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Posted by Shannon Lynn Burton 6 months ago


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Good morning! I'm Shannon Lynn Burton, your #AMA host for September 2nd, 2020! I am the University's Ombudsperson and can help answer questions related to the Code of Teaching Responsibility, Syllabus design, academic integrity, as well as navigating difficult conversations with students in the classroom (and more!). For more information on our office, please visit www.ombud.msu.edu. Let me know what questions you have around student rights & responsibilities!


3 Comments

Posted by Ellie Louson 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply Shannon - that's helpful and I'll spread the word to my colleagues.

Posted by Shannon Lynn Burton 6 months ago

Ellie - Great question! If the e-mail address of the student was the "msu.edu" address, then communicating via e-mail does not violate FERPA as this is the university's official means of communication with a student. However, if it was via Gmail or another non-MSU email service, then it could be a violation of FERPA as you cannot verify that it is the actual student that you are communicating with. Our advice to instructors in this space is to respond to the non-MSU e-mail indicating that you received the message and that a response in more detail would be provided via their MSU address.

Posted by Ellie Louson 6 months ago

Hi Shannon! We had some questions this summer in SOIRÉE about advice in a college to not discuss an individual student's grades over email with that student and the FERPA restrictions on that, and I don't think we ever resolved it. Can you tell us about restrictions on email communication with students? Thanks!