FERPA and E-Mail in the Cloud…I Don’t Get the Concern

In this article, and those linked from it in support, FERPA is cited as a concern for moving Faculty and Staff to cloud-based email accounts (i.e. g-mail’s “mymail” accounts).

Here’s what I don’t get. Since most potentially FERPA-violating communications happen between professors and students, haven’t they already let that horse leave the stable by moving students to g-mail? Most FERPA compliance policies allow the free sharing of FERPA-protected information to students’ official email addresses, so why not move Faculty and Staff there too?

Just wondering, since my university’s email client is a bloated pig of a program and our students get to use the sleek, g-mail account…color me jealous.


About Art

I've been a higher education professional for over 15 years and an Academic Advising administrator for the past eight of those. I have a background in exploratory student advising and have spent a great deal of time guiding students through contemplating their personal college-to-career pathways. I've published, presented, and consulted on the intersection of social media and academia and am a firm believer in social media's power as a tool for engagement rather than solely information delivery. I've worked at public and private institutions as well as 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. I believe in Academic Advising as a teaching and learning activity, that learner-centered education is the key to students' academic success, and that as long as we keep students' individual goals and success at the center of our decision-making process, the problem of college-level student attrition can be solved.
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