Who can make an official open records request?

Anyone is welcome to file a request for information.

Does the university have to respond?

Yes. The university is required by law to respond.

How soon will I be contacted back?

Kansas Open Records Act requests are to be acted upon not later than three business days after the request is received by the university. If a request cannot be satisfied, a written explanation should be provided by the General Counsel, on behalf of the university, within three business days.

Is there a charge for requesting?

The fee schedule for access to, and copies of, public records is as follows:

Public records in print

Access: $20 / hour of staff time necessary to obtain records; no charge for less than 30 minutes of staff time to obtain.
Copying: $.10 / page

Public records kept in computer files

  • Access to public record(s) stored on computer files that can be accomplished using retrieval software already available and without software modification(s): $50 / hour of staff time necessary to obtain the printout(s); no charge for request requiring less than 30 minutes of staff time to obtain.
  • Access to public record(s) stored on computer files that requires custom programming time to retrieve and process: $75 / hour of staff time necessary to provide custom programming and retrieve and process the requested information.

Payment

After the costs have been determined, payment must be made to Wichita State University at the cashier's window on the second floor of Jardine Hall or to the Office of Financial Operations, 1845 Fairmount, 201 Jardine Hall, Wichita, Kansas 67260-0038.

What records are confidential?

Closed records

The Kansas Legislature reviews and approves all the laws that close records. They have adopted general policies for closing public records. They are:

  • The public record is of a sensitive or personal nature concerning individuals.
    The confidentiality of the public record is necessary for the effective and efficient administration of a governmental program.
    The public record affects confidential information.
    If a requested record is closed, the record custodian will tell you and provide you the appropriate source of the law that closes the record.

Exceptions

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

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.

The Kansas Open Records Act does not supersede 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, WSU policy does not define email addresses in bulk as directory information; therefore listings of multiple student email addresses are not produced for any purpose.

How can I file a complaint?

A requester who has concerns about public records may contact the WSU Office of the General Counsel at 316-978-6791. Concerns or complaints may also be addressed to the Kansas Attorney General's Office.