As employees in higher education, we often have the records of thousands of students at our fingertips—often without even knowing it. It’s incumbent on all of us to treat student information with care and to abide by the privacy laws and policies that are in force at our institutions. Exactly what those laws say, though, can be tricky to discern.
It’s important that we take time on regular intervals to consider our efforts and ensure they’re aligned with the university’s mission. I started thinking heavily about this last week after an interaction with a student on Twitter. In the 15 minutes she had before class, she was trying to get to the Starbucks across campus for a cup of coffee.
Is it a mistake to ask students, parents and alumni what they would change about an institution via social media? Matthew Anderson, new media coordinator at Western Washington University, doesn’t think so.