Issues of privacy and confidentiality play important roles in matters involving reported Prohibited Conduct, and those issues may affect individuals differently. While they are closely related, the concepts of privacy and confidentiality are distinct terms that are discussed below and in more detail in the Policy.
Confidentiality refers to the protections provided to information disclosed in legally-protected or privileged relationships under Texas state law, including licensed professional mental health counselors, licensed medical professionals, and ordained clergy. These Confidential Resources can engage in confidential communications under Texas law when the information is disclosed within the scope of the provision of professional services. When an individual shares information with a Confidential Resource (on campus or in the community) as a confidential communication in the course of a protected relationship, the Confidential Resource cannot disclose the information (including information about whether an individual has received services) to any third party without the individual’s written permission or unless required by ethical or legal obligations which compel the professional to reveal such information.
Confidential Resources are identified in the Resources section on this site.
Privacy refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the University in the course of any investigation or disciplinary processes under this policy. Information related to a report of prohibited conduct will be shared with a limited circle of University employees who need to know in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report and related issues. University employees receive training in how to safeguard private information. Information may be disclosed to participants in an investigation as necessary to facilitate the thoroughness and integrity of the investigation. In all such proceedings, the University will take into consideration the privacy of the parties to the extent reasonably possible.