The Higher Education CPO Primer: A Welcome and How-To Kit for Chief Privacy Officers in Higher Education


The Higher Education Chief Privacy Officers Working Group has created this resource to serve as a welcome kit for CPOs in higher education. The CPO Primer is intended to provide an overview and introductory body of knowledge to help new CPOs (or those new to higher education) better understand their job and the challenges unique to colleges and universities. The main audience for this document is a CPO or person with primary institutional responsibility for privacy.

 This document covers the following topics:

  1. Privacy’s role in higher education and how the privacy officer and privacy function fit within a college or university’s organizational structure

  2. Key areas of focus and components of a privacy programs

  3. The relationship between (and balance of) privacy and security

  4. Basic information about federal, state, and international privacy laws applicable to higher education (appendix A)

  5. Common privacy frameworks and standards (appendix B)

  6. Professional resources that provide support or guidance and a brief list of recommended readings (appendix C)

This resource provides a roadmap describing how to create a new privacy program in higher education and how to operationalize it using some of the frameworks, key components, and resources mentioned here. 

* This 2023 updated version includes the previous part 1 and part 2 CPO Primers. 

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