The Kansas Open Records Act

The Kansas Open Records Act grants you the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. The Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., as amended, declares that it is the public policy of Kansas that "public records shall be open for inspection by any person." Public records are defined as "any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency." University of Kansas is classified as a public agency for the purposes of this Act.

The Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215

The University of Kansas Open Records office is responsible for responding to all open records requests directed to the University’s main campus, the University of Kansas Medical Center and Kansas Athletics.  The Open Records office is open Monday- Friday, with the exception of the University holiday schedule that can found here. The Open Records office will also be closed during any campus-wide closure due to weather or other emergencies.

Have Questions?

  • Regulations
  • Policies
  • Minutes/records of open meetings
  • Salaries of public officials
  • Agency budget documents

Requesting a Record

Requests for inspection and copies of records should be directed to the Custodian of Records. The University of Kansas asks that you submit a written request to obtain public records. Please include the following information in your request:

  • Name
  • Organization (if requesting on its behalf)
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Daytime phone number
  • A specific description of the records requested (all requests should be as specific as possible to expedite the process)

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
  • For the complete list, see K.S.A. §45-221(a)

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.

Nothing in the Kansas Open Records Act supersedes 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, KU’s Student Records Policy does not define email addresses in bulk as Directory Information; therefore listings of multiple student email addresses are not produced for any purpose. KU also does not produce listings of student names and addresses for commercial purposes pursuant to K.S.A. §45-230.  

Commensurate with the actual costs in University employee time and resources, fees shall be charged for the retrieval, review, and production of public records. In accordance with K.S.A. §45-219, the following fee rates are established by the agency’s head and may be applied, with payment of total estimated fees required by check or money order in advance of records production:

  • Senior manager rate based upon the highly paid employee’s annual salary/hourly pay rate
  • Manager rate for retrieval and/or review: $65/hour
  • Staff rate for retrieval and/or assembly to produce: $33/hour
  • Specialized computer retrieval: $50/hour
  • Digital transmission or mailing fee: $1.50

If the actual cost in time and resources exceeds the fee estimate, the requestor will be billed for the balance of fees incurred, with full payment required before records production. If the actual cost is less than the fee estimate, the requestor will be refunded any difference over $5.00.

All effort is made to fully respond to a records request as soon as it is received. A full response may be delayed if:

  • Clarification or refined scope is required;
  • Legal issues must be resolved before requested records can be produced;
  • The records are archived or stored off-site; or
  • The scope or large volume of requested records requires more time to assess record existence, availability, and any fees incurred to produce.

If further delay is required, the University will provide its explanation and the earliest date by which it expects a response.

A request may be declined in whole or in part if:

  • The requested records do not exist
  • The request was unclear or vague and needs to be resubmitted
  • The requested records are not Public Records
  • The requested records are exempt from disclosure under the exceptions listed at K.S.A. 45-221 or other applicable law
  • The request places an unreasonable burden on KU in producing Public Records

Permission to access public records may also be declined if the request "places an unreasonable burden in producing public records or the custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency." See K.S.A. 45-218(e).

You must request records - written, photographic, or computerized. The Kansas Open Records Act does not require an agency to answer questions, prepare reports, or compile information.

An agency may require you to put your request in writing, and you must provide proof of your identity, if requested.

Reasonable fees, not exceeding actual cost, may be charged for access to records, copies of records, and staff time for processing your request.

You have the right to request assistance from the University's Freedom of Information Officer at any time.

You have the right:

  • To inspect and obtain copies of public records which are not exempted from  disclosure by a specific law.
  • To obtain a copy of the agency's policies and procedures for access to records.
  • To receive a written response to your request within three business days. The response may inform you that it will take additional time to produce the records.
  • To file a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General if you feel your request for public records is wrongfully denied.

Pursuant to K.S.A. 2008 Supp. 45-230, no person is allowed to knowingly sell, give or receive, for the purpose of selling or offering for sale any property or service to persons listed therein, any list of names and addresses contained in or derived from public records except under limited exceptions. Therefore, before any request for contact or directory information of any group of persons is granted by KU, the requestor will be required to complete an affidavit indicating that the list will not be used for purposes not allowed by the Act.

Under the provisions of the Solomon Amendment (32 C.F.R. 216), KU is required to provide “student recruitment information” upon request to representatives of the Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes. This information includes student name, address, telephone number, date of birth, level of education or degrees received, major and the most recent previous educational institution in which the student was enrolled. Fees as provided under KORA shall apply to these requests. The request for public records must be in writing.

For questions about KORA, KU's Policies, or to seek to resolve a request-related dispute, contact KU's Freedom of Information Officer.

Julie Murray
University of Kansas
230 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7535

Request a Record from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center

For questions about KORA, KU’s policies, or seek to resolve a request-related dispute, contact KU’s Freedom of Information Officer
Julie Murray
University of Kansas
230 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7535

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