3.3 Confidential Information
Staff members may, in the course of their service with the University come into contact with information which is of a confidential nature or be associated with the records of others about whom information may be sought. Staff members with access to confidential information are expected to keep the confidence placed in them, are prohibited from causing any breach of confidentiality, and are expected to act with discretion and good judgment when releasing information entrusted to their care to persons entitled to receive the information.
The University recognizes the importance of ensuring the confidentiality of student records and, in accordance with the law, has adopted a policy governing the release of information from educational records to persons within and outside of the University community. Conditions of access to students records are available upon request from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Information concerning University staff members or applicants for University positions is confidential, except for responses to legitimate requests for references. Careful consideration must be given to ensure confidentiality. Except for references, all requests for information regarding non-U.S. citizen staff members should be referred to the International Student Services Office, and all requests for information regarding other staff members should be referred to the Employment Services Department. The Personnel Processing and Records Department in Human Resources routinely responds to requests for employee references with basic information regarding the employee or past employeeâ€™s employment status. When a supervisor wishes to provide additional reference information regarding a present or past employee, such information must be provided subject to the following guidelines:
- To assure that references are provided for legitimate business purpose, such references should be given only in response to a written request.
- The reference itself may be either in writing or oral (e.g. telephone reference) if preceded by written request.
- To assure that information provided is consistent with existing personnel records, the supervisor is encouraged to consult with Human Resources.
Procedure for responding to requests for information under the Freedom Information Act is set forth in Executive Order 88-2.