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C. Classes and Students

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18. Student Privacy

Student education records are private under the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the California Information Practices Act. Faculty members have a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of student records. This means that faculty members may not publicly post grades without the student's written permission, even if they use RED IDs. Returning papers via an open system, such as leaving them on a table or in a box outside the door, is also prohibited, unless the faculty member has a signed waiver. Instructors should keep a file of waivers in order to avoid institutional or personal liability. Faculty members cannot discuss a student's academic record with any person who does not have a legitimate educational purpose. Doing so is a violation of FERPA and California law. For further information about FERPA, go to

Official E-mail Policy

Student e-mail is considered confidential directory information and is used as an official means of communication. San Diego State University maintains an official e-mail policy that outlines the responsibilities of both the university and students. Faculty members are required to follow university policy.

Faculty members are encouraged to use e-mail communication with their current students via Blackboard. Confidentiality must be ensured to comply with the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Group e-mails sent via Blackboard do not show individual addresses. Group e-mail sent out via any other means must include the group list in the bcc line to suppress the full list of names.

Note e-mail is not considered a secure means of communication; therefore, faculty members are not allowed to send sensitive information, including grades or academic standing, via e-mail.

Refer to the full e-mail policy located in the Policy File under Facilities, or at Policy File.

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