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3.06 Dissemination of Confidential Information
College Hall 106
Last Revised: 3 October 2018
Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Human Resources or University Registrar
This policy applies to faculty, teachers, staff, and students in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.
There are properly established procedures for the accumulation and custody of information at Gallaudet. Information resources of the University are the property of the University, and all employees assigned responsibility for and entrusted with confidential information are expected to maintain the data with a high degree of security. A limited amount of confidential information can be released as long as no laws are violated (e.g., FERPA and HIPAA) and it can be reasonably determined that the requesting party, either internal or external, has a bona fide reason for accessing the information. Employees at Gallaudet should contact their unit administrator if they have any questions regarding release of information. Inappropriate disclosure of confidential information could lead to termination of employment. Administrators, faculty, teachers, and staff will sign a “Confidentiality Agreement” during the start of each fiscal year indicating that they understand their responsibility to the University to safeguard confidential information.
The procedures contained in this policy apply to the release of personnel and payroll information from Human Resources Services and to the release of student information.
Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration
Information disseminated from Human Resources Services usually follows the procedures outlined below. Requests regarding work performance are normally referred to the appropriate supervisor. If a supervisor prefers not to provide a reference, the information described below is provided by Human Resources Services. Information for the University directory is not controlled by this policy.
Requests for information on employees and former employees are normally received from the following:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The Act prescribes under what circumstances and to whom student records may be released. It gives students the right to review their educational records, the right to request a correction to any record they believe is inaccurate, and the right to limit the disclosure of information from their records. Gallaudet’s failure to comply with FERPA could cause the withdrawal of federal funds by the Department of Education.
The Act applies to: (1) persons who are taking or have taken courses/classes at Gallaudet University, including students at the Clerc Center, for whom an educational record has been established; (2) all educational records maintained in files, documents, databases, etc., including, but not limited to, class schedules, grades, GPA, test scores, academic standing, and transcripts; and (3) personally identifiable information, including, but not limited to, the student’s name, Social Security number, residency status, gender, religious preference, and race/ethnicity, that is contained in files, documents, databases, and other sources containing information from which students can be identified.
FERPA does NOT apply to: (1) admissions applications; (2) confidential letters of recommendation placed in the student’s file after January 1, 1975; (3) faculty, teacher, or staff personal notes and records that are not shared with other people except someone who may be temporarily substituting for that person; (4) records of the Department of Public Safety; (5) records of employees (the law does not apply to records of students who are secondarily employees, e.g., work-study students); (6) records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional, when these records are used solely in connection with the provision of treatment; and (7) records which contain only information about a person after he/she has left Gallaudet (e.g., alumni records).
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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