SUPERCEDED Ohio University Policy and Procedure

Public Records Request

SUPERCEDED on March 13, 2008

Current Version

Procedure No.:   40.007

Page No.:        1 and 2 of 2

Date Issued:     11/01/91

Issued By:       J. Burns

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The purpose of this policy is to provide an orderly way of complying with the Ohio Public Records Statute, Section 149.43 ORC. With very few restrictions these statutes currently require that public records be open to inspection by any member of the general public. Access to medical records or certain other records, should there be any in the file, is not permitted. However, access to letters of reference, even if solicited under a promise of confidentiality, is not restricted under public records statutes. The law does not require that we prepare records in a certain way to meet the demands of a request for inspection; but if the records exist, they are open for prompt inspection and copying.

  1. All persons requesting permission to inspect University's records should make the request to the Office of Legal Affairs, Pilcher House, (614)593-2626. This does not apply to the use of files for official University business by authorized individuals or to persons inspecting their own files. If a request is made directly to a University office, the staff should contact the Office of Legal Affairs immediately to start the process.

  2. In cases in which the requested documents are easily compiled, they will be taken to the Office of Legal Affairs for inspection; or the Office of Legal Affairs will suggest inspection where the files are located. The inspection ordinarily will be during business hours. In those cases where the requested records are extensive, the Office of Legal Affairs may provide a staff member who will assist the requester in having access to the files or documents.

  3. Generally, the academic or administrative office where the records are located will be given advance notification of the requests; and when it is necessary for the Office of Legal Affairs to remove records from the office where they are located, a receipt for the records will be provided.

  4. The law allows the requester to have copies of University records made at cost. After the inspection, the Office of Legal Affairs will make arrangements for any copying of the requested documents. Generally the following procedure will apply:

    a. The requester will not ordinarily be allowed to do the copying of University records. The preferred way to provide copies is for an authorized person on the staff of the University office to do the copying. If this is not convenient, the Office of Legal Affairs will do the copying. The fees received will be given to the office responsible for the copying.

    b. The requester should identify the documents that are to be copied by the use of some identifiable means that does not alter or deface the document. (colored paper clips, adhesive notes, etc.). It is the requester's responsibility to provide these and make appropriate designations.

    [Here begins page 2 of the hardcopy version.]

  5. Personnel files are considered public records and as such are subject to the public records statutes of the State of Ohio. When personnel files are requested in this manner, the Office of Legal Affairs will make a good faith effort to inform all current faculty members whose files are included in the request in accordance with the Faculty Handbook.

  6. Questions concerning the reviewing process or the public records law should be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs, 593-2626.

  7. In matters of litigation involving the University where legal discovery is involved through the use of subpoenas, interrogatories or other requests, the Office of Legal Affairs will coordinate the legal discovery process with the University office where files may be located or with the University officials involved.

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Dick Piccard revised this file ( on March 14, 2008.

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