FERPA for Faculty & Staff

The University’s policy on access to student records is guided by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (sometimes referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment). This policy is reprinted in Essential Policies for the Columbia Community, a compendium of information to help students, faculty, and staff understand the policies and regulations of the University. It regulates the access of students to their educational records at the University and defines the conditions under which the University will grant access or release those records to others. The policy is binding on all University employees, including faculty. Further information on the University’s FERPA policy may be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar.

In general, the University will not release a student’s transcript or other information from or about a student’s educational records without his or her written consent. The policy also provides that students generally may have access to their educational records at the University. Specific exceptions to both of these statements are set forth in the policy.

Access to Student Records

Protecting and safeguarding the educational record is one of the core responsibilities of the Office of the University Registrar.  Given the highly sensitive nature of information in our systems, we maintain a commitment to full compliance with FERPA regulations and to stay current with best practices in student information management. The Office of the University Registrar reviews all access requests to university systems containing student records.

Before accessing student records, faculty and staff  are expected to review FERPA guidelines at: Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Faculty and staff who have access to student records should complete the Security Awareness Training, of which FERPA is a part, here: http://cuit.columbia.edu/cuit/security-awareness-training (link is external)  The Office of the University Registrar is available to assist departments and offices with understanding the requirements of FERPA policy and guidelines. Training may be requested at: mailto:registrar@columbia.edu.