Student Safety & FERPA

While FERPA requires that UW-Madison protect the privacy of student educational records, it does not bar university officials from sharing critical information about troubled students with appropriate parties.

University officials, including faculty and instructional staff, are permitted and encouraged to share information about a student who is or might be considered to be a significant threat to him or herself or to other individuals.  Instructors who see students on a regular basis are often the first to observe serious personal problems or troubling behavior.

Changes in a student’s behavior could provide warning signs of distress. Changes in behavior may include:

  • Physical or verbal aggression
  • Withdrawn and shy behavior
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Bizarre e-mails
  • Talking to oneself
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Academic performance (drop in grades, not showing up for class, etc.)

University officials who become concerned about the welfare or behavior of a student are encouraged to contact: