Higher Learning Commission

Policy Title: Confidentiality of Information

Number: COMM.A.10.020

Except as defined under INST.G.10.010 Commission Release of Information and COMM.A.10.010 Commission Public Notices and Statements, the Commission will maintain the confidentiality of specific information provided to the Commission from institutions, peer reviewers and other entities. Such data include but are not limited to:

  1. Information about the institution not available to the public through the institution’s own program to share information and its reporting to the Federal Government (IPEDS);
  2. Information the institution identifies prior to the Commission’s evaluation as “proprietary” such as recruitment strategies including pricing policies, new strategic initiatives being considered or planned for, impending but not public changes in personnel, legal activities not yet part of the public record, planned acquisitions or mergers, courseware and software created by the institution for its own use;
  3. Information provided in the institutional self study report or Assurance Filing and information made available in the resource room or electronically including such documents as personnel files, minutes of meetings, transcripts of grievances and hearings, management letters from external auditors, reports from internal and external quality assurance activities (i.e., reports from specialized accrediting agencies or program reviews);
  4. Information identified explicitly by the institution as “Confidential”;
  5. In clinical settings, patient identity, history, and all other information related to the patient’s involvement with the clinic;
  6. Information shared orally during the on-site visit and any face-to-face hearings that might be part of the Commission’s review processes.
  7. Any other information of a particularly sensitive nature where the institution or a Peer Reviewer involved in an evaluation of an institution asks that the Commission handle the information confidentially.


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Policy History

Last Revised: November 2012
First Adopted: August 1996, February 1996, June 2004
Revision History: February 1998, May 2002, October 2002, June 2008, February 2010, June 2012
Notes: Former policy number –2.3(d)

Policy Number Key

Section COMM: Commission Policies

Chapter A: Commission Obligations to Institutions and the Public

Part 10: General


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