Below are various student privacy laws and policies applicable to sexual violence and sexual harassment cases.
Students and privacy
In collecting and reporting information about sexual violence and sexual harassment complaints by students, UC Berkeley follows the UC system’s policy guidelines about disclosing information from student records. The UC policy conforms with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and provisions of state law that relate to public records disclosure.
FERPA limits the disclosure of information from student “education records,” a term that is defined quite broadly and is not limited to “academic” records. “Education records” include virtually all records maintained by an educational institution, in any format, that are “directly related” to one or more of a school’s past or present students. A record is “directly related” to a student if it is “personally identifiable” to the student, and a record is “personally identifiable” to a student not only if it expressly identifies the student on its face but also if the student’s identity could be deduced from the demographic, descriptive, or other information the record contains – either alone or in combination with other publicly available information.
The data provided on this website are grouped to best provide information about case outcomes without violating FERPA or UC policy.
Additional information on UC Berkeley’s privacy policies and FERPA is at http://registrar.berkeley.edu/ferpa.html
Staff, faculty and privacy
When an Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination investigation is underway the investigation is kept as confidential as possible. However, when an allegation is substantiated by OPHD as a violation of the university’s sexual violence and sexual harassment policy, the university may disclose the findings to certain individuals, based on policy and precedent.
Disclosure is based on what is needed to address the issues raised by the investigation and to manage the sanction imposed in the case. Under policy changes implemented by the UC President in 2015, the outcome of an investigation also is disclosed to the complainant. In addition, disclosure also is made to administrators or managers with a legitimate need to know, so for example, they can ensure the respondent abides by disciplinary sanctions and does not engage in retaliation or further violate the sexual harassment policy.