faculty member and the individual student. Partial UH Numbers CANNOT be used unless the student has freely given his/her written permission. In no case should the list be posted in alphabetical sequence by student name. Grades or other academic information distributed for purposes of advisement should not be placed in plain view in open mailboxes located in public places.
- Papers: Graded papers or tests should not be left unattended on a desk in plain view in a public area nor should students sort through them in order to retrieve their own work.
- Addresses, email addresses and phone numbers: Students' addresses, email addresses and phone numbers may not be shared with third parties and may only be used for legitimate educational purposes within the scope of your official duties. Student email address information is not to be shared with others, including students who may be receiving the same email message. Individual emails must contain only the recipient's address.
- Class lists/grade sheets: These and other reports should be handled in a confidential manner and the information contained on them should not be re-disclosed to third parties. Copies of class lists containing students' UH Numbers should not be routed in the classroom for attendance taking or any other purpose.
- Parents: Parents, spouses and other relations do not have a right to information contained in a student's education record. The rights transfer to the student upon enrolling at a post-secondary institution (i.e., Hawaiʻi Community College), regardless of the student's age.
- Employers: Employers do not have a right to educational information pertaining to a student.
- Access: Access to the student information system is not tantamount to authorization to view the data. Faculty members are deemed to be “school officials” and can access data in MyUH only if they have a legitimate educational interest. UH staff members may obtain access in Banner if they have a legitimate educational need to know.
- Letters of recommendation: Do not include information about students' grades or grade point averages in letters of recommendation without the written permission of the student. Please note that without a signed statement from the student waiving his/her right to view the letter of recommendation, the student may have rights to view the letter you have provided.
- Students' schedules: Do not provide anyone with a student's schedule; do not assist anyone other than a university employee (purpose must be in their official capacity as a University Official) in finding a student on campus. Refer such inquiries to Admissions & Records Office.
- Lists of students: Do not provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes or programs for any purpose. Requests of this nature should be referred to the Admission & Records Office.
When in doubt, please contact the Admissions & Records Office at 808-934-2710
FERPA and Confidentiality of Student Records
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley Amendment) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it affords students the right to:
- Inspect and review their education records;
- Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the institution to comply with this law.
Applicable University Policies
The University of Hawai‘i strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from these records. The University of Hawai‘i has established several policies directly related to the maintenance and acceptable use of various types of data. The applicable policies are:
EP 2.214: Security and Protection of Sensitive Information
EP 2.215: Institutional Data Governance
EP 2.216: Institutional Records Management and Electronic Approvals/Signatures
AP 7.022: Procedures Relating to Protection of the Educational Rights and Privacy of Students