The University of Kansas ensures the confidentiality of student records in accordance with various federal, state, and university regulations, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, also known as the Buckley Amendment.
Disclosure of information is governed by the Student Records Policy as administered by the Office of the University Registrar and General Counsel. A student can elect to place an information hold to prevent the university from releasing directory information. To release an information hold complete the Request to Remove Information Hold Form.
Under FERPA, a student has the right to:
- inspect and review their educational records;
- request to amend their educational records;
- have some control over the disclosure of information from their educational records.
Records that are directly related to a student and that are maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. A record means any information recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, computerized and/or digitized storage.
Records described in items 1-5 below are excluded from the category of ''education records,'' therefore, the law does not guarantee the right of student access to the following:
- Records created by and kept in the sole possession of an individual staff member that are not revealed to any other individual except to a person who might temporarily substitute for the original staff member.
- Medical and psychological records that are maintained only in connection with provision of treatment to the student and that are not available to persons other than those providing treatment except that such records may be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice and with the student's written consent.
- Records that contain only information relating to a person after that person is no longer a student at the University. An example would be information collected by the University or the Alumni Association pertaining to the accomplishments of an alumnus/alumna.
- Employment records of any person if maintained in the normal course of business and used only for purposes relating to the employment, unless the person is employed at the University only because of status as a student. In such cases, student employment records are education records and are covered by this policy.
- Records of the KU Public Safety Office created and maintained by that department for the purpose of law enforcement.
- Records that are grades on peer-graded papers, before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
The student related directory information is defined by the University of Kansas as:
- month and day of birth
- current address and telephone number
- permanent address and telephone number
- e-mail address (In order to protect individual privacy, a student’s email address is not considered “directory information” where requests by non-university organizations for multiple e-mail addresses are made.)
- level and school
- major field of study
- enrollment status (full-time; half-time; less than half-time)
- dates of attendance
- degrees, honors, and awards received
- the most recent previous educational institution attended by the student
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports (including participation status); and height and weight of members of athletic teams
- For purposes of official University news releases, or conducting University business and advancement, student photographs and parent name, address, telephone number and e-mail are also defined as directory information.
- The name(s), position(s), length of service and/or courses taught may be disclosed for student employees.
Under FERPA and the Student Records Policy the university may release directory information without a student's prior consent, unless the student tells the university not to release this information, by placing an information hold.
Four important details regarding placing an information hold on a student's record:
- Once an information hold has been applied to the record, the student whose record the hold has been applied to will need to provide photo identification before staff can provide any details about their record. This can be via an official KU email account or in person at the 1502 Building, 1502 Iowa St.
- The university receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources inside and outside the institution, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the news media, honor societies, and other members of the public. An information hold will preclude the release of such information, even to those people.
- An information hold applies to all elements of directory information in a student's student record.
- Information holds can only be applied to currently enrolled student's accounts. Any information released prior to the placement of the hold cannot be changed.
To release the restriction placed on your directory information complete the Request to Remove Information Hold Form.
FERPA Guidelines for Faculty & Staff
All faculty and staff accessing student data as part of their work duties are required to complete FERPA Training prior to receiving access to the student system. It is highly encouraged that all faculty and staff at KU complete FERPA training and review the training every year.
FERPA FAQs for Faculty & Staff
The top violation of student privacy at the University of Kansas involves releasing FERPA protected information to the incorrect individual via email. As such, it is highly encouraged that you refrain from doing so and when absolutely necessary that you send FERPA protected information via email you verify the receivers address before sending. You may only communicate FERPA protected information with a student using their official @ku.edu email address.
Should you send FERPA protected information to the incorrect individual please contact the Office of the University Registrar immediately.
Please refer the requester to the custodian of the educational record. If you have a question about who that may be you are always welcome to reach out to the Office of the University Registrar for information and direction.
If the notes are intended for the faculty/staff person's own use and kept separate from the student's educational record then it is likely not a part of the student's educational record. Please exercise caution when keeping these notes and ensure confidentiality and security are maintained at all times.
It is not encouraged to post student grades publicly or to share them via email, even if you are doing so using a personal identifier that only you and the other student know (personal identifiers that cannot be used include: any part of the student's social security number, the KU student ID number, date of birth, the KU student username, any part of the student's name). The most secure way to share a student grade is using Canvas or communicating directly with the student. KU email is considered secure, but the most common FERPA violation at KU involves sending FERPA protected data via email to the incorrect individual.
A student's class schedule is an educational record and is protected by FERPA. If you merge sections of a class the students should not be permitted to see or interact with students in sections other than their own unless the sections are considered to be combined sections as listed in the Schedule of Classes.
No, student's permitted to attend a class without official enrollment create a FERPA violation for all other students in the class. Occasionally a student may need to attend one or two labs to complete an incomplete. This is not encouraged as it can create a FERPA violation for all other students in the class but if there is a legitimate educational interest it may be permitted.
Class lists and student photos are protected under FERPA and should not be publicly shared.
The Office of the University Registrar is responsible for certifying all enrollment at the University of Kansas. Please refer students to OUR for any records related to dates of attendance, enrollment, GPA, academic standing, credit hours, etc. If you have been asked to write a letter of recommendation the student needs to provide a signed release and it should be retained as part of the student's educational record.
Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students certain rights regarding their education records including the following:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day that the University of Kansas (KU) receives a request for access.
Students should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to the University Registrar, dean, or head of the academic department. The KU official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the KU official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
(2) The right to request amendments of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate.
Students may ask KU to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the KU official responsible for the record (see KU Student Records Policy) clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If KU decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, KU will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by KU in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom KU has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the “University personnel who have a demonstrably legitimate need to review records in order to fulfill their official professional responsibilities.” Upon request, KU may disclose Education Records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by KU to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520
For more information, you may contact one of the following KU offices:
ATTN: Casey Wallace
ATTN: Carrie Scala