Privacy and Confidentiality
Student records and information provided about students to the Dean of Students Office are protected by the educational privacy law known as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). This is different from the type of confidentiality a student would have when working with a mental health or medical professional, or with an attorney. FERPA also allows staff and faculty within the university to communicate with each other in certain circumstances in order to coordinate support with regard to concerns about students.
FERPA and university student privacy policies generally only permit staff members in the Dean of Students Office to release information about a student to parents or law enforcement when knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals, or when a student has provided their written consent and a staff member believes it to be in the best interest of the student. If parents and families are concerned about a student they are welcome to contact the Dean of Students Office to share their concerns. Although Dean of Students Office staff may not share specific information regarding follow-up actions we take, we are glad to help parents and families understand the general support processes and resources that exist at Stanford.
Resources & Options
- Students may sign a FERPA waiver in situations where they would like for staff in the Dean of Students Office to communicate openly with an entity outside the university, such as an off-campus counselor, doctor, parent or family member, or attorney.
- Students may sign a Release of Information with CAPS when they would like greater coordination of care between CAPS and the Dean of Students Office. Please reach out to CAPS if you would like to sign a Release of Information.
- If you are seeking a confidential resource to consult about a mental health concern, you can contact CAPS 24 hours a day at 650.723.3785.
- If you need confidential support related to an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence, you can contact the YWCA during walk-in hours at 408.649.7686 (or 24 hours at a day 800.572.2782).