Guidelines for Graduate Students on Admissions Committees
There are different practices across campus with respect to how students participate in graduate admissions processes. In consultation with Enrollment Management, Administrative Legal Services, and the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, we provide the following guidelines:
If students participate they must receive guidance regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and their votes are advisory only.
Two issues arose during our exploration: 1) graduate student access to the admissions records of others; and 2) graduate students formally voting on program admissions committees.
1) FERPA policy covers records of those currently enrolled for classes at UW-Madison as well as those who have ever been enrolled at UW-Madison. According to Enrollment Management and Legal Services counsel, students may participate in admissions committees and may have access to other student documents. However, as with anyone else doing so, they must receive prior guidance on FERPA and the obligations and responsibilities that go with using student data: http://registrar.wisc.edu/ferpa_guidelines_faculty_staff.htm.
2) According to Faculty Polices and Procedures (FPP) students may participate in program committees, including admissions, however, their vote should be viewed as advisory and cannot count in the official tally.