Ask the FERPA Professor

June 4, 2018
  • AACRAO Connect
  • AACRAO Publications
Illustration of a figure, resembling Einstein, standing in front of a green chalkboard that has the text "FERPA" written on it in white chalk. Dear FERPA Professor,
I hope all is well in Washington! I wanted to see if I could get some guidance on a difficult situation. I am not sure how to handle the student’s request under FERPA guidelines.
I have a current student who submitted a form to permit an individual to have access to her educational record. She listed the individual as her mother, but she is not her mother. The individual is an employee that was recently dismissed from her position due to an investigation. I do not know the specifics of the investigation. However, I do know that it involves the student.
Am I required to process the request or let our Director of Security and School Attorney handle it? I want to make sure there is nothing under FERPA that says I should or should not process based on the current investigation being done. They asked that I get your opinion before moving forward.
Herb D. Provence

Dear Herb

Concerning your inquiry, §99.30 of the FERPA regulations permits, but does not require, an institution to disclose a student's education records to the named individual.  Thus, your institution can make the call on whether or not it will disclose the identified records to the named party.  As with all provisions in FERPA concerning disclosures, the only disclosure the institution must make is to the student.  All others are permissible, not required. 

I hope this is helpful in answering your inquiry.

The FERPA Professor

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