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Confidentiality of Student Records

The University policy on student records is found in the Academic Information section of the various University catalogs. You are encouraged to review the materials carefully and to contact your Registrar's Office if you have any questions concerning your rights and/or responsibilities regarding the confidentiality of student records.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

· permits students to inspect their education records

· limits disclosure to others of personally identifiable information from education records without the student's prior written consent to such disclosure

· provides students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate.

According to FERPA, educational records are defined as those records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for or authorized to keep records for the institution. They may be handwritten or in the form of print, magnetic tape, disks, film, on-line computer access files, or some other medium contained in records, files, documents, and all other data directly related to students.

All employees of Mercer University, to include administrators, faculty, and staff, are required to abide by the policies governing the review and release of student educational records. Access to the student record system (CampusVUE) will be granted only to those University employees who have been determined by the nature of their job to have a "legitimate educational interest” also defined as a "need to know".

If given access to student records it is your responsibility to never

· disclose your personal password to another individual · sign onto a computer terminal and let anyone else access data from it

· leave screens (or reports) containing confidential student information in view of others who do not have a legitimate educational interest in the data

· leave the computer terminal unattended (always lock your session whenever you are going to be away from your desk for short periods of time and sign off whenever you are going to be away for an extended period)

· improperly store or dispose of printed student record reports.

In order to maintain a high level of system security it is essential that supervisors notify the Registrar's Office of any changes in departmental personnel that would affect an employee's need to access the student record system (e.g., termination of employment, change of assignment). In some instances, under close supervision, it may be appropriate for student workers to view non-sensitive student data in order to conduct the normal business of the office. In such cases, student employees must be given their own access codes. However, they should never be allowed access to any screens containing sensitive data (e.g. grades, GPAs, test scores).

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