2015 ORS 352.226¹
Personnel records
  • standards
  • exemptions

(1) A governing board as defined in ORS 352.029 (Definitions for ORS 352.025 to 352.146 and 352.388 to 352.415) may, for the public university under its control, adopt standards and specific orders by or through the president of each public university governing access to personnel records of the public university or office, department or activity that are less than 25 years old.

(2) Standards adopted under subsection (1) of this section shall require that personnel records be subjected to restrictions on access unless upon a finding by the president of the public university that the public interest in maintaining individual rights to privacy in an adequate educational environment would not suffer by disclosure of such records. Access to such records may be limited to designated classes of information or persons, or to stated times and conditions, or to both, but cannot be limited for records more than 25 years old.

(3) A standard or order promulgated pursuant to this section may not deny to a faculty member full access to the member’s personnel file or records kept by the public university, except as provided in subsections (7) and (8) of this section.

(4) The number of files relating to the evaluation of a faculty member is limited to three, to be kept in designated, available locations.

(5) Any evaluation received by telephone must be documented in each of the faculty member’s files by means of a written summary of the conversation with the names of the conversants identified.

(6) A faculty member is entitled to submit, for placement in the three files, evidence rebutting, correcting, amplifying or explaining any document contained therein and other material that the member believes might be of assistance in the evaluation process.

(7) Letters and other information submitted in confidence to the State Board of Higher Education or its public universities, offices, departments or activities prior to July 1, 1975, shall be maintained in the files designated by the governing board of the public university currently employing the faculty member. However, if a faculty member requests access to those files, the anonymity of the contributor of letters and other information obtained prior to July 1, 1975, shall be protected. The full text shall be made available except that portions of the text that would serve to identify the contributor shall be excised by a faculty committee. Only the names of the contributors and the excised portions of the documents may be kept in a file other than the three prescribed by subsection (4) of this section.

(8)(a) Confidential letters and other information submitted to or solicited after July 1, 1975, by the State Board of Higher Education or its public universities, offices, departments or activities prior to the employment of a prospective faculty member are exempt from the provisions of this section. However, if the member is currently employed by a public university or its offices, departments or activities, the confidential preemployment materials shall be placed in the three authorized files. If a faculty member requests access to the member’s files, the anonymity of the contributor of confidential preemployment letters and other preemployment information shall be protected. The full text shall be made available, except that portions of the text that would serve to identify the contributor shall be excised and retained in a file other than the three designated in subsection (4) of this section.

(b) Confidential letters and other information submitted to or solicited by a public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) after the date that the university became a university with a governing board, and prior to the employment of a prospective faculty member are exempt from the provisions of this section. However, if the member is employed by the university, the confidential preemployment materials shall be placed in the three authorized files. If a faculty member requests access to the member’s files, the anonymity of the contributor of confidential preemployment letters and other preemployment information shall be protected. The full text shall be made available, except that portions of the text that would serve to identify the contributor shall be excised and retained in a file other than the three designated in subsection (4) of this section.

(9) Classroom survey evaluation by students of a faculty member’s classroom or laboratory performance shall be anonymous. The record of tabulated reports shall be placed in at least one of the files designated in subsection (4) of this section. All survey instruments used to obtain evaluation data shall be returned to the faculty member.

(10) A public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Public universities) and, after July 1, 1975, but before the date on which the public university became a university with a governing board, the State Board of Higher Education and its public universities, offices, departments or activities, when evaluating its employed faculty members, may not solicit or 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 they provide kept confidential.

(11) A standard or order promulgated pursuant to this section does not limit the authority of a public university to prepare, without identification of individual persons who have not consented thereto, statistical or demographic reports from personnel records.

(12) Any category of personnel records specifically designated as confidential pursuant to valid standards or orders pursuant to this section is not a public record for the purposes of ORS 192.420 (Right to inspect public records).

(13) As used in this section, "personnel records" means records containing information kept by the public university, office, department or activity concerning a faculty member and furnished by the faculty member or by others about the faculty member at the request of the faculty member or the public university, office, department or activity, including, but not limited to, information concerning discipline, membership activity, employment performance or other personal records of individual persons. [Formerly 351.065]

(formerly 351.065)

Notes of Decisions

University professor did not have prop­erty interest under federal law in continued employ­ment, so where Oregon State University did not follow appropriate regula­tions under this sec­tion, re­gard­ing confidential files, before terminating him pre-termina­tion hearing was not re­quired. Davis v. Oregon State University, 591 F2d 493 (1978)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Permissible evalua­tions of faculty members, (1976) Vol 37, p 1055; re­quired records with respect to faculty per­sonnel evalua­tion, (1978) Vol 38, p 1950


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 352—Public Universities, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors352.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 352, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano352.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.