FOIA: Requesting Public Records

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), a state institution of higher learning, complies with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. The Arkansas FOIA allows citizens of Arkansas the ability to inspect non-exempt public records.

Some records and specific types of information are exempt from disclosure pursuant to state and federal law.  Records gathered by the university in response to an Arkansas FOIA request are reviewed for possible exemptions, including personal email or home addresses, non-published telephone numbers, and similar information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

Common Exemptions:

  • Education Records – The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)  defines these as records that are directly related to a student and maintained by the university or a party acting for the university.
  • Personnel Records – Applied on a case-by-case basis, the Arkansas FOIA exempts these to the extent that their disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Most records relating to current or former employees are personnel records, whether or not they are kept in a personnel file.
  • Employee Evaluation and Job Performance Records – The Arkansas FOIA maintains these records are not available for public inspection unless there has been a final administrative resolution of a proceeding to suspend or terminate an employee, the records formed a basis for the decision, and there is a compelling public interest in disclosure.
  • Law Enforcement Records – With the exception of routine police records such as arrest reports, records related to ongoing criminal investigations conducted by the campus police are exempt. Additional information is available from the UAPB Office of Public Safety.
  • Competitive Advantage – This exemption applies to records that, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors or bidders. It protects trade secrets and other proprietary information.
  • Library Records – Documents or information in any format retained by a University library that identify a patron as having requested, used, or obtained services, books, or other library materials are exempt.

Requests for information should be directed to:

FOIA Coordinator
Office of the Chancellor
1200 N. University Drive
Pine Bluff, AR 71601

All other media requests should be directed to the Director of Communications (hestercliftonm@uapb.edu).

Any University employee who receives a request for public records under the FOIA shall promptly furnish the request to the FOIA coordinator.  The FOIA coordinator involved will notify the appropriate custodian of the records. The FOIA coordinator and the custodian shall consult with the Office of the General Counsel in order to ensure that requests are handled in a manner that is consistent with this policy and all applicable legal requirements.

Verbal requests: If a verbal FOIA request is made, then the recipient of the request will first ask the requesting party to put the request in writing. If the requestor declines to do so, the recipient of the verbal request will then write the request as he or she understands it.  The FOIA Coordinator will acknowledge receipt of requests consistent with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Additionally, to the extent possible, the FOIA Coordinator will make a good faith effort to keep requestors apprised of the status of requests.

The FOIA Coordinator will keep an accurate record of all FOIA requests received, including the name and contact information of each requestor, the date on which the request is received, the date on which the University responds, and any other information demonstrating the compliance by the campus for each FOIA request.

If you have additional questions, please contact us using the form below.

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University of Arkansas Pine Bluff