• Purpose
  • Policy
  • Cross References


    To set forth the University's position regarding the privacy of its employees and students.


    In the interest of promoting academic freedom and an open, collegial atmosphere, this University recognizes its obligation not to infringe upon the reasonable privacy expectations of its employees and students in their laboratories, classrooms, designated meeting and conference rooms, individually assigned offices, and personal residences, or in relation to their personal papers, confidential records and effects, and in communications by mail, telephone, and other electronic means, subject only to applicable state and federal laws and University regulations.  Inquiries about the personal characteristics of employees or students (including but not limited to sexual orientation) are prohibited unless relevant to the investigation of a complaint or an academic or work related matter, or unless relevant under applicable law or University policies.

    In invoking the exception clause ("subject only to... laws and University regulations"), the following principles apply:

    1. Necessary Action - Exceptions to the privacy policy may be authorized only when reasonably necessary to protect the security of the University, its communications system, and the academic process, and when there is good reason to believe that the individual employee or student has violated law or University regulations. For example, if the computer security officer has good reason to believe that a specific user of the University system is endangering the technical integrity of the system, he/she may authorize entry into the user's files for an investigation reasonably necessary to protect the security of the computer network for all users. In general, audio recording or video surveillance of laboratories, classrooms, designated meeting and conference rooms, individually assigned offices, and personal residences shall not be permitted without the consent of the employee or student to which the facility is assigned. Blanket searches of employee offices or random monitoring of written or electronic communications shall not be acceptable.

    2. Consultation and Authorization - The exception clause may be invoked only by persons with responsibility and authority for administering the law or regulations within the University (e.g., computer security officer, University police) and only after consultation with the appropriate administrator (e.g., dean or unit head).

    3. Accountability - Normally, in any application of the exception clause the affected individual shall be notified in advance, unless conditions necessitate immediate access or notification would compromise an on-going criminal investigation. Records of any exception must be kept; the records should be made accessible to the affected individual, unless such access would compromise an on-going criminal investigation. Information collected must be kept secure and be used only for the intended purpose.


    Other Policies in this Manual should also be referenced, especially:

    Effective Date:  August 1, 2007
    Date Approved:  August 1, 2007
    Date Published:  August 1, 2007

    Most recent changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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