In many aspects of their work, staff members have access to confidential information regarding the College and its finances or personal data regarding faculty, staff, or students. Handling and maintaining the security of such data is one of a staff member's most important responsibilities. Special care must be taken that confidential information is not divulged or inadvertently revealed, especially over the telephone.
From time to time government investigators or agencies, credit agencies, private businesses, etc., either call at the College or telephone seeking information about a particular person. Since it is often impossible for a staff member to distinguish government clearance, checks, or legitimate police inquiries from invasions of others' privacy, it is important to divulge no information without proper authorization. Refer calls of this nature to the Human Resources Department.
It is the responsibility of the Office of Communications to disseminate general information about the College to the news media and others who have questions about Mount Holyoke College, its policies, its students, its alumnae, etc. If an office or department is contacted directly by the news media or others with specific questions about the College, these calls should first be referred to the Office of Communications for screening. The Office of Communications determines that certain information may be released to the news media and will be responsible for all media contact. For further information about this policy, contact the Office of Communications.
Although it may sometimes be difficult to determine to which of these offices a caller seeking confidential information should be referred, the important point is to release no information without clearance from the department head or from one of these offices.
Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the staff member's department head, the Office of Communications or the Human Resources Department.