(418) Open Records Requests

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Updated 6/19


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 and Kansas Athletics are classified as public agencies for the purposes of this Act.  For further information about the University of Kansas and the Kansas Open Records Act, see http://provost.ku.edu/open-records-act.

Your Rights
You have the right to request assistance from the University’s Freedom of Information Officer, Reggie Robinson, 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.

Your Responsibilities
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. The agency may also require advance payment of fees.

Requesting a Record
You must submit your request in writing (via letter or email). Jen Arbuthnot is the designated official Custodian of Public Records for the University of Kansas; requests should be directed to her at openrecords@ku.edu or at the following address:

Jen Arbuthnot
Custodian of Public Records
University of Kansas
1450 Jayhawk Boulevard, 245 Strong Hall
Lawrence, KS  66045-7535

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 and Kansas Athletics are closed on official holidays.

Please include the following information in your request:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Fax number, if applicable
  • A specific description of the records you are requesting. Make your request as specific as possible to expedite the process.

Charges for all services shall be collected in advance.  Agency records shall remain in the possession and control of an agency staff member during inspection and/or duplication.

Delayed and/or Denied Requests
All efforts will be made to process your request for public records as soon as it is received; however, some requests may be delayed or denied if:

  • More information is needed in order to retrieve the records.
  • Legal issues must be addressed before the records are released.
  • The requested records are archived or stored off site.
  • The volume of records requested is large and will take time to duplicate.

Requests may be denied in whole or in part if:

  • The requested records do not exist.
  • The requested records are exempt from disclosure by law.
  • The request is unclear and more information is needed.

If the request is delayed or denied, you will receive a written explanation for the delay or denial within three business days.

Permission to inspect or copy public records may be denied if (1) the request “places an unreasonable burden in producing public records” or (2) the custodian of the records “has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency.”  Denial of a person’s inspection or copying request will be explained in writing upon request.

Copies of radio or recording tapes or disks, video tapes or films, pictures slides, graphics, illustrations or similar audio or visual items or devices shall not be required to be furnished unless such items or devices were shown or played to a public meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents or other public body.

Charges and Fees
Fees shall be charged for the provision of access to and the copying of public records.  Fees for copies shall equal the actual cost of furnishing copies, including the cost of staff time required to make them or supervise the copying.  Fees for providing access to computer records shall include the cost of computer services, including staff time required.

In accordance with this provision and the Kansas Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., the following fees may be charged for providing access to or furnishing copies of public records:

  • Manager rate for retrieval and/or review:  $65/hour
  • Staff rate for retrieval and/or preparation to produce:  $33/hour
  • Rate for specialized computer retrieval:  $50/hour
  • Photocopies:  $0.20/page
  • Scanned data:  $0.25/page
  • Mailing (single letter weight):  $1.50 plus actual postage cost
  • Fax (outgoing only):  $0.80/page
  • CD:  $1.25/each

Exceptions to The Open Records Act
The Kansas Open Records Act recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information.

The Act lists several exceptions, including but not limited to:

  • Personnel records
  • Medical treatment records
  • Records protected by attorney/client privilege
  • Records closed by the rules of evidence
  • Records containing personal information compiled for census purposes
  • Notes and preliminary drafts
  • Criminal investigation records
  • Proprietary business information

A complete list of exemptions can be found in K.S.A. 45-221.

An agency is only required to provide public records that already exist.  There is no requirement for the agency to create a record upon request.

Nothing in the Open Records Act supersedes federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and/or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

If a record is only partially exempted from disclosure, the Record Custodian shall delete the exempted materials and make available the material that is subject to disclosure.  Records which are exempt because they pertain to an identifiable individual are subject to disclosure if deletion of the identifying portions of the records is possible, unless individuals’ identities are reasonably ascertainable.