The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) website (including www.neche.org and all subdomains, collectively, the “NECHE website”) may be used to help NECHE members and the general public learn more about NECHE and the accreditation work it performs. It also may be used by NECHE members to download accreditation-related, as well as upload accreditation-related data in various formats to NECHE. It also may be used as a portal to access third-party payment services to pay dues, conference registration fees, and other NECHE -related financial transactions. This Privacy Statement describes NECHE privacy and security policies for the NECHE website only.
Your Acceptance of These Terms
By using the NECHE website, you agree to be legally bound by the terms of this Privacy Statement. If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Statement, please do not use the NECHE website and exit the NECHE website immediately. We reserve the right to change this Privacy Statement from time to time, and your use of the NECHE website following any posted changes to this Privacy Statement means that you accept those changes.
Personally Identifiable Information We Collect
The term “Personally Identifiable Information” means any information that could reasonably be used to identify you, including your name, address, email address, birth date, financial information, telephone number, or any combination of information that could be used to identify you. We allow you to decide whether to provide us with Personally Identifiable Information via the NECHE website.
You may wish to provide us with comments and feedback concerning the NECHE website generally. By communicating with us for these purposes, you may provide us with your email address and other Personally Identifiable Information. In these instances, we use any information you provide to us strictly for the purposes for which you submit the information.
Certain areas of the NECHE website are password-protected for members of NECHE commissions. If you are a commission member, we require that you complete a registration form in order to obtain a username and password. Our registration form will specify the information which you must provide in order to obtain a username and password, which may include such items as (i) name; (ii) mailing address; (iii) email address; (iv) phone number; and (v) school name. Our registration forms may additionally request information, which you may, at your option, choose to provide or withhold. This information is used by NECHE solely for internal purposes in providing the NECHE website.
We use the information given to us on the NECHE website from our users to respond to any requests our users make, and for operational purposes. Users who wish to edit or delete Personally Identifiable Information that they provided to NECHE may request NECHE to edit or delete the Personally Identifiable Information from its databases by contacting NECHE at the email address or phone number listed in the Contacting Us section below. Please understand, however, that it may be impossible to remove this information completely, due to backups and records of deletions. You may not remove de-identified, anonymous, or aggregate data from our databases.
Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information
NECHE will not sell, share, rent, lease, trade, or otherwise provide information collected on its website to independent third parties in ways different from what is disclosed in this Privacy Statement. We may disclose Personally Identifiable Information to companies performing services on our behalf, such as hosting or maintaining the NECHE website, providing services related to the NECHE website, collecting information, responding to or sending electronic mail, processing payments or other functions necessary to our business and website (collectively, “Site Vendors”). We will provide Site Vendors with only that information necessary to perform their functions, and we will not allow them to use your Personally Identifiable Information for any other purpose.
NECHE may disclose Personally Identifiable Information to third parties in special cases (i) to comply with legal requirements, such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena, or court order; or (ii) when NECHE has reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who, intentionally or unintentionally, may be causing injury or harm to NECHE users or other persons or violating the Terms and Conditions of the NECHE website.
In the event that NECHE, or any part of NECHE, is merged with or is acquired by another entity, that entity may then be responsible for the rights and obligations of the Personally Identifiable Information provided to NECHE. By using the NECHE website, you consent to the use of the Personally Identifiable Information you have provided by such an entity assuming control of NECHE’s operations.
Collection and Disclosure of Anonymous Information
“Anonymous Information” is information that does not identify you, and may include statistical information concerning, for example, your use of our services or pages on the NECHE website that you visit most frequently. We use Anonymous Information to analyze the effectiveness of the NECHE website, to improve our services, and for other similar purposes. We may collect Anonymous Information through features of the software that supports the NECHE website, through cookies, and through other means described below.
IP Address. For each visitor to the NECHE website, our web hosting servers automatically collect information about which pages are visited and the IP address or domain name (e.g., www.neche.org of visitors. We use your IP address to help understand any problems with our hosting service and to administer and manage the NECHE website. Your IP address may be used to help identify unique visitors to the NECHE website by identifying your computer and other general demographic information e.g. approximate location.
Tags. We may use so-called “pixel tags” — small graphic images (also known as “web beacons” or “single-pixel GIFS”) — to tell us what parts of the NECHE website have been visited or to measure the effectiveness of searches customers perform on our Site. Pixel tags also enable us to send email messages in a format customers can read, and they inform us whether emails have been opened, to help ensure that our messages are of interest to our users. None of this data includes Personally Identifiable Information, and you can “opt-out” of receiving these types of emails from us by contacting us at the address or phone number provided in the Contacting Us section below. If any Personally Identifiable Information is collected using such tools, it will be subject to the terms of this Privacy Statement.
Click-Throughs. We may send email messages, which use a “click-through URL” linked to content on the NECHE website. When you click one of these URLs, you pass through our web server before arriving at the destination web page. We track this click-through data to help determine interest in particular topics and measure the effectiveness of our user communications. If you prefer not to be tracked simply do not click text or graphic links in the email, or notify us at the contact address listed in the Contacting Us section below.
Computer Configuration. In order to determine whether your computer is supported by our system, we may collect certain Anonymous Information. This information includes, but may not be limited to, your operating system and browser, as well as the presence of any software that the NECHE website may require to operate your computer, or other third-party software on your computer. This information is kept strictly confidential and is not shared with third parties, except as provided for in this Privacy Statement.
We may share Anonymous Information with external consultants working with NECHE to assess and improve the NECHE website and for other purposes. For example, NECHE may provide information to external consultants about how many people use the NECHE website and what features of the NECHE website they use. The summary information we may share would not be linked to any Personally Identifiable Information.
To enable us to better understand your characteristics and/or to provide services tailored to your needs, we may link Personally Identifiable Information with Anonymous Information (collectively, “Linked Information”). Linked Information will be treated and protected as Personally Identifiable Information under this Privacy Statement.
Although the NECHE website contains links to other websites (“Linked Sites”), this Privacy Statement applies only to the NECHE website. NECHE is not responsible for the information collection practices, privacy statements or the content of Linked Sites. NECHE does not disclose Personally Identifiable Information to the Linked Sites. The Linked Sites, however, may collect Personally Identifiable Information from the users of their site. Linked Sites are not under NECHE’s control. To be sure that your privacy is protected, always review the privacy statements of any linked sites.
Our Partner Sites
Please note that NECHE C does not collect your financial information when you make a payment to NECHE. NECHE uses a reputable Site Vendor (the “Payment Processing Company“) to collect and process your payment information for any payments made online. Rest assured, however, that we have taken steps to ensure that the Payment Processing Company protects Personally Identifiable Information it collects from users in compliance with our Privacy Statement.
The NECHE website has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the information under our control. Please understand that our security measures are not fail-proof and, due to the nature of internet communications and evolving technologies, we cannot provide, and expressly disclaim (to the extent permitted by law), assurance that the information we receive about you via the NECHE website will remain free from loss, misuse or alteration by third parties who, despite our efforts, obtain unauthorized access.
Your Role in Protecting Your Privacy
Please note that you play a key role in protecting the security of your Personally Identifiable Information. NECHE encourages all users of the NECHE website to use only current versions of web browsers on computers or other web-enabled devices with a current and up-to-date operating system. If you access the NECHE website through Internet access system maintained by your employer, please note that it is possible that your employer may monitor your Internet use. If you have been issued a password for the NECHE website, we recommend that you maintain your username and password in confidence, and that you refrain from disclosing this information to anyone who might “pretend” to be you with respect to your use of the NECHE Website.
Notification of Changes
NECHE reserves the right to modify this Privacy Statement at any time. We will post those changes to this statement so that you will always know what information we gather, how we might use that information, and whether we will disclose it to anyone. We recommend that you read this Privacy Statement each time you use the NECHE website.
If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement and the practices of the NECHE website, you can contact us at:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
Attn: Betsy Coldewey
Hearing impaired users may use any Telecommunication Relay Service to reach NECHE. In the United States users may call 711 (for relay services: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs). International callers may use whatever Telecommunication Relay Services with a CA (Communication Assistant) are available in the country where they are located.
Do Not Track. The NECHE website does not change its behavior when receiving a “Do Not Track” signal from browser software.
Assignment. This Privacy Statement shall not be assigned by you, either in whole or in part. We reserve the right to assign the rights and obligations under the Privacy Statement for any reason and in our sole discretion.
Privacy Protection for Children. The NECHE website is not directed at children and we will not accept or request Personally Identifiable Information from individuals we know to be under 13 years old. In accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA“), if we learn that a child under 13 years old has provided Personally Identifiable Information, we will either (i) delete this information from our databases in accordance with our deletion procedures set out above, or (ii) obtain verifiable parental consent in accordance with COPPA.
Choice of Law and Jurisdiction. This Privacy Statement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without regard to any conflict of law provisions. Any dispute arising under this Privacy Statement shall be resolved exclusively by the state or federal courts sitting in the judicial district that includes Suffolk County, Massachusetts.
Revised: December 2015