Stanford’s policy has for many years been that an individual should be able to learn the general substance of the information contained in his or her personnel file. However, material supplied to the University by a third party (whether inside or outside the University), or supplied by a member of the University to a third party, is presumed to be confidential unless otherwise stated and should not be shown to the individual. Because the quality of the University’s appointment, reappointment and promotion process depends on the candor of the participants in that process, Stanford's policy is to protect vigorously the sources of information. Accordingly, peer evaluations from outside and inside sources, letters from students, departmental or higher-level documents regarding the review process, and documents containing statements based on personal knowledge, judgments or opinions are regarded as confidential. Such material should therefore, upon request, be summarized by a responsible University officer in manner that preserves the confidentiality of the source of the information.