The University of Memphis
Public Records - Inspecting and Copying
In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 10-7-503, Records Open to Public Inspection, all records made or received in connection with the transaction of official University of Memphis business shall at all times, during business hours, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of Tennessee unless otherwise provided by law or regulations made pursuant thereto; and the citizen shall have the right to make copies in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 10-7-506. Any questions concerning public records should be addressed to the University of Memphis Office of Legal Counsel.
| ||To establish uniform procedures for handling requests under Tennessee's Open Records Law and complying with required confidentiality of records.|
Information in public records that may not be released under the Tennessee Open Records Laws, including the following and any other information so defined by statute:
|Employee Records||All records related to employees (faculty, staff, graduate assistants, etc.) that are maintained in the Human Resources Department, Payroll Office, Accounting Office, and any other department that may maintain records that include information on employees. These records are one type of public record.|
|Labor||The time reasonably necessary to produce the requested records and includes the time spent locating, retrieving, reviewing, redacting, and producing the records.|
|Public Records||All books, papers, electronic mail messages, maps, photographs, films, microfilm, imaged copies, electronic data processing output, sound recordings, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official University business.|
|Programming Cost||The time reasonably necessary to extract information requested.|
|Inspection of Public Records|
Who May Inspect/Copy Records:
Except for confidential records as prescribed by law, public records will be open for inspection by citizens of Tennessee in the office of record during business hours. Questions regarding records should be directed to the Office of Legal Counsel. Persons requesting to inspect records must show identification of Tennessee citizenship (i.e., driver's license, voter's registration, etc.) and are requested to complete a Request Form to Inspect/Copy Public Records at http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/forms/pub_records.pdf.
Form or Format of Record to be Inspected/Copied:
The public records laws require that actual records be produced for viewing and/or copying. The nature of certain records and applicable confidentiality requirements, however, may result in providing the requested record/information in a form or format other than the original records form or format. In such cases, the University custodian may coordinate with the requestor to find an alternate form or means of providing access to the same desired record or information as available under the open records laws.
In the event the record includes confidential information, copies of the record will be made and the confidential information will be redacted (stricken) before being made available for inspection.
Specificity of Record Requested:
A request to inspect records must be for a specific record and must be made to the custodian of the record, i.e., the department head, or to the Office of Legal Counsel or the Division of Marketing and Communications. The University is not required to create records or compile information.
Time Required to Produce Records:
If the record(s) cannot be produced for some reason within seven (7) business days, e.g., filed in archives, being used for official business, or it will take additional time to redact (strike) confidential information from the record(s), then the person requesting the record shall be advised when the record(s) will be available. All efforts will be made to provide the record(s) within a reasonable period of time.
Responsibility of the Custodian of the Record:
Custody of the original record is not to be relinquished. The person requesting to inspect/copy the record must do so in the presence of the custodian of the record or an appropriate designee.
Requests from News Media:
Requests to inspect public records submitted by a representative of the news media (newspaper, radio, television, magazine, etc.) must be made through the Division of Marketing and Communications or the Office of Legal Counsel who will arrange for the inspection of the public records.
Notifications to Other Offices:
The Office of Legal Counsel and the Division of Marketing and Communications should always be notified when records are requested to be inspected. These offices may be required to assist in answering questions, coordinating release of any additional information, and ensuring correct understanding of the record.
|Inspection of Employee Records|
Personnel records of all faculty and staff, including former employees, are subject to inspection under Tennessee's Open Records Law. Persons requesting to inspect personnel records are requested to complete a Request Form to Inspect/Copy Public Records and must show identification of Tennessee citizenship. When a request is made to inspect the personnel record of a current employee and/or inactive employee, the confidential information in the file is redacted (stricken) before inspection. The current employee will be notified that such a request was made and who made the request.
Medical records are maintained separately from personnel records and are considered to be confidential. Examples of medical records include but are not limited to sick leave documentation and employee assistance program (EAP) files.
|Copying of Public Records|
Upon request, the University will provide, at the requestor's expense, copies of public records. Confidential information shall always be redacted (stricken) before copies are provided. The custodian should not relinquish the original records.
It is the responsibility of the custodian to make copies or arrange for copies to be made as well as to determine and collect copy fees, as stated below.
The Office of Legal Counsel and/or Division of Marketing and Communications will be provided copies of inspected and/or copied records (a) upon their request and/or (b) whenever the office providing access to the record(s) believes circumstances warrant.
|Sponsored Research Records||In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-7-120, records or materials, as designated by the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, that contain proprietary information, trade secrets, or patentable materials received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research conducted within the public higher education institutions of Tennessee shall not be open for inspection. Such designations are subject to review by the State Attorney General. The University will, however, make available, upon request, the title and description of a sponsored research project and the amount of funding for such project.|
|Donor Records||In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-7-140, records and information that concern gifts to the University of Memphis or the University of Memphis Foundation, that include name, address, telephone number, social security number, driver license information, or any other personally identifiable information about the donor or members of the donor's family shall not be open for inspection. The University or the Foundation will, however, make available, upon request, an annual report of gifts with the amount of the gift and a general description of its use.|
This procedure shall not apply to University departments that request to inspect and/or receive copies of records for University business purposes or records of employees who report to that department. Notwithstanding, however, the custodian of the record may require the requesting department to certify the business purpose of the request.
|Request Form to Inspect/Copy Public Records||http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/forms/pub_records.pdf|
|Labor Cost Form|
|Record(s) Production Seven (7) Days Letter|
|What if I cannot determine whether or not a requested record is covered by the Tennessee Open Records Law?||Contact the Office of Legal Counsel for advice.|
|What if I have questions about the labor and/or programming cost?||Contact the Office of Legal Counsel for assistance.|
| ||UM1616 Rev.2 -- updated August 26, 2009
UM1616 Rev.1 -- updated January 25, 2008
UM1616 - Issued: January 28, 2005 supercedes policy number 1:2A:15:01
|Academic||Finance||General||Human Resources||Information Technology||Student Affairs|
| || || || || |