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Policy 305 - Confidential Information
The University will safeguard confidential information concerning students, employees, alumni, University business, and other matters. Unauthorized accessing and/or disclosure of confidential information by University employees is prohibited and may result in legal penalties as well as disciplinary sanctions.
Types of Confidential Information
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to information concerning:
Restrictions and Violations
There are specific laws, University policies, and guidelines that govern the release of confidential information. Therefore, University employees may not obtain access to or provide confidential information unless their positions within the University authorize them to do so. Employees who receive requests for confidential information should seek direction from a supervisor before responding. Employees who violate the University’s Confidential Information policy may be disciplined up to and including dismissal. Unauthorized accessing or disclosure of legally protected information may result in civil liability or criminal prosecution.
The University limits the authorized release of reference information on former employees to confirmations of dates of employment , positions held, and salary verification. Any further information provided by individuals is construed to be a personal reference for which the University is not responsible or liable.
Employees are encouraged to seek prior authorization before commenting on University business to representatives of the press (radio, television, electronic or print media). They may not represent themselves as spokespersons for the University unless authorized to do so. Inquiries from campus media should be referred to the appropriate department head or higher level of management.
Subpoenas and any other request or demand for the release of information for legal proceedings must be referred to the appropriate Vice President before release of any information.
Supervisors are responsible for knowing the confidentiality laws, policies, and guidelines that pertain to their area. Supervisors are also responsible for informing employees about restrictions on confidential information. University employees must comply with this policy. When in doubt, they should assume information is confidential and not disclose it until authorized to do so.
Contact Human Resources if you have questions or if you would like more information about this policy. Contact the University Communications Department concerning media contacts or division Vice President concerning subpoenas.
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998