For enrolled students, the information would be easy to collect -- all
they need to do is get their hands on a directory. On-line directories
would be relatively easy to skim if they're available; entrepreneurs
have also been known to go to campuses and buy paper directories from
cash-strapped students for $25 or so.
For prospectives, the question becomes more interesting. If you
outsource mailings, that becomes a possibility. The company would not
necessarily be the culprit; it could be an employee. Same thing could
happen if you provide information about prospective students to your
long-distance provider, or anywhere else (on-line application service,
financial aid processing, . . .).
We've had the problem in the past, and I fully expect it to recur. We
assure the complainant that we do not sell our addresses to anyone;
and we have, I believe, had our legal counsel contact the company doing
the mass mailings for a friendly discussion about the use of our name.
J. Michael Yohe
Executive Director, Electronic Information Services
134 Kretzmann Hall, Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
E-mail: [log in to unmask]; Phone: 219-464-5072; FAX: 219-464-5381
On Tue, 27 Feb 2001, Jay Dominick wrote:
> Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 10:55:31 -0500
> From: Jay Dominick <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
<[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CIO] Discover Card
> Dear Colleagues:
> Has anyone experienced any problems lately with a direct mail from
> Discover Card?
> I got an irate call from a parent last week saying that she was upset
> that we were selling name and address information to direct mailers. I
> explained that we absolutely do not do that and work hard to make sure
> that our name is not used improperly. It seems that her son (an
> applicant to WFU) received a solicitation from Discover Card that
> addressed him as a Wake Forest student. The name Wake Forest University
> appeared several times on the solicitation (including in the address
> window) and looked like it was something that was tied to us. The
> parent assumed that we had somehow sold his personal information to
> Discover Card.
> Coincidentally one of our staff members happened to notice that his son
> (who attends another University) received the exact same solicitation in
> the mail a day or so later. It was addressed to him with the name of
> his school featured as well. This seems to be an organized effort on
> the part of Discover.
> We have attempted to contact Discover Card and have gotten the complete
> run around.
> Has anyone else seen this? Does anyone have any idea where they would
> have gotten the information? All I can think of is that there are web
> sites out there (perhaps even the "college admissions" pages) that are
> collecting and selling the information. Any thoughts?
> Jay Dominick
> CIO, Wake Forest University
> Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7408