Student Privacy Rights
We understand the tremendous importance of the role parents and other supportive family members play in the lives and success of our students. Our students tell us that parents and family are one of the biggest influencers on both their decisions to attend UWEC, and in their ultimate success as a Blugold. With that understanding in mind, we strive daily to equip those vital supporters with the information they need to best help their students reach their goals, while maintaining legal privacy rights.
Student and families should become familiar with the laws related to these privacy matters, which are known as FERPA - the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Students should also have a good understanding of the campus statement of privacy matters called Your Rights as a Student
As a campus resource, we have a FERPA brochure available . The FERPA brochure is a tool to educate the campus community regarding student privacy rights and responsibilities.
A Guide for Faculty and Staff: Student Privacy Rights and Responsibilities
Third party access to your information
Sometimes students are alarmed to find out that their campus email may be obtained by outside organizations, especially in election years. While it might be irritating, it has everything to do with public colleges and open records laws. UW-Eau Claire must provide contact information to third parties if they request it. Not too many organizations take the time to make that official request, but it happens on occasion. If you wish to limit the information you receive from third parties, review your options here.
UW-Eau Claire Statement on Confidentiality and the Use of Student Records
Electronic technology enables the University to provide expanded information services to students and faculty. The accessibility of this information necessitates an understanding of and adherence to Federal, State, and University rules and policies on the confidentiality and use of student records by users. The University will take prompt remedial or disciplinary action against individuals who are found to have violated this policy. This statement encompasses rules and practices under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley), the Wisconsin Open Records Act, the UW-Eau Claire Student Records Policy, and prohibits unauthorized disclosure or alteration of student information or records and misuse of computer access.
FERPA related information
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
UW-Eau Claire annually informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) via an email notification. This federal law and the regulations promulgated by the Department of Education protects the privacy of educational records, establishes the rights of students to inspect and review their educational records and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
FERPA NOTICE - Take Responsibility for Student Records Confidentiality
Education Records Defined
Education Records are defined as records, files, communications and other materials in any recorded medium that relate directly to a student and are maintained by UW - Eau Claire. These records include but are not limited to: academic records, financial records, disabilities information, counseling documentation and instructional progress. Health records that are shared with counselors or staff of UW - Eau Claire for instructional or counseling purposes are classified as student records by FERPA.
Access to Student Education Records
Access to Student Education Records - Designated University Officials/Legitimate Educational Need Defined
Designated UW-Eau Claire officials that have a legitimate educational need to access students education records, if that information is required for that person in order to perform a job or service for the University.
Professors, advisors, administrative staff of the University, contractors; consultants; volunteers; or others providing services, or state education authorities or acting for the University frequently need to view student records in order to perform their jobs professionally and responsibly. These people have access to certain student information without written consent from the student. University officials are expected to use student information responsibly and safeguard against its exposure to non-officials. All third party vendors sign agreements with the University to protect any private information that they have access to.
Directory Information (Public Records)
FERPA allows for the release of specified items of information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. UW-Eau Claire, in accordance with FERPA, has designated the following categories of information about individual students as directory (public) information. This information will be released to any inquirer unless the student specifically submits a Student Directory Information Restriction Request Form (E-Form).
All data requests for directory information for internal and external organizations are required to be processed by the Records and Registration Office per the Wisconsin's public records law.
- Phone numbers
- Campus email address (username)
- Major and minors
- Dates of attendance
- Classification (e.g., sophomore, senior, graduate student)
- Enrollment status (full/part-time)
- Dates of graduation, including anticipated graduation dates
- Awards and academic honors
- Most recent previous institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Athletes' weight/height
Non-directory information (private records) are items which are considered private, or protected, and cannot be identified as directory information. Such information includes a student's social security number, race, religion, national origin, gender, grades, and GPA. Circumstances where personally identifiable information may be released without prior written consent are outlined below.
Restricting Disclosure of Directory Info
Personally identifiable information such as a student's social security number, grades and GPA, class schedules, and transcripts are not available to any third party without the student's written consent unless they are a designated UW-Eau Claire official with legitimate educational interest or as designated below in the section "Release of Personally Identifiable Information to Other Colleges and Universities".
Students have the right to restrict the release of some or all of their directory information.
- Phone Number(s) Only - restricts release of all phone numbers
- Address(es) Only - restricts release of student's physical address
- All Academic and Biographical Information** - restricts release of all directory information
**Please note: Choosing to restrict All Academic and Biographical Information will result in the University not being able to verify enrollment/graduation data to prospective employers, other institutions, and/or newspapers. Also, your name and username will be unavailable in the Campus Directory online and Outlook Address Book (campus email), the result being users (including instructors) cannot readily email you without using your entire email address (e.i., firstname.lastname@example.org).
Students must submit the Student Directory Information Restriction Request Form (E-Form). The restrictions will remain in effect until you revoke the restriction by using the same form.
Students should consider very carefully the consequences of restricting the release of all Academic and Biographical Information. Restriction of all Academic and Biographical Information will result in any future requests for such information from non-university parties or organizations to be refused.
Personally Identifiable Information Release
- To authorized representatives of federal, state, and local educational authorities.
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense. (Only the final results of the disciplinary proceeding, regardless of whether the post-secondary institution concluded that a violation was committed.)
- To anyone if the disclosure is in connection with a disciplinary proceeding at a post-secondary institution if it determines that the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and with respect to the allegation against him or her the student has committed a violation of the institution's rules or policies.
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the institution.
- To accrediting organizations.
- To parents of a dependent student.
- To comply with a lawful subpoena or court order, including ex parte orders under the USA Patriot Act. (reasonable effort to notify).
- In connection with a health or safety emergency.
- To schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Release of info to other colleges
Release of Personally Identifiable Information to Other Colleges and Universities
Should a UW-Eau Claire student seek to enroll in another college or university to complete a course or degree, UW-Eau Claire may share personally identifiable data with that college or university's education officials without the student's prior approval. UW-Eau Claire maintains a record of all releases of student records. A student may request to view a copy of what was shared with the other college/university by contacting the Blugold Central at 715-836-3000.
Release of information to high schools
Release of Personally Identifiable Information to High Schools
Should a high school student enroll in courses at UW-Eau Claire, we will forward education records to high schools that have requested the records in which the student is already enrolled as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment.