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FERPA FAQ for Staff

What information about students may I release to faculty members and other university staff members?
Items defined as directory information may be released without a student's written permission. All other personally identifiable information in a student's educational record is confidential and may be disclosed to appropriate university administrators, faculty members, staff members, appropriate administrators or staff members of Kutztown University, or contractors acting on behalf of the university, who have a legitimate educational interest and require such access in order to perform their educational and business duties, when such records are needed in furtherance of the educational or business purposes of the student or university.


What information about students may I release to parents?
You may disclose directory information to a parent (as you may to any third party) if the student has not restricted his or her directory information. If the student has restricted all of his or her directory information, you should respond to any inquiries by saying "I have no information to provide about that individual." Confidential information may be released to parents with the express, written permission of the student. 


What is directory information?
FERPA has identified certain information, called directory information, which may be disclosed without the student's permission. The university has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student's name
  • Local and permanent addresses
  • Electronic mail address  
  • Local, home and cell telephone numbers
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Semesters of attendance
  • Enrollment status
  • Degrees, awards, and honors received  
  • The most recent previous educational institution attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height if a member of an athletic team

Do I have to release information from a student's educational record?
FERPA regulations state that you MAY release directory information about a student, but FERPA does not require or compel you to do so.


Do I have to keep a record of the release of information from a student's educational record?
A record of each request for access and each disclosure must be kept, unless the request was made by or the disclosure was made to one of the following: 

  • The student
  • A school official who has legitimate educational interest
  • A party with written consent from the student
  • A party seeking directory information only

These records must be kept with the educational records of the student as long as the educational records are maintained by the University.  


May I release confidential information to officially registered student groups?
Student groups do NOT have legitimate educational interest and consequently may not be given confidential information about a student or students without each student's express, written permission.


What do I do about subpoenas?
At Kutztown University, subpoenas are handled by the Office of the Registrar. If you receive a subpoena from an outside agency, you must forward it as soon as possible to that office.  


Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?
General questions should be directed to the Associate Provost and Dean of Students.