Students’ Right to Non-Disclosure of Directory Information
While FERPA allows institutions to release students' directory information without their written consent, the law also requires that institutions provide the option for students to request that their directory information not be released.
To have their directory information protected, students must submit a FERPA Non-Disclosure Form, also known as a confidentiality block. Weber employees can direct students to the Non-Disclosure Form seen below.
Disclosure v. Non-Disclosure
Students should carefully consider the decision to put a confidentiality block on their records. Non-disclosure prevents the institution from releasing any directory information on designated students, including to students themselves over the phone. This can make a student's access to their own records more difficult, and can prevent enrollment verifications, reference checks, degree verifications and similar issues that arise with hiring processes, graduate school admissions, scholarship applications and other common situations both during college and after graduation.
Students who choose to invoke their right to non-disclosure of directory information often do so for serious reasons, including for their personal safety, so employees should take care to look for a confidentiality block on each student's record before providing any directory information.
Confidentiality Block Protocol
To protect students' privacy and safety, employees must check a student's record every time they receive a request for directory information. If students have invoked their right to non-disclosure of directory information, a confidentiality block is placed on their student record across WSU systems. The confidentiality block can be found prominently displayed within multiple student information screens across Weber State systems, including Banner, CatTracks, Faculty Dashboard, Advisor Dashboard, and the Unofficial Transcript.
In case of a confidentiality block, employees should disclose no information whatsoever about the student. Employees should not say anything that would even indicate the individual in question is a Weber student.
Incorrect: "There is a confidentiality block on this record."
Correct: "I have no information on that individual."
A confidentiality block prevents Weber State employees from releasing any information over the phone, even to the student who invoked the confidentiality block. If a student has a confidentiality block, employees should communicate only with the student in person after checking a photo ID or through the student's Wildcat email account.
Data Releases between School Officials
Confidentiality blocks do not prevent Weber employees from sharing student data between institutional offices and departments for official purposes. FERPA protects student records but is not meant to stop employees within the university from accessing and processing student records in order to complete their work responsibilities, even when students have exercised their right to non-disclosure through a confidentiality block.
FERPA allows an institution to share non-directory information internally between school officials without students' prior written permission when a legitimate educational interest exists. School officials are individuals employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position. This category includes law enforcement and health staff personnel; it also includes individuals elected to the Board of Trustees.