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Monday, November 2, 2015

FERPA: May a faculty member include a student’s grade in an email if the email is sent to multiple students?

Suppose a faculty member needs to communicate midterm grade information to two of her students, Mary and Bob. The faculty sends an email, with both students email addresses on the “to” line, and in the body of the message gives information about Mary’s grade and Bob’s grade. This would violate FERPA because it discloses private student data. Faculty and staff should take care to only include private student data in an email when the recipients are allowed to view that information. Incidents such as these can be referred to abuse@umn.edu.

Policy update (October 2015)

Updates to the Promoting Timely Graduation policy passed the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) at the committee’s October meeting. Next, the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) will consider the updated policy. The intention is for the policy to be retitled and to include updated language to better support students’ timely progress to degree. If passed, the policy will also replace the Declaring and Pursuing an Undergraduate Major policy.