The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protects student’s rights and privacy in regard to their information and educational records. It is important to understand the basics of FERPA in order to make the right decision in various scenarios related to higher education.


Students must be permitted to view their own education record and school officials shall not release or disclose any personally identifiable information about students to others, or inspect student records without their permission (except in cases that are covered by the act, such as a school official who has a legitimate education interest because they need the information to fulfill their professional responsibility).

What is “personally identifiable” information?

  • Name of the student, their family members and guardians, or any other family member.
  • The campus or home address.
  • Social security number or student I.D. number (901).
  • A list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily known or traceable.

Real-life scenarios

  • An instructor records a face-to-face class discussion and posts it in another class, an e-course. The students are heard on audio, discussing course content. Does it violate FERPA to add this audio to the e-course? Yes, because the voice of a student is personally identifiable.
  • An instructor prints out a grade sheet at the end of the semester and posts it on their door so students can see their final grade. Big no-no.
  • Person calls the library and asks if a student is there, or if they’ve been seen. Can we tell them any information about our students? No, however, if the call does seem like it is from a concerned parent, please refer them to Campus Police.

What is NOT part of the education record?

  • Personal class notes
  • Law enforcement records
  • Any record maintained while serving in an employee capacity
  • Doctor-patient privilege records
  • Alumni records

University Policy Regarding Proxy Access to Records

Marshall’s Office of Student Affairs has an informational page that explains FERPA to students and parents, as well as provides students with instructions on how to grant a proxy access to their educational records.

[URL: https://www.marshall.edu/student-affairs/ferpa/]

Title IX

Title IX covers more than just sports for women; Title IX covers all instances of discrimination, assault, or harassment on a college campus. Institutions that receive federal aid are required to report all instances of reported Title IX policy violations annually per the Clery Act.


Title IX complaints include complaints regarding sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, discrimination, domestic violence, & stalking. Visit our online Form to File a Complaint.

The University prohibits Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation as defined in this the Policy by or against any member of the University community (together, “Prohibited Conduct”). These forms of Prohibited Conduct are defined in the Marshall University BOG GA-1 Policy.

Mandatory Reporters

As employees that interact with students, we are all considered mandatory reporters. Being a mandatory reporter means you are required to submit a complaint that you hear from a student, see for your own eyes, or overhear if the information clearly violates one or more of our university policies.

Examples of Policy Violations: 

  • Discrimination on the basis of sex
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault
  • Domestic Misconduct/Relationship Violence
  • Stalking
  • Retaliation

How to file a complaint

Complaints can be filed anonymously if you are not comfortable reporting your personal information. If you are reporting on behalf of a student or another employee, please provide as much information you can regarding their names and contact information, even if you wish to stay anonymous.

[URL: https://www.marshall.edu/eeoaa/complaint-form/]

What happens once a complaint is filed

The Title IX team will immediately address any concern that is timely: violence on campus, people in danger, student in danger, etc. Once the complaint is reviewed, the Complainant and Respondent will each be notified and will speak with the Title IX Coordinator. Each party will be assigned an advisor.

The first step is to offer mediation. If mediation does is not sufficient, the case moves forward. The first step in a case is to offer alternative resolution (Respondent can at that time accept responsibility and sanction–Respondent can accept responsibility at any time and the investigation will cease). No case where violence of any type is involved, or stalking, will be up for alternative resolution. If the case still cannot be resolved, the complaint then moves to an investigation.

The Student Disciplinary procedures outlines the steps of this process, as well as the steps of an investigation, very succinctly in Appendix B.



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