Data Custodianship and Access Policy

Policy Statement:  Lewis & Clark College maintains data essential and valuable to the performance of College business. These data resources are regulated by internal policies and state and federal laws that identify types of data and restrictions placed on data. This policy incorporates federal and state standards, regulations and legislation and establishes responsibilities for all forms of College data for confidentiality, integrity and availability.

While data are critical to College operations and must be shared, it must also be used with care. The benefit of sharing data is greatly diminished through misuse, misinterpretation or unnecessary restrictions on access. Although some portion of the College data is public information, some data are restricted by institutional policy and state or federal legislation. To comply with legislation and protect its community, the College has the right and obligation to protect, manage, secure, and control data under its purview.


Public Use Data: Data intended for general public use (e.g. Directory information).

Internal Use Only Data: Data not generally made available to parties outside of Lewis & Clark College (e.g. meeting minutes, memoranda, etc.).

Confidential/Sensitive Information: Data that must be protected as prescribed by contract and/or legal specifications or by state and federal laws (e.g. individual financial records, social security numbers, student educational records, and credit card information).

Data Owner: Senior executive officers of the College with responsibility over all information and data resources for their respective areas of responsibility.

Data Custodian: Dean, Vice President, Associate Vice President, Director, Manager or others with the responsibility to manage a subset of data. Examples of subsets of data include employee, student, financial, departmental (e.g. President’s office) and research data.

Data Administrators: Individuals responsible for documenting and enabling user access to a subset of data. A data administrator may also be a systems administrator whose primary functions reside in the Information Technology Department.

Data Processors: Individuals that are authorized by data custodians to enter, modify or delete data.

Data Users: Any College employee, contractor, affiliate, or duly authorized member of the community who can access internal use only and/or confidential data but does not have access to modify or delete that data.

Legitimate Interest: A need for access to internal use only or confidential data that arises within the scope of College employment and/or in the performance of authorized duties.



A. General

Access to College data is provided to College employees to conduct College business. Internal use only and confidential/sensitive data, as defined by this policy, will be made available to employees who have legitimate interest. This may include data collected from students, faculty, staff, contractors, members of the community, or those who have no affiliation with the College. Employees accessing such data must observe the requirements for privacy and confidentiality, comply with the protection and control procedures, and accurately present the data used in any type of reporting. Individuals that have custodianship responsibilities for data access must establish internal controls to ensure that university policies are enforced. All data users (including data owners, data custodians, data administrators and data processors) are responsible for the security and privacy of the data they access as prescribed by this policy.

B. Compliance

1. The College forbids the disclosure of internal use only data or confidential/sensitive data in any medium, including electronic information,information on paper, and information shared verbally or visually (e.g. telephone or video), except as approved by the data custodians. The use of any internal use only or confidential/sensitive College data for one’s own personal gain or profit, for the personal gain or profit of others or to satisfy personal curiosity is strictly prohibited. Data users are responsible for the consequences resulting from their misuse of College data.

2. Should a security breach occur or the misuse of College data be reported, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and/or Information Security Officer will invoke an incident response process, assembling the appropriate team to investigate the facts related to the situation and determine whether or not the matter should be referred to law enforcement. Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable regulations or College policy, up to and including termination or expulsion.

3. All individuals accessing College data are required to comply with applicable federal and state laws (e.g. FERPA, HIPPA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley) and College policies and procedures regarding security of confidential/sensitive data and to exercise discretion with regard to such data. Any College employee, student, or non-College individual with access to College data who engages in unauthorized use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction of such data in violation of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including possible dismissal/expulsion and/or legal action.

C. Responsibilities: Authorization for access to and the maintenance and protection of all College data, particularly confidential/sensitive data are delegated to specific individuals within their respective areas of responsibility.

1. Data Owners (also see Appendix A indentifying Data Owners)

a. Establish policies and direction for the security and privacy of all College data and particularly confidential/sensitive data within their respective areas of responsibilities.

b. Identify and appoint Data Custodians for units within their areas of responsibility.

2. Data Custodians (also see Appendix A identifying Data Custodians and areas of responsibility):

a. Grant access to data for legitimate interest as defined in this policy.

b. Ensure accuracy of all data within their area of responsibility.

c. Annually review access to all data within their area of responsibility with the appropriate data administrator, and update access of users if necessary.

d. Ensure that authorized data users understand their responsibilities with regard to their approved access.

e. Report any possible breach in computer security or misuse of confidential/sensitive data to the Information Security Officer or the CTO.

f. Review appeals resulting from decisions to deny access.

3. Data Administrators:

a. Assign or configure access to College data as prescribed and approved by the data custodian.

b. Maintain documentation of data users who have been authorized access to confidential/sensitive data. Where an abuse of privileges is discovered, make access removal recommendations to the appropriate data custodian.

c. Work with the Information Security Officer to identify potential security gaps that may leave systems vulnerable to attacks or hacking and take remedial actions to make systems more secure.

d. Ensure the usability, reliability, availability and integrity of information systems and the associated data.

4. Data Processor:

a. Accurately input and present data. Data processors will be held responsible for their intentional misrepresentation of data.

b. Maintain data integrity. Upon recognizing that any data elements are in error, the data processor will notify the appropriate data custodian.

5. Data User:

a. Use internal use only and confidential/sensitive data only as required to perform the employee’s job responsibilities and as authorized by the appropriate data custodian.

b. Respect and protect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals whose records to which they have access.

c. Abide by federal and state laws and College policies and procedures with respect to access, use, and disclosure of confidential/sensitive data.

d. Report any suspected breach in computer security or misuse of confidential/sensitive or internal use only data to the data owner, data custodian, Information Security Officer or CTO.

Related Documents:

Approved By: Executive Council

Approval Date: September 23, 2009