Confidentiality in a Nutshell

Harvard community members have a right to seek information and support through confidential resources at the University. As you consider the resources available to you, you may have questions about confidentiality. This page explains how resources at Harvard handle your information. We also encourage you to ask about confidentiality and privilege at the start of your conversation with any of Harvard’s resources.

three closed locks Confidential - Privileged  

Conversations with these resources are privileged and, absent special circumstances, may not be disclosed without your consent even in a criminal or other external proceeding. Examples include:

  • Counselors
  • Mental health clinicians
  • Lawyers providing legal advice to clients
  • Clergy members providing religious or spirtual advice or comfort

two closed padlocks Confidential  

These resources are designated by Harvard as confidential and do not need to notify a Title IX Resource Coordinator when they learn about potential incidents of sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct. However, they may be required to reveal information that was shared with them in a criminal or other external proceeding. Examples include:

  • University Ombuds
  • Longwood Ombuds
  • Office of BGLTQ Student Life

one closed padlock Private*  

These resources share information only on a need-to-know basis:

  • School or unit Title IX Resource Coordinators
  • University Title IX Coordinator
  • Associate University Title IX Coordinator

Acronym "RE" Responsible Employees**  

These resources are employees who protect privacy but must share information with a Title IX Resource Coordinator or the Office for Gender Equity, and otherwise only on a need-to-know basis. Examples include:

  • Faculty Deans
  • Resident Deans
  • Tutors/Proctors
  • Faculty
  • Instructors
  • Teaching Fellows
  • Deans
  • Administrative and Professional Staff
  • Coaches
  • Paid Student Employees (when acting as employees of the University)
  • Postdocs

Download the PDF

* Staff with specialized training and expertise in addressing issues of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct, who are positioned to help students, faculty, staff and third parties and who protect privacy and share information only on a need-to-know basis.
**This is not an exhaustive list of Responsible Employees. If you have questions, reach out to your local Title IX Resource Coordinator.