The Kansas Open Records Act
The Kansas Open Records Act grants you the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. The Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., as amended, declares that it is the public policy of Kansas that "public records shall be open for inspection by any person." Public records are defined as "any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency." University of Kansas is classified as a public agency for the purposes of this Act.
Public records maintained by University of Kansas
- Minutes/records of open meetings
- Salaries of public officials
- Agency budget documents
You have the right to request assistance from the University's Freedom of Information Officer at any time.
You have the right:
- To inspect and obtain copies of public records which are not exempted from disclosure by a specific law.
- To obtain a copy of the agency's policies and procedures for access to records.
- To receive a written response to your request within three business days. The response may inform you that it will take additional time to produce the records.
- To file a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General if you feel your request for public records is wrongfully denied.
You must request records - written, photographic, or computerized. The Kansas Open Records Act does not require an agency to answer questions, prepare reports, or compile information.
An agency may require you to put your request in writing, and you must provide proof of your identity, if requested.
Reasonable fees, not exceeding actual cost, may be charged for access to records, copies of records, and staff time for processing your request.
Requesting a record
Jen Arbuthnot is the designated official Custodian of Public Records, and requests for inspection and copies of records should be directed to him.
The University of Kansas asks that you submit a written request to obtain public records. Please include the following information in your request:
- Organization (if requesting on its behalf)
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Daytime telephone number
- A specific description of the records you are requesting. Make your request as specific as possible to expedite the process.
Mail or email your request(s) to:
Regular office hours on all business days, excluding Saturday and Sunday, are from 8 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Records may be inspected during those hours. The University is closed on official holidays.
Request for information regarding Kansas Athletics:
Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs
University of Kansas Athletics
1651 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-7538
Requests for public information regarding the University of Kansas Medical Center:
KU Medical Center
Executive Vice Chancellor's Office
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, KS 66160-7100
Requests for public information regarding the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC):
Custodian of Public Records
Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center
P.O. Box 647
Hutchinson, Kansas 67504-0647
For more information, see http://www.kletc.org/
Delayed and declined requests
All effort is made to fully respond to your records request as soon as it is received; however, a determinative response may be delayed if:
- Clarification or refined scope is required.
- Legal issues must be resolved before requested records can be produced.
- The records are archived or stored off-site.
- The scope or large volume of requested records requires more time to assess record existence, availability, and any fees incurred to produce.
If further delay is required, the University will provide its explanation and the earliest date by which it expects to provide determinative response.
A request may be declined in whole or in part if:
- The requested records do not exist.
- The requested records are exempt from disclosure by law.
- The request is insufficiently clear in scope.
Permission to access public records may also be declined if the request "places an unreasonable burden in producing public records or the custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency." See K.S.A. 45-218(e).
The Kansas Open Records Act recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information, and the agency is not required to provide access to those records. The Act lists several exceptions, including but not limited to:
- Records closed by the rules of evidence
- Personnel records of public employees
- Medical treatment records
- Criminal investigation records
- Notes, preliminary drafts, or records in which opinions are expressed or actions are proposed
- Records for which disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
- Proprietary business information
- Records protected by attorney/client privilege
- For the complete list, see K.S.A. §45-221(a).
Records more than 70 years old may be disclosed without regard to the above-listed exemptions, unless exempt under other federal or state law.
Records only partially exempt will have the exempt portions excluded prior to production. Records that would unduly disclose individual identities may be produced if exclusion of identifying portions would prevent identification.
Nothing in the Kansas Open Records Act supersedes federal law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). While FERPA permits disclosure of student “Directory Information” without student consent, KU’s Student Records Policy does not define email addresses in bulk as Directory Information; therefore listings of multiple student email addresses are not produced for any purpose. KU also does not produce listings of student names and addresses for commercial purposes pursuant to K.S.A. §45-230.
Commensurate with the actual costs in University employee time and resources, fees shall be charged for the retrieval, review, and production of public records. In accordance with K.S.A. §45-219, the following fee rates are established by the agency’s head and may be applied, with payment of total estimated fees required by check or money order in advance of records production:
- Senior manager rate based upon the highly paid employee’s annual salary/hourly pay rate
- Manager rate for retrieval and/or review: $65/hour
- Staff rate for retrieval and/or assembly to produce: $33/hour
- Specialized computer retrieval: $50/hour
- Digital transmission or mailing fee: $1.50
If the actual cost in time and resources exceeds the fee estimate, the requestor will be billed for the balance of fees incurred, with full payment required before records production. If the actual cost is less than the fee estimate, the requestor will be refunded any difference over $5.00.
If you have questions about the Act or the University's policies under it, or to obtain assistance in resolving disputes relating to the Act, contact Freedom Information Officer, Leisa Julian.
The Solomon Amendment
Under the provisions of the Solomon Amendment (32 C.F.R. 216), University of Kansas is required to provide “student recruitment information” upon request to representatives of the Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes. This information includes student name, address, telephone number, date of birth, level of education or degrees received, major and the most recent previous educational institution in which the student was enrolled. For questions regarding the University’s compliance with FERPA and the Solomon Amendment, contact KU's Custodian of Public Records. Fees as provided under KORA shall apply to these requests.
The information contained in this brochure pertains to laws in effect on January 1, 2007.