Thinking about confidentiality

February 6, 2008

There are always a few people who will keep a secret.
There are always a few people to whom you tell something, asking them to keep it a secret, but knowing full well that they WILL tell everyone. And I’ve come to realize that that’s the way it is.

If I send out an email to a group of people asking them to keep it confidential, I need to write the letter knowing that anyone could read it. And of course, email can be subpoenaed.

Today I learned an exciting confidential piece of information. I went running down the halls wanting to tell someone, like the Chair, but wait, I’M the Chair, so I can’t tell anyone, except someone above me, like the Dean.

I know and understand the tendency to want to go out and tell the world something you’ve just learned. But to resist the personal rush and social drama of gossip is a tough habit to kick.

As Chair, I need to always remember that gossip will never go away. I will step in only when the chatter becomes mean-spirited, libelous, or disruptive.

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