What are the basic rules?
Student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student. As a faculty or staff member you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession.
Some information is considered public (called “Directory Information”). This information can be released without the student’s written permission. However, the student may opt to consider this information confidential as well and it will be flagged as such in the student’s record if the option is elected.
Bates identifies the following as directory information: name; Bates identification (ID) number; class; address (campus, home, and e-mail); telephone listings; major and minor fields of study; participation in officially recognized sports, extracurricular activities, and off-campus study programs; dates of attendance; degrees, honors, and awards received from the College; and individually identifiable photographs and electronic images of the student solicited or maintained directly by Bates as part of the educational record. Therefore, you may (but are not required to) release this “Directory Information” without consent.
You have access to non-directory information educational records only for legitimate use to discharge your responsibilities as a College employee. “Need to know” is the basic principle.
Parents of students do not have automatic rights (as they did in elementary and secondary school); however, if the student is a dependent we may release records information unless the student has indicated otherwise. In general, it is a good idea to check with the Registrar’s office before releasing information to any third party unless you have obtained permission of the student. If you see the word “Confidential” next to a name there is some restriction in place and you must contact the Registrar and Academic Systems Services office before releasing any information.
If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Office of the Registrar at 207-755-5949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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