Protecting the Privacy of Our Students’ Information

With policies regarding DACA and undocumented immigrants continuing to be a significant topic in the news, we want to take this opportunity to remind all members of the university’s faculty and staff about guidelines in place to protect student information. In particular, we want to underscore appropriate steps to take in the unlikely event that you receive a request or visit from an official from a law enforcement or government agency such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While we do not expect that government agents will make information requests at The New School, this general reminder is part of our efforts to err on the side of caution in protecting members of our community who may feel threatened amid potential changes in U.S. immigration laws and related enforcement efforts.

Fundamentally, protecting the privacy of our students and employees is our priority. In particular, the university does not request, retain, or provide information about students’ citizenship status. The university has in place practices and procedures that govern the release of student and employee records. These practices and procedures are in line with existing privacy laws.

The guideline is simple: Faculty and staff should not respond to requests from any entity, including law enforcement or other government officials, related to the citizenship status of students, faculty, or staff.

  • Any inquiry regarding students should be directed to our registrar, Rebecca Hunter (hunter@newschool.edu).
  • Requests for information about faculty or staff should be directed to Human Resources (Leah Bautista, bautistl@newschool.edu).

This guideline applies whether the request is made in writing or in person.

An additional important reminder: Any request made by a law enforcement officer or government official, or the presence of a law enforcement officer or government official on campus, should be reported immediately to Campus Security.

As we believe that the protection of confidential information is extremely important to ensuring that every member of our community feels respected and well informed, we will be reinforcing these protocols throughout campus. If you have questions about the university’s information privacy policies, please contact Keila Tennent-DeCoteau at tennentk@newschool.edu or 212-229-5432 x4934.

 

David Van Zandt, President