University Senate Rule 188.8.131.52 provides that “the Ombud shall not violate the rights of students or other parties involved in cases brought to the Ombud through the disclosure of any information communicated in confidence.” The Ombud’s Office takes very seriously this responsibility to ensure that personal and official information provided by and about faculty, staff, and students is not communicated to third parties without the consent of the individuals concerned. For example, the Ombud’s Office will not disclose to an instructor the student’s name unless the student consents to that disclosure. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm or by court order.
The Ombud’s responsibility to protect confidential information is, however, subject to disclosure requirements imposed by law. In rare cases, for example, the Ombud’s Office may be required to provide information pursuant to a court order. Also, Title IX requires that, if the Ombud’s Office receives a complaint related to an alleged violation involving Sexual Harassment and Discrimination or Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence, this Office must refer the complaint to the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity (IEEO) for investigation. If an individual wishes to make a confidential report that is not required to be referred to the IEEO, the individual may contact the University’s Violence Intervention and Prevention Center (VIP Center), University Counseling Center, or University Health Services (students).