FACULTY RECORDS POLICY
Faculty Records Policy
Western Oregon University is required to set up a faculty records policy that is consistent with the laws of Oregon and the administrative rules of the Board of Higher Education.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 351.070 & ORS 351.072
Stats. Implemented: ORS 351.065, ORS 351.070 & OAR 580-022
Hist.: OCE 3, f. & ef. 8-9-77; WOSC 5-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-22-91; WOU 3-2003, f. & cert. ef. 10-28-03
(1) "Personal Records" means records containing information kept by the institution, school, division, or department concerning a faculty member and furnished by the faculty member or by others, including, but not limited to, information as to discipline, counseling, membership activity, other behavioral records, professional preparation and experience, professional performance (e.g., assignment and workload, quality of teaching, research, and service to the institution), personnel data relating to such matters as promotions, tenure, leaves, retirement credits and the like, and professional activities external to the institution, including, but not necessarily limited to, awards, recognition, research activities, travel.
(2) For purpose of compliance with ORS 351.065, "Records of Academic Achievement" shall mean the record of credits earned toward a degree or in post-doctoral work and/or certificate(s), diploma(s), license(s) and degree(s) received.
Confidential Information Not to Be Sought or Accepted
The university will not accept letters, documents, or other materials, given orally or in written form, from individuals or groups who wish their identity kept anonymous or the information kept confidential.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 351
Stats. Implemented: ORS 351.070
Hist.: OCE 3, f. & ef. 8-9-77; WOU 3-2003, f. & cert. ef. 10-28-03
Information Not Required of Faculty Members
No faculty member will be required to give, but may voluntarily provide, information as to age, disability, marital status, national origin, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status, except as the giving of such information may be required by state statute, federal law, or valid federal rules, regulations, or orders.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 351.070 & 351.072
Stats. Implemented: ORS 351.065, 351.070 & 580-022
Hist.: OCE 3, f. & ef. 8-9-77; WOSC 5-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-22-91; WOU 3-2003, f. & cert. ef. 10-28-03; WOU 2-2004, f. & cert. ef. 8-4-04
Locations and Custody of Faculty Records
(1) The university will maintain faculty records only in the offices of:
(a) The Provost;
(b) College Dean;
(c) The Division Chair of the faculty member (only these areas may have evaluation information).
(2) The Human Resources Office will maintain records only necessary for payroll information.
(3) The required custody of the files will be accomplished by assigning designated personnel the maintaining of confidentiality and security of the records:
(a) Provost's Office -- Administrative Assistant to the Provost;
(b) Dean's -- Administrative Assistant to the Dean;
(c) Division Office -- Administrative Assistant to the Division Head;
(d) Human Resources Office -- Human Resources Personnel.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 351.070 & 351.072
Stats. Implemented: ORS 351.065, 351.070 & 580-022
Hist.: OCE 3, f. & ef. 8-9-77; WOSC 5-1991, f. & cert. ef. 5-22-91; WOU 3-2003, f. & cert. ef. 10-28-03; WOU 1-2004, f. & cert. ef. 3-24-04
Release and Access to Faculty Records
(1) Appropriate information about the faculty member may be released upon request and without the faculty member's consent. Such information shall be limited to the following:
(a) Directory information, that is, information generally needed in identifying or locating a named faculty member including such information as is readily to be found in published documents such as institutional catalogs;
(b) Objective evidence of a faculty member's academic achievement, limited to information as to the number of credits earned toward a degree or in post-doctoral work, and certificate(s), diploma(s), license(s), and degree(s) received;
(c) Salary information and the record of terms or conditions of employment;
(d) Records tabulated from students' classroom survey evaluations, upon a finding by the President that privacy rights in an adequate educational environment would not suffer by disclosure.
(2) All information in the faculty member's personal record file, apart from that identified in section (1) of this rule, shall be considered personal and subject to restricted access as set forth in OAR 580-042-0740 through 580-042-0775.
Confidential Records -- Restrictions on Release
(1) Personal records designated as subject to restricted access in accordance with authority granted in ORS 351.065 shall be available only to institutional personnel, who are designated by the president as supervisor and who have a demonstrably legitimate need to review them in order to fulfill their official, professional responsibilities and to the faculty member who is the subject of the records as provided for in OAR 580-042-0746 through 580-042-0765. These records may not be released to any other person or agency without the faculty member's written consent, unless upon receipt of a valid subpoena or other court order or process or as required by state statute, federal law, or valid federal or state rules, regulations, or orders.
(2) Institutional regulations shall provide for designation of institutional officials to appear in court to test the validity of a subpoena or other court order or process relating to release of faculty records when validity is in question.
Access to Files by Faculty Members
Faculty members shall be allowed full access to their own personal files and personal records kept by the institution, school, department, or division, except as provided in sections (1) and (2) of this rule:
(1) Letters and other information submitted in confidence to the institution, school, department, or division prior to July 1, 1975, shall be maintained in the evaluation files permitted by OAR 580-042-0730. However, if a faculty member requests access to such letters and other information pertaining to the faculty member, the anonymity of the contributors of letters and other information obtained prior to July 1, 1975, shall be protected. The full text shall be made available to the faculty member except that those portions of the text which would serve to identify the contributor shall be excised by a faculty committee created pursuant to institutional rules. The excised portions of the documents thereafter in the confidential file permitted by OAR 580-042-0730.
(2) Confidential letters and other information received by the institution, school, department, or division after July 1, 1975, prior to the employment of a faculty member, shall be placed in the evaluation files relating to the faculty member. If the applicant is not employed, the confidential information submitted concerning the applicant shall remain confidential. If an applicant who is employed requests access to his or her files, the anonymity of the contributors of confidential pre-employment letters and other pre-employment information shall be protected. The full text shall be made available, except that those portions of the text which would serve to identify the contributor shall be excised and may be retained thereafter in the confidential file permitted by OAR 580-042-0730.
(3) Any evaluation received by telephone shall be documented in each of the faculty member's evaluation files by means of a written summary of the conversation with the names of the conversants identified.
(4)(a) If the institution, school, department, or division solicits or accepts student survey evaluations of the classroom or laboratory performance of a faculty member, such survey evaluations shall be conducted anonymously. The reports tabulated from student evaluations may be placed in the evaluation files defined in OAR 580-042-0730. Survey instruments from which evaluation data are obtained shall be delivered to the faculty member. No other evaluative material shall be accepted from students unless the students are first clearly informed that the faculty member will have access to such material and that the anonymity of the student cannot be preserved;
(b) Should the faculty member request it, an appropriate faculty committee, as defined in institutional regulations, shall examine the contents of the faculty member's file to verify that all statements therein have been provided. If not, the committee shall require that the information be made available;
(c) Should the faculty member request it, the faculty committee shall examine the contents of the confidential file to verify that it contains only those excised portions provided in OAR 580-042-0746. The committee shall have the authority to require that any other material be removed from the confidential file.
(5) A copy of the periodic, regular written evaluation of the faculty member containing or having attached to it a statement to the effect that the faculty member may discuss the evaluative statement with the evaluating administrator, shall be given the faculty member. A copy of the evaluative statement, signed by the faculty member signifying receipt of a copy thereof, shall be placed in the faculty member's evaluation file. The faculty member may enter into the evaluation file such comments, explanations, or rebuttals as desired. There shall be attached to each copy of the evaluative statement retained by the institution, school, division, or department a copy of such comments, explanations, or rebuttals as the faculty member shall make in relation thereto.
Retention of Evaluative Materials Concerning Candidates for Possible Employment
(1) It is expected that the evaluative materials brought together by the institution as it evaluates an individual's qualifications in connection with possible employment will, if the individual is not employed, be retained for such period of time as may be necessary to respond to affirmative action investigations and investigations of any claimed violation of the civil rights of any person in connection with employment. Thereafter, they will be disposed of by a manner as to protect their confidentiality, in accordance with the rules of the State Archivist.
(2) When federal rules or orders require certain personal records to be compiled before the employment of a faculty member and retained thereafter, such records pertaining to persons not employed which have been obtained with the promise of confidentiality will be closed to all persons except as required by such federal rules or orders.
Availability to Faculty Members of Objective Information Concerning Categories of Staff
Institutional regulations shall establish procedures through which the faculty member who feels adversely affected by the institutional, school, divisional, or departmental personnel action or lack thereof may request from designated institutional officials objective or quantitative information contained in files, which are limited as to access, concerning the personnel actions affecting categories of faculty members, where such actions appear to have relevance to the case of the faculty member making the request for information. Such information may include, but need not be limited to: assignment, load, list of publications. It shall not include any evaluative statements concerning faculty members.
Availability of Faculty Records for Research Purposes
The need for educational institutions to make available information about the faculty member for research purposes shall be acknowledged and provided for, contingent upon the institution's having adequate provisions to conceal the identity of the faculty member whose personal data or information are being included in the research. If the regulations protecting the confidentiality of faculty records would seem to be jeopardized in any way by the release of the information for research purposes, institutional regulations shall provide that the institution is to obtain the written consent of the faculty member prior to releasing personal information for research purposes.
Permanence, Duplication, and Disposal of Faculty Records
(1) The individual faculty member's record shall be maintained only for the minimum period of time required to serve the basic official functions of the office which generates and maintains it. It should then be disposed of in a manner such as to protect its confidentiality.
(2) The permanent retention of faculty records shall be limited to those which the institutional executive or the State Archivist shall determine to be of long-range value to the individual faculty member, to the institution, or to the public. ORS 351.065 provides that access to personal records more than 25 years old may not be limited.
(3) Duplication of faculty records shall be kept to a minimum. Such duplicated records as are made shall be destroyed at a time to be determined and set forth in institutional regulations and in such manner as to protect their confidentiality in accordance with the rules of the State Archivist, or with the Archivist's approval.