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Legal Issues in Higher Education Free Webinars

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Heads in the Cloud:
FERPA, Online Education, and Social Media

Steven J. McDonald
General Counsel, Rhode Island School of Design

Thursday, June 12, 2014
2-3pm Eastern Time
Registration limited to 125

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New technologies and platforms have enabled new teaching techniques and new forms of education, but, at the same time, have raised new questions about privacy – and particularly about FERPA. How does that fundamental statute play out in the context of course management systems, MOOCs, outsourced e-mail, institutional Twitter accounts, student postings to YouTube, and the like? The rules are not yet clear, but the outlines are beginning to take shape. Starting from a brief FERPA primer, we’ll explore this developing question and make a few predictions.

mcdonald-webinarOur speaker is Steve McDonald, general counsel at Rhode Island School of Design. Steve previously served as associate legal counsel at Ohio State University. He has handled a number of Internet-related legal matters, ranging from investigations of computer break-ins to alleged infringements of copyrighted materials on student web pages.

McDonald began his legal career in private practice at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, where he represented CompuServe in Cubby v. CompuServe, the first online libel case. He also has taught courses in Internet law at Ohio State’s College of Law and at Capital University Law School.

McDonald is a fellow and past member of the board of directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the editor of NACUA’s The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: A Legal Compendium. He received his BA from Duke University and his JD from Yale Law School.


UVM’s Legal Issues Webinars is a free series of presentations covering the diverse legal issues shaping all aspects of higher education. Speakers are drawn from the nation’s leading experts in higher education law and student affairs. All Webinars take place from 2pm to 3pm Eastern Time. Registration is required and seating is limited.

All Webinars are recorded and links are made available to registered participants and others on request at no charge.


2014 Legal Issues Webinars

January 22

What Student Affairs Professionals Need to Know about the Law
Presented by Jeffrey Nolan of Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew

March 12

Why Privacy?
Presented by Trevor Hughes, President and CEO, International Association of Privacy Professionals

April 16

The Elephant in the Room: Legal Issues for Student Affairs and Social Media Use
Presented by Ed Cabellon, Campus Center Director, Bridgewater State University

June 12

Heads in the Cloud: FERPA, Online Education, and Social Media
Presented by Steve McDonald, General Counsel, Rhode Island School of Design