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2. Trustee records

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  • Alaska

    All records of meetings and proceedings of the University of Alaska Board of Regents must be open to inspection by the public and press, and findings of an executive session must be made part of the record of proceedings. AS 14.40.160(a). The Board of Regents of the University of Alaska shall supervise and adopt procedures for the operation and implementation of the Public Records Act by the University of Alaska. AS 40.25.123(d). Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska may establish reasonable fees for the inspection and copying of public records, including record searches. AS 40.25.100(f).

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    Records of a “public official or employee” and a “governmental agency” are covered by the FOIA. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-103(5)(A). Governing bodies include boards of trustees of state universities. Arkansas Gazette Co. v. Pickens, 258 Ark. 69, 522 S.W.2d 350 (1975). Their records are, therefore, subject to disclosure.

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  • California

    There is no specific statutory exemption from disclosure.

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  • Connecticut

    There are no specific provisions or exemptions in FOIA on this issue. There are also no reported court decisions on this issue.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Records of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia are subject to the Act’s disclosure requirements.

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  • Hawaii

    While this issue has not been directly addressed by the OIP, the material is typically made public. In a highly publicized case from 2003, the media requested the University of Hawaii Board of Regents' Annual Evaluation and Expectations and Performance Guidelines of then University President, Evan Dobelle. See OIP Op. Ltr. No. 04-07 (March 25, 2004). The OIP issued an opinion addressing the issue of whether the Evaluation and the Expectations were public under UIPA. Id. The OIP opined that while President Dobelle has a significant privacy interest in the material in question, that privacy interest is diminished by the fact that he is a public figure by virtue of his position as President of the University of Hawaii. Id. Upon balancing President Dobelle's privacy interest against the public interest in knowing how the Board of Regents is performing its duties, the OIP concluded that the public interest is greater and therefore opined that disclosure of the Evaluation and Expectations would not be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Id.

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  • Idaho

    The trustee records of a public school or university are generally open, subject to exemptions for personnel and similar records.

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  • Illinois

    Open, unless deliberative process exemption applies.  See 5 ILCS 150/7(1)(f); see generally Stern v. Wheaton-Warrenville Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist. 200, 233 Ill. 2d 396, 910 N.E.2d 85 (2009). (Superintendent's employment contract does fall within FOIA’s exemption for personnel files).

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  • Indiana

    The Access to Public Records Act does not specifically address such records, but universities often try to rely on the more general language of Indiana Code Section 5-14-3-4(b)(6), which permits them to provide or deny access, in their discretion, to records that are advisory or deliberative material that are expressions of opinion or are speculative, and are communicated for decision-making purposes, or attempt to characterize them as diaries, journals or other personal notes. Ind. Code § 5-14-3-4(b)(7). See also Unincorporated Operating Div. of Indiana Newspapers, Inc. v. Trs. of Indiana Univ., 787 N.E.2d 893, 914–15 (Ind. App. 2003) (Most of a state university’s investigatory materials maintained by trustees regarding a controversial basketball coach were protected from public access, but a newspaper could access certain materials after student and deliberative information were redacted).

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  • Iowa

    Governed by Iowa Code § 22.7(1).

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  • Kansas

    Not specifically addressed. Presumably open for inspection, but may be pre-empted by federal law.

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  • Kentucky

    Open – there is no exception in the Open Records Act for trustee records.

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  • Louisiana

    Open. Op. Att'y Gen. 78-1158 and 87-406.

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  • Maine

    Meetings of the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System and any of its committees and subcommittees, the Board of Trustees of the Maine Maritime Academy and any of its committees and subcommittees, and the Board of Trustees of the Maine Community College System and any of its committees and subcommittees are generally public and records of their meetings are too.  See 1 M.R.S.A. § 402(2)(D).

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  • Maryland

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Michigan

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Montana

    If the trustee commits an offense that constitutes a breach of the public trust, the trustee has a diminished right of privacy and, generally, the records of the investigation and discipline will be disclosed because the demands of privacy will not clearly exceed the merits of disclosure.

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  • Nevada

    See Donrey of Nevada, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630 (1990).

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  • New Hampshire

    The Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire is subject to the Statute.

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  • New Mexico

    There is no specific statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • North Carolina

    There is no specific statute that addresses this. Trustees would be public agents generally subject to the public records law, and thus any records in their possession would be public unless specifically exempted by a statute (such as the statute providing for confidentiality of student records).

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  • North Dakota

    Fundraising and donor records of the state board of higher education, university system, and affiliated nonprofit organizations are exempt. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.15.

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  • Ohio

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Oregon

    There is no statutory or case law specifically addressing this issue.

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  • Rhode Island

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • South Carolina

    School boards are public bodies and records of activities of trustee would be public records.  S.C. Code Ann. §§ 30-4-20(a) and 30-4-20(c).

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  • South Dakota

    Open. SDCL §13-49-7.

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  • Tennessee

    Some records are closed T.C.A. § 49-14-103 (related to investigations of waste and fraud).

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  • Texas

    As long as the university involved is a “governmental body” as defined by Section 552.003, there is nothing in the Act to suggest that the records of trustees should be treated any differently than the records of other deliberative governing bodies. However, tape recordings of closed Board of Trustees meetings are excepted from disclosure as information deemed confidential by law. Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. OR2003-4288 (2003).

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  • Utah

    Trustee records are subject to GRAMA. See Utah Code § 63G-2-103(11)(a)(iv).

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  • Vermont

    The Vermont Supreme Court has held that the legislature has sufficient authority over the University of Vermont to render it a public body subject to Vermont’s Public Records Act, as well as the Vermont Open Meeting Law.  State v. Curley-Egan, 2006 VT 95, ¶ 15, 180 Vt. 305, 311-12 (Vt. 2006); see also Sprague v. University of Vermont, 661 F. Supp. 1132, 1138 (D. Vt. 1987); Animal Legal Defense Fund Inc. v University of Vermont, 159 Vt. 133, 137-38, 616 A.2d 224 (Vt. 1992).  Indeed, the Vermont legislature made explicit that UVM “shall be recognized and utilized as an instrumentality of the State for providing public higher education” and provided that the state “shall, from time to time, appropriate such sums as it deems necessary for the support and maintenance of [UVM].”  See 16A V.S.A. § 1-1.  Accordingly, so long as the records sought would not fall within the student records exemption contained in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(11), records from the UVM Board of Trustees are available under the Public Records Act.  In fact, the Board of Trustees provides its meeting schedules and materials on its website: http://www.uvm.edu/trustees/?Page=board_mtgs/meetings/all_mtgs.html.

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  • Washington

    There are no special exemptions for trustee records. The only exemptions that would apply are those related to specific types of records that might be kept at schools and universities. See previous section. Also, "first class" public school districts -- districts with a student enrollment in their public schools of 2,000 pupils or more -- must make administrative records available for public inspection under RCW 28A.330.070.

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Open to inspection.

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