What is a Public Record?
A record is defined by Ohio Revised Code Chapter 149 as:
- any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record
- created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of the public office
- which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office
Additional guidance on Ohio’s Sunshine Laws may be found on the Ohio Attorney General's website.
How Do I Request a Public Record?
Pursuant to University policy 5-15.1, all requests for public records should be directed to the Office of General Counsel. There is no specific language or media by which you must make your request, however, it is helpful to our office to have the request in writing.
Online Record Request System: The University has created an online system for requesting public records. We believe that this system will facilitate a more efficient process. Access the system. If you choose not to utilize our online system, you may also make a public records request by contacting our office at the information below.
Office of General Counsel
Kent State University
Executive Offices, Library
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242
- Please make your request as specific as possible to enable our office to identify and gather the records you are seeking.
- Requests for information, statements, or comments on behalf of the University are not public record requests, and should be directed to University Communications and Marketing Media Relations.
Cost of Records
Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies.
- The charge for paper copies is 10 cents per page.
- The charge for files copied to a compact disc is $1 per disc.
- There is no charge for documents e-mailed.
- The actual charge for copy services or mediums – including but not limited to maps, color copies, hard drives, and audiotapes – will be charged to the requestor.
- Delivery. Requesters may ask that documents be mailed or shipped to them. They will be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies.
Every record is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. However, in general, certain records may be redacted if they contain information not subject to disclosure. If redactions are made in records responsive to your request, you will be notified of the nature and basis of the redactions. Examples of possibly redacted material include (this list is not all-inclusive):
- Attorney-client privileged material, discovery, and other litigation items
- Work protected by copyright
- Trade secrets
- Security and infrastructure records
- SSN, Banner ID, date of birth, home phone and address, family information, income tax returns
- Records protected by doctor-patient confidentiality
- Student records: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevents the University from releasing certain information about and records of students without their permission. See University policy 5-08.101 regarding dissemination of information about students for further guidance.
REQUESTING STUDENT RECORDS
- Requests for student transcripts can be made through the Registrar's Office (link here for access to request form).
- Requests for other student records: Student records are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC §1232g (FERPA). A valid FERPA release is required in accordance with the Act. Our policy is that the permission can be granted by the student one of three ways:
- In person with a photo ID;
- Through the student's Flashline account; or
- Through a signed and notarized statement from the student describing the specific records that may be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and identifying the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made.
Based on frequently made requests, the following University web pages may provide you with the records you are seeking without the need to make a request:
- Current and past University Budget Books can be found on the Business and Finance site.
- Enrollment, retention, and graduation data can be found on the Research, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness site.
- The University’s Affirmative Action Plan can be found on the Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action site.
- Directory of all faculty and staff.
- A directory of scholarships can be found on the Student Financial Aid site.
- Additional information may be found on the University Communications and Marketing Media page.
- The University's past and most recent audited financial statements can be found on the Controller's Office's site.