Question: A student has asked me to serve as a reference; can I do that?
Answer: Before agreeing to serve as a reference for a student--either in writing or verbally--there are a few things to keep in mind. If the student wants you to include private information in the reference, including grades and GPA, you must first obtain a signed dated release from the student. The student must include the following information in the release:
- Specifics of the records to be disclosed
- Type of reference being requested
- Purpose of the disclosure
- The name of the party to whom the disclosure is to be made
It is important to know that the recommendation is considered a part of the student's education record and he or she has a right to access it, unless the student has waived the rights to view it. The Office of the General Counsel has created a form for serving as a reference which can be accessed at http://www.ogc.umn.edu/download/studentref.html