Ask the FERPA Professor

Dear FERPA Professor,

I’m writing to ask for clarification regarding our institutional police department’s law enforcement records involving students.

All UPD records related to students are shared with our Student Conduct Office. The shared copy of the record in Student Conduct is protected under FERPA.

Is the original copy of the record in held by UPD protected under FERPA once it's been shared with the Student Conduct Office, and therefore not releasable under FOIA?


Aaron Toss


Dear Aaron,

Records created by your law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose and maintained separate from education records at the institution would meet the education records exception in FERPA.  Thus, those law enforcement unit records could continue to be disclosed to any party, even when copies of the records are maintained in your Student Conduct Office.  The copies maintained by the Student Conduct Office would, of course, be education records subject to FERPA.  See §99.8 of the FERPA regulations for specific language relating to law enforcement unit records.  You can find this language on page 156 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

I hope this is helpful in answering your query.


The FERPA Professor

Want the Professor to come to your campus? Visit our FERPA compliance training page.

AACRAO members, send your questions to the FERPA Professor at