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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Regents' Policy Manual - Section 2.17: Public Access to University Records

Adopted Date: 09-12-1996
Amended: 05-28-2008

Applicability

This Policy applies to requests for University records under the Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978, § 14-2-1 et seq. ("IPRA).  This Policy supersedes the September 12, 1996, version of Board of Regents' Policy 2.17.

Policy

The policy of the University, as a public body, is to fully comply with all the provisions and requirements of IPRA.  IPRA provides that "every person has the right to inspect public records of this state," subject to certain exceptions.  IPRA broadly defines "public records" as all documents or other materials, regardless of their physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by any public body and relate to public business.  IPRA provides certain exceptions to the right of public inspection.  These exceptions include, for example, individuals' medical records, letters of reference, matters of opinion in personnel files or students' cumulative files, trade secrets, items that fall within the attorney-client privilege and items that are considered non-public "as otherwise provided by law."  Items considered non-public as otherwise provided by law, for purposes of IPRA, may include for example, individuals' social security numbers. 

The policy of the University is to treat as public records, and therefore subject to public inspection under IPRA, every item that is defined by IPRA as a public record, and to except from the right of public inspection only those public records that are specifically exempted by IPRA from public inspection.  No person who is employed by, does business with, or has a contractual relationship with the University has a legitimate expectation of privacy or confidentiality with regard to public records concerning that person except as specifically provided by IPRA.

Notwithstanding this broad policy that University records are subject to public inspection, the University will comply with all federal and state laws and regulations that provide for confidentiality or non-disclosure of specific records, such as for example, student records and information from student records within the meaning of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA").

Implementation

The President shall adopt policies and procedures to ensure that the University complies fully with IPRA so that public records pertaining to the University will be available for public inspection to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Pursuant to IPRA, NMSA 1978, § 14-2-7, the President shall designate at least one custodian of public records who shall have the duties and responsibilities specified in that section and who shall respond to requests to inspect public records in accordance with this policy.

References

Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1 et seq.; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; "Inspection of Public Records,"  UBPPM Policy 2300.