Krakauer v. Comm’n of Higher Educ.Annotate this Case
Jon Krakauer, a journalist and resident of Colorado, published a book chronicling instances of alleged sexual misconduct on or near the Missoula campus of the University of Montana. This case involved Krakauer’s request for release of certain student records related to one instance of allegations of sexual assault. The Commissioner of Higher Education denied Krakauer’s request, and Krakauer filed a petition in the district court citing the right to know under the Montana Constitution. The district court granted summary judgment to Krakauer and ordered the Commissioner to make available for inspection the requested records. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and state statute provide an exception for release of information pursuant to a lawfully issued court order; and (2) the records at issue in this case appear to fall under the “personally identifiable information” protection granted by FERPA. Remanded for further proceedings.