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  Cornell University

Cornell University Title IX

Promoting Gender Equity at Cornell

Process Privacy Under Policy 6.4

To ensure the integrity of Policy 6.4 and its applicable Procedures, and to encourage parties and witnesses to participate in matters under this policy, the university recognizes that participants should be protected from unreasonable disclosure of their involvement in processes under any of the applicable procedures, and of any information they reveal during their participation. However, the university also recognizes that there are legal mandates that govern disclosure and afford participants certain rights to disclose information related to matters under this policy.

Accordingly, the university seeks to balance these competing interests by encouraging parties not to reveal any information they learn in the course of their participation in processes set forth in the applicable procedures, other than for the purpose of consulting with advisors and attorneys, and incidental to seeking support and advice from family, clergy, health professionals, and others playing a similar role. Parties are also encouraged to request that any advisors, attorneys, and support persons they consult keep information related to matters under this policy private.

Parties may choose whether to disclose or discuss with others the outcome of a complaint under this policy.

The university prohibits students from distributing documents obtained in the course of their participation in matters under this policy’s Procedures for Resolution of Reports Against Students, including, but not limited to, the complaint, interview transcripts, and the investigative record and report, other than for the purpose of consulting with an advisor; incidental to seeking support and advice from family, clergy, health professionals, and others playing a similar role; or as part of a civil, criminal, or administrative legal proceeding.

As appropriate, in a given case, a university official, such as the Title IX Coordinator, may issue an order restricting the parties from disclosing specific information. Members of the Cornell community who fail to follow an order of a university official may be found to have violated Cornell University’s Campus Code of Conduct. Additionally, sharing private information in a manner that harms another individual may constitute retaliation prohibited under this policy. (Retaliation is defined in the applicable procedures and may result in disciplinary action.)

The university will provide other participants, such as witnesses and hearing and appeal panel members, with instructions about respecting and safeguarding private information. Such persons are obliged to comply with the university’s rules regarding privacy.

The university will take reasonable measures to protect the privacy of proceedings and records; however, the university cannot and does not guarantee that privacy will be maintained. Privacy does not mean that the university is constrained from divulging facts of proceedings in appropriate circumstances. Additionally, the university may publicly divulge details of an outcome if one of the parties discloses selective portions of the proceedings, or if the matter is involved in litigation.

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