IOWA CITY - A University of Iowa employee mistakenly sent an email to 2,000 undergraduate students that included a document showing all of their grade-point averages, a privacy breach that school officials disclosed Thursday.
An administrative assistant new to her job at the Center for Diversity and Enrichment sent the email Wednesday afternoon that included a spreadsheet containing their names, number of credit hours and GPAs. School officials discovered the privacy breach Thursday morning after a student complained to a university vice president.
The employee was trying to send an email to students on the center's email list about a new university club on philanthropy, said Georgina Dodge, the university's Chief Diversity Officer. She improperly downloaded student information that included their grades and, for reasons that are baffling, mistakenly attached that to the email instead of the information about the club, Dodge said.
"It's so unfortunate that it happened," she said. "I really hope this does have a minimal impact on students. It may even inspire some of them to have a better GPA next time."
The employee was working on a short-term temporary contract and will face disciplinary action, Dodge said. A decision on whether she will be fired has not been made.