Office of Registration & Scheduling Services

FERPA Responsibilities for Faculty & Staff

FERPA Responsibilities for Faculty & Staff: As a faculty or staff member, you have a legal responsibility to protect the privacy of  student educational records. A student’s education record beyond directory information is considered confidential information and cannot be released without student consent.  The Family Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s educational records. Under FERPA, directory information may be publicly shared by the University, unless the student specifically requests the director information not be released.  For more information, access the full USM FERPA policy.


UPDATED FERPA Guidelines for Virtual Instruction Environments: FERPA Compliance Guidelines


Directory Information: The University of Maine System has designated the following as directory information 

Name Date of Birth
Degrees and Awards received (including dates) Class Level
Address Program of Study
UMS assigned email address Enrollment status (full/part-time)
Most recent previous educational institution attended Dates of Attendance
Phone Number Appropriate personal athletic statistical data
Participation in sports and activities  

If a student requests that directory information not be released, no information will be released to any requestor, including insurance companies and prospective employers, without the express written consent of the student.  The student's name will not be included in the published Dean's List, student directory, commencement brochure or any other institutional publication or press release. FERPA applies only to students who have enrolled; it does not apply to applicants. 

Your access to student records is based on your faculty or staff role. Here are a few common scenarios you may encounter: 

Calls from Parents (or others): Information beyond directory information can only be released by the appropriate education records custodian with a written and dated request by the student or by the student's completion of the Student Consent to Release Form. To review if a form has been submitted and what type of information can be disclosed, go to the student’s MaineStreet Student Center, under Personal Information select Student Information Release.  Confirm the last 4-digits of the person’s social security number prior to discussing student information. 

Students’ Rights to Access Information: A student may ask for access to their student records and have the right to access most information including Advising notes, paper records, and email messages between faculty or staff that refer or relate to the student.  A good rule of thumb is to keep email focused and factual and avoid subjective judgements.  

Quick Points to Remember:

  • Do hand to students directly their individual graded work; students may not pick up graded work of other students.
  • Don’t leave graded materials for students to pick up in a stack that gives access to other student’s grade information.
  • Don’t use the student’s university ID number in any public manner.
  • Don’t include a student’s grade, GPA, classes, etc in a letter of recommendation without consent from the student.


When in doubt, err on the side of caution.  Further Questions? Contact Registration & Scheduling Services at 780-5230 or