Limits of Confidentiality

The information you provide ISSS staff enables us to provide you with high quality support and helpful resources. These records are private, and they will ordinarily not be released without your prior written consent. However, this information may be shared within ISSS or with other University offices on a need-to-know basis. In addition, state and federal laws place some limits on confidentiality and may require ISSS to share information, without your permission, to designated UMN or government offices. However, from our past experience, these situations are rare.

If you have questions about ISSS’s limits of confidentiality, please contact Alisa Eland, ISSS Associate Director and Head of Counseling and Advising, at [email protected].

Below is a list of examples of scenarios where ISSS staff could be required to share your information without your permission:

  • An imminent threat of harm to yourself or another person.
    • In the case of threat of self-harm, ISSS staff would break confidentiality in order to consult with University counseling services (such as the Student Counseling Center or Boynton Mental Health Clinic) or the police in order to prevent the person from harming themselves.
    • If a credible threat to others has been made, ISSS staff members are required to consult immediately with the police, and we may be required to notify the person who has been threatened.
  • An incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, or stalking that occurred on campus, occurred during a University program or activity, or was committed by a University student or employee.
    • In these cases, ISSS is required to share this information with the University of Minnesota’s Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office (EOAA). EOAA is responsible for informing victims of sexual misconduct about their rights and options and the resources available to them.
  • Any physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults within the last three years (including abuse of you if you were under the age of 18 at the time).
  • As required by the Department of Homeland Security or other U.S. government agencies who may be designated to request information. Some examples include:
    • The Department of Homeland Security requires that ISSS report course registration each semester for international students on F-1 visas whose I-20s were issued by ISSS.
    • The Department of State requires that ISSS report when a J student or J scholar has arrived on campus to begin their J exchange visitor program when their DS-2019 was issued by ISSS.
    • The Department of Homeland Security also requires ISSS to report convictions for serious crimes.
    • Other government agencies can obtain a warrant from a court of law to subpoena ISSS’s records.
Last updated: September 6, 2023