Faculty members do not have access to a student's education record unless it is specifically required in their normal job duties and responsibilities. Access to a student's education record may be given to appropriate university officials such as administrators, faculty members or staff who require this access to perform their legitimate educational duties. As the guardian of these records, the university registrar resolves any disputes regarding "legitimate educational interest."
Faculty members are advised not to discuss information about a student with parents - or any other third party - without the student's written consent (Release of Information Authorization form). If a student has opted to restrict directory information, then directory information is also considered confidential and may not be disclosed.
Writing a letter of recommendation may require written permission from the student in order to access the student's education record or disclose information - such as grades, GPA and class rank - to a third party. The Release of Information Authorization form specifies the purpose for the request, the records to be disclosed and the individuals or parties to whom the information may be released.
A letter of recommendation may include any information obtained through observation or personal experience with the student as long as that information is not recorded and on file at the university.
Personally identifiable information about a student may not be disclosed without the student's written permission. Faculty member should take care in protecting this information (grades, ID numbers) when returning assignments, tests and papers.
FERPA and USD policy prohibit the release of personally identifiable information without the student's written consent. Faculty members should use WebAdvisor and other resources available in myUSD to privately and securely communicate grades and other academic-related information to individual students.