PUBLIC RECORDS ACCESS

No: S-45

Date: February, 1992

Authority: UWM Administration,
                 Wis. Statutes sec. 19.31-19.37
                 20 U.S.C. 1232g (sec. 438 of the
                General Education Provisions Act)


A.    Policy

UWM reaffirms State of Wisconsin policy with respect to public access to its records as indicated in sec. 19.31, Wis. Stats., the Wisconsin Public Records law. This law recognizes a presumption of public access except in cases where exemptions apply. A person making a request under this law is not required to provide identification or any reason for the request.

B.    Legal Custodian

Since UWM has a decentralized records system involving highly diverse records, the executive assistant to the chancellor is hereby designated as the legal custodian of all public records of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee pursuant to sec. 19.33(4), Wis. Stats.

It shall be the responsibility of the legal custodian to render a final decision involving any denial of access to public records except as to any requests involving student "educational records"1 at UWM and to provide such requesters with written statements of the reasons for denying requests.

C.    Procedure for Requesting Records

Any individual seeking UWM records may request them from the person in charge of the unit or department where the records are maintained. If there is no uncertainty about granting access, requests should be honored as soon as practicable.2 If there is uncertainty about granting access, immediate consultation with the legal custodian (Ext. 4331) must occur for instructions as to how the request is to be processed.

D.    Temporary Ban on Destruction of Records 

No requested records may be destroyed or disposed of until after the request is granted or until at least 60 days after the date the request is denied.

F.    Fees

There shall be no fee for locating UWM records unless the actual necessary and direct cost of location is $50 or more.

Copies of all letters or legal-sized documents shall be provided at the rate of 15 cents per page. Copies of records in other formats shall be provided at the actual necessary and direct cost of reproduction and transcription.

The establishment of a fee for copies does not preclude different charges for specific types of documents issued or published by UWM such as academic transcripts, publications or medical records,

Where fees for requested records exceed $5, prepayment is required. Fees that are nominal may be waived if the cost of collecting and processing exceeds the charges or where a waiver or reduction of fee is in the public interest.3



"Educational records" consist of those records containing information directly related to a student and maintained by UWM except as noted in "Policies
    Concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974" issued by the Office of Student Life. All determinations concerning educational
    records require a written request to the administrative person charged with the maintenance and control of such records because UWM does not have
    a centralized system of educational records. A full list of the university officials responsible for educational records is contained in Appendix A of the
    "Policies Concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974."

If information is known to be requested by either a labor organization or by a member of any bargaining unit and it is related to wages, benefits, labor
    market data, hours, conditions and/or terms of employment, it should be assumed to be related to the labor-management relationship involving the State
    of Wisconsin. Consultation should be made with the UWM Department of Human Resources which will, in turn, notify the appropriate staff member
    within the Wisconsin Department of Employment Relations per Collective Bargaining Bulletin CB-45. This contact will be made on an expedited basis
    by forwarding the request via FAX (608/267-1000) to assure a prompt response.

3 Prior to any waiver pursuant to sec. 20.905(3), Wis. Stats., or sec. 19.35, Wis. Stats., there must be approval given by the legal custodian (Ext. 4331).