Because a letter of recommendation may include information from the student's academic
record and because the letter itself is considered part of the student's academic
record, writing a letter of recommendation may not be as straightforward as you think.
Key considerations are discussed below, but first review these terms.
Determine if the student has a confidentiality flag set in the Banner system. If the
student does, the student must give you permission to write a letter (complete the
form), regardless of whether it will contain personally identifiable information from
the student's education record or not.
Release of the Student's Education Record Information
Is the student willing for information from his/her student education record to be
included in the letter? Have the student indicate Yes or No in the Release portion of the form.
If the student answers Yes, s/he should specify what information can be included; you may then include the specified
information from the student's education record as well as your personal knowledge
of the student.
If the student answers No, you may include only your personal knowledge of the student--no information from
the student's education record.
Waiver of Student Right to Review Letter
Since the letter of recommendation becomes part of the student's education record,
and since under FERPA the student has a right to view his/her education record, the
student would be able to view the letter in the future.
If you do not object to this, have the student indicate, "NO. I do NOT waive my right
to review a copy of the letter at any time in the future."
If you do object to this, ask the student to waive his/her right to review by indicating,
"YES. I waive my right to review."
A student’s waiving his/her right to review letters of recommendation in their education
record on our campus does not apply to the receiving institution. If the student does
not waive his/her right to review letters of recommendation at the receiving institution,
the letter may be viewed by the student as part of the education record there.
Processing the Form
Have the student sign and date the form; then make a copy for your records. When you
have written the letter, send the student release and a copy of the letter of recommendation
to the Registrar's Office to be imaged as part of the student's education record.