Requesting public records

UA's Public Records Policy

The University of Akron is a public institution subject to Ohio's Public Records Statute and therefore it is Ohio law that applies to requests for our public records. While Ohio law does not state when records are to be provided, the statute requires that we provide copies of existing records that are requested with reasonable specificity, within a reasonable period of time.

Public record requests can be made directly to Scott Campbell, the University's Records Compliance Officer, by mail, email, phone or in person during normal business hours at:

Scott M. Campbell
Associate General Counsel and Records Compliance Officer
302 Buchtel Hall, Rexford Suite 63
Akron, Ohio 44325-4706
(330) 972-7226

Frequently asked questions about public records

The Board of Trustees designated a records compliance officer for addressing public record requests pursuant to University Rule 3359-07.01.1. This person, serving in the Office of General Counsel, gathers the information necessary to comply with a public records request, reviews the documents for appropriate redaction, and releases the information to the requesting party. This individual also assists with the approval of electronic records retention and destruction schedules per University Rule 3359-11-11.1.

The University of Akron adopted University Rule 3359-11-11.1, which governs electronic records retention. In so doing, the University acknowledged that University employees create and maintain an increasing portion of their records using computers. Electronic records must be managed as well as traditional records for the sake of preserving institutional history, to comply with public records requests and court ordered discovery, and to comply with federal and state regulations.

Maintenance of records

Maintenance and disposal of electronic records, as determined by the content, is the responsibility of the legal custodian and must be in accordance with guidelines established by the university and also in compliance with state and university approved records retention and disposition schedules.

The department head of an office having public records is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and with the Ohio public records law. When an employee leaves a department or the university, the department head is responsible for designating a new custodian and ensuring that any public records in the separating employee's possession are properly transferred to the new custodian. The department head is responsible for contacting information technology services to arrange for the transfer of the electronic records to the new custodian before the accounts are scheduled to be deleted.

Email policy

Work-related email is a university record, and must be treated as such. Each email user must take responsibility for sorting out personal messages from work-related messages and retaining university records as directed in official records retention and disposition schedules. email that does not meet the definition of a public record, e.g., personal email, or junk email, should be deleted from the system.

University email servers are not intended for long-term record retention. email messages and any associated attachment(s) with retention periods greater than three (3) years are to be printed and filed in similar fashion to paper records. It is important to note that the email message should be kept with the attachment(s). The printed copy of the email must contain the following header information:

(a) Who sent the message.

(b) Who received the message.

(c) Date and time of message.

(d) Subject of the message.

When litigation against the university or its employees is filed or threatened, the law imposes a duty upon the university to preserve all documents and records that pertain to the issues. As soon as the office of general counsel becomes aware of pending or threatened litigation, a litigation hold directive will be issued to the legal custodians. The litigation hold directive overrides any records retention schedule that may have otherwise called for the transfer, disposal or destruction of the relevant documents, until the hold has been cleared by the office of general counsel. email and computer accounts of separated employees that have been placed on a litigation hold by the office of general counsel will be maintained by information technology services until the hold is released.

No employee, who has been notified by the office of general counsel of a litigation hold, may alter or delete an electronic record that falls within the scope of that hold. Violation of the hold may subject the individual to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, as well as personal liability for civil and/or criminal sanctions by the courts or law enforcement agencies.

Approval of records retention and destruction schedules should be sent to the university records compliance officer per University Rule 3359-11-11.

Questions about this information or the polices referenced should be addressed to the Office of General Counsel.