Public Records Frequently Asked Questions
WHEN MUST A REQUEST BE FILED
For records that are not routinely made available to the public through publication (either paper or online), please file a written request. Examples of such records include: individual and committee reports, departmental files (with certain exceptions regarding personnel or student records).
WHEN IS A REQUEST NOT NECESSARY
If you want a copy of a report that has been completed and released already, you do not need to file a records request. We can help direct you to the appropriate source. University budget and salary information is available in the Main Library, Special Collections and in Phoenix at the State Capitol Library. Statistical information about the University, including student demographics, budget trends through time, etc. is available at the OIRPS home page, including links to other UA information.
WHICH RECORDS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE
Records not subject to disclosure include:
- Documents protected by Attorney/Client privileges and those related to pending negotiations.
- Student information other than federally-defined “directory information”.
- Documents whose release would invade personal privacy.
- Employee personnel information, except name, title, and salary.
- Works in progress.
- Anything that the release of which would be detrimental to the best interests of the State.
- Anything that would require the creation of a document not already in existence.
- Confidential business information, including trade secrets and unpublished research results.
- Medical records.
- Other matters whose disclosure is restricted by law.
TIPS TO SPEED THE PROCESS:
- The Coordinator for Public Records will help you get the information you request, if it is available and if it is subject to release.
- Please be very specific in the wording of your request to enable us to locate records as quickly as possible. Because of the varied nature and quantity of University records, we cannot accept broad requests for “all records” or similar language.
- Requests may take longer to process if redactions of privileged or confidential contents are needed or when records must be collected from multiple sources or archived files.
- All requests are acknowledged in writing.
The "commercial purposes" provision in the Arizona State Statute does not restrict the right to inspect records but does require the requestor to pay the fair value of the data. The statute (A.R.S. 39-121.03(D) defines commercial purpose as "use of a public record for the purpose of sale or resale or for the purpose of producing a document containing all or part of the copy, printout or photograph for sale or the obtaining of names and addresses from public records for the purpose of solicitation or the sale of names and addresses to another for the purpose of solicitation or for any purpose in which the purchaser may reasonably anticipate the receipt of monetary gain from the direct or indirect use of the public record."
Commercial purpose does not include gathering evidence for a court case or news gathering.
ABOR approved multi-year contracts are releaseable once formally approved. Year to year appointments are documented with a "Notice of Reappointment" from which personal information such as SSN, EID, and home address will be redacted before release. There will be a charge to cover any copying and mailing costs.
All contracts with outside vendors are reviewed before release to determine if there are clauses bearing on the document's release as a public record. For example, some contracts may contain a clause requiring the University to notify the vendor before information is released. Contracts that are currently under negotiation are not releaseable.
To request employment verification or to view your own personnel file, contact Employee Records in UA Human Resources.
IS THERE A FEE?
No fee is charged for the time expended to respond to a records request. There is a charge for copies made ($.10/page) and for the cost of mailing records if they are not picked up in person or faxed. Fees are payable in advance; an invoice will be provided; checks should be made payable to "The University of Arizona".
There may be additional fees for commercial requests. If programming time is required in order to fulfill a request, there will be an hourly charge which will be discussed with and approved by the requestor in advance.
Note that the University of Arizona Police Department has a different fee schedule for Police Reports, and payment is made directly to them.
Federal law protects the release of certain information regarding students.
Information regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) can be found at:
PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
The University of Arizona's public records policy is to be as open as possible while protecting legitimate privacy issues. By State law, most documents prepared by University employees while performing work-related duties (either paid or unpaid) are, with some exceptions, public records (Public Records, Printing & Notices, Subsection 39-101 et. Seq.). It is the intention of the University of Arizona to be responsive, in a timely manner, to all legal and legitimate public requests for information. For more information, see the Public Records section of the Office of General Counsel site or the Arizona State Statute concerning public records law in Arizona. Contact the Coordinator for Public Records if you have further questions.
Many documents contain portions that are exempt from release as a public record but also contain portions that are not exempt. When redaction is necessary, it will be released with the protected information edited out. (Also see "Which records are not subject to disclosure" above.)
Note that redaction can be time consuming and that it may take longer to produce records when redactions are needed.
For more information, see the Public Records section of the Office of General Counsel site.
Any current or former student at The University of Arizona may request to view or copy his/her own records by contacting the Office of Curriculum and Registration at (520) 626-4365. For transcript requests, call (520) 621-3113. To view your own student records in a departmental office, contact the department head.
Requests for information about student records of other individuals are subject to federal law which restricts the release of certain information regarding students. See FERPA above.
The only office authorized to accept subpoenas for University of Arizona records of any type is the Office of the General Counsel. Employees in other departments are requested NOT to accept such subpoenas but rather to redirect them to the OGC. However, garnishment, levy and child support subpoenas should be directed to the Payroll Department.
What if the records are held by another organization that is affiliated with the University of Arizona?
Certain University affiliates, such as the UA Foundation, the University Medical Center, and University Physicians Healthcare, are not part of the University of Arizona, and may not be subject to the public records law. Document requests should be made directly to those units.