University of Vermont

Office of the General Counsel

What should I do if I receive a request for University documents from a member of the public or member of the press

UVM is a public body subject to the Vermont State Public Records Act (PRA), which mandates public agencies to allow for the inspection and/or copying of “any written or recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which is produced or acquired in the course of public agency business”.  The PRA does not require a public agency to create new records or to summarize existing ones.  In addition, there may be some University records that are exempt from disclosure.

All requests for information pursuant to the PRA must be in writing, and relayed immediately to the University’s Public Records Officer, Vice President for Executive Operations Gary Derr (348 Waterman or The PRA requires disclosure of requested information within three (3) business days, if an extension is not requested before that time.  Therefore, if an employee receives such a request, they should direct the requestor to make a written request to Vice President Derr and promptly notify him of the pending request.

Note: The University owns all the systems on which e-mail operates and retains the right to inspect files.  E-mail sent through the University’s computer systems is not confidential and may be subject to disclosure under the PRA.  All e-mail messages should be composed with the knowledge that they might be disclosed to third parties.

All materials provided on this website, including the contents of linked pages, are provided for general informational purposes only. While we seek to provide links to current and authoritative information, neither UVM nor this office guarantees the accuracy of information accessible online; therefore, this information must not be relied upon as substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. Please contact a UVM Office of the General Counsel attorney to obtain current legal advice specifically responsive to your questions.

Last modified November 28 2016 03:15 PM