4.11 Privacy

Every effort is made by the University of Iowa to preserve the privacy of reports.1 The University of Iowa will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation; any complainant; any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation; any respondent; or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR 99; or as required by law, court order, or legal process; or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, grievance, or resolution proceeding arising under University of Iowa policies and procedures.

The University of Iowa reserves the right to determine which University of Iowa officials have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Only a small group of officials who have a business need to know will typically be told about the complaint; they may include, but are not limited to:  Title IX and Gender Equity and the Equity Investigations unit in the Office of Institutional Equity, the Office of Student Accountability, Senior Human Resources Leader or Associate Dean for Faculty, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, University Human Resources, the departmental executive officer, University of Iowa Police, and the Threat Assessment Team. Information will be shared as necessary with response coordinators, investigators, adjudicators, witnesses, and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the parties’ rights and privacy. 

Confidentiality and mandated reporting are addressed more specifically below (see II-4.16).


1. For the purpose of this policy, "privacy" and "confidentiality" have distinct meanings. "Privacy" means that information related to a complaint will be shared with a limited number of University of Iowa employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report. All employees who are involved in the University of Iowa’s response to notice under this policy receive specific training and guidance about sharing and safeguarding private information in accordance with state and federal law. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as outlined in the University of Iowa’s FERPA policy. The privacy of employee records will be protected in accordance with the law and university policies. "Confidentiality" exists in the context of laws that protect certain relationships, including those who provide services related to medical and clinical care, certified victim advocacy, mental health providers, counselors, and ordained clergy. The law creates a privilege between certain health care providers, mental health care providers, attorneys, victim advocates, clergy, spouses, and others, with their patients, clients, parishioners, and spouses. The University of Iowa has designated individuals who have the ability to have privileged communications as confidential resources. For more information about confidential resources, see II-4.16c(1). When information is shared by a complainant with a confidential resource, the confidential resource cannot reveal the information to any third party except when an applicable law or a court order requires or permits disclosure of such information. For example, information may be disclosed when: 1) the individual gives written consent for its disclosure; 2) there is a concern that the individual will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others; or 3) the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under the age of 18, elders, or individuals with disabilities. Non-identifiable information may be shared by confidential resources for statistical tracking purposes as required by the federal Clery Act. Other information may be shared as required by law.