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Confidentiality and Privacy

Confidentiality and secure communications are essential for the sensitive work of the Ombuds and mediators. Structures to ensure confidentiality for all electronic communications with the program to include encryption of email, documents exchanges, and zoom meetings will be managed by ITS, using HIPPA privacy standards as the benchmark for information security.

The Ombuds and mediators are required to maintain confidentiality except in instances of required or mandated reporting. All inquiries, consults, referrals, and the like will be kept confidential. Documents and other materials for mediations will be destroyed upon completion of the case. The program abides by state law and the Virginia Library rules for maintenance of electronic documents.

Faculty Ombuds Program Privacy Statement

The ODU Faculty Ombuds Program is committed to two overriding principles -- the highest standard of unbiased support for faculty, and the highest standard of privacy of the identity of the individual making an inquiry and the information shared in the conduct of each case. This is why we have procedures and technology in place to protect the confidentiality of anyone who submits an inquiry, requests a mediation, provides documents for mediation, or participates in the Faculty Ombuds Program in any way.

  • We maintain procedures and technology that place privacy first in its design and administration.
    • Technology used has a Business Associates Agreements to meet HIPAA compliance standards for storage.
    • A secure form to collect an initial claim and transmit securely (encryption in transit) to the Ombuds Chair and designee.
    • Involvement of as few members of the Ombuds Committee as is necessary for the conduct of each case.
    • Secured Zoom sessions, ensuring encryption of the session and no recording, when in-person meetings are not possible.
    • A protocol to limit administrative access to the collaboration information in Teams.
    • While minimizing electronic data, electronic notes or documents are under the ownership of the Ombuds Committee with access provided on a need-to-know basis to as few people as necessary for the conduct of the case.
  • Information shared is not subject to Freedom of Information Act release, is not discoverable for legal inquiries, and is deleted upon closure of the case or when no longer necessary.

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