Data Confidentiality Policy
In general, the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning (OIRAP) is the appropriate source of data for grant applications, news releases, official reporting to outside agencies, or internal aggregated statistics. OIRAP has access to and uses data that is owned by other entities on campus. Examples are admissions information owned by Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, enrollment information owned by the Registrar, financial aid information owned by Financial Aid Services, and employment information owned by Human Resources. OIRAP has access to individualized data and may act as custodians for the raw data files or access raw data files in the custody of other campus entities.
OIRAP also owns data acquired in response to the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, and the UMass Boston Graduating Senior Survey, and other information collection initiatives. As a general policy, OIRAP guarantees the confidentiality of the data we collect, and assure respondents that information being gathered is to be used to inform institutional improvement efforts.
Requests for Individual-Level Data
Information about individuals connected to UMass Boston is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and by conditions approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Directory information may be released to third parties without written consent by the university. As a public institution we must comply with any request for a list of our students. Directory information is limited to student data, and includes name, place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards conferred.
OIRAP will not release individualized data to any entity except as required by law or university policy, or as part of appropriately approved research on the effectiveness of education, or in response to a formal request by the owners of the data. OIRAP will release individualized data in response to a formal request of the owners of the data when not required by law or university policy only if, in the judgment of OIRAP, the release of that data does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), violate regulations promulgated by the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), or violate conditions approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). OIRAP may require data requestors to submit their research proposal to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. OIRAP will not release individualized data to anyone on campus who does not require its use in the course of his/her work and/or who in the judgment of OIRAP does not have the capability to adequately analyze it. OIRAP will not release individualized data to students or others to use in exploratory studies or as data for class assignments even at the request of the owners of given data.
The flowchart below explains UMass Boston data confidentiality policy for unit record data.