Two UO employees on leave after unlawful records release
Two unidentified University of Oregon employees are on paid leave pending an investigation after 22,000 pages of records were ‘unlawfully’ released, according to the Oregonian.
The Oregonian reports that the records were from the UO President’s office and included confidential information on students, faculty and staff.
UO Matters, a blog at the University of Oregon, posted an email sent by Interim President Scott Coltrane about the records:
We have recently learned that a significant number of archived records from the President’s Office have been unlawfully released. These records contain confidential information about faculty, staff and students, but our current understanding is that no social security numbers, financial information or medical records were shared.
We have launched an investigation of the incident, and we have put staff members on administrative leave, pending that investigation. The information was sent to a university professor, and we have already requested that the professor return the information and refrain from any public release of confidential information. To our knowledge, only one record has been shared externally at this point.
We are committed to taking steps to mitigate the potential injury associated with this situation.
Scott Coltrane, Interim President
Oregon law requires the university to release information upon request to it’s public institutions including the UO.
However, the public-records law deems some information exempt. Including sensitive material such as personal records. Officials are able to redact this kind of information, prior to releasing the documents.
According to the Oregonian, the request was made by a professor, but the professor is currently anonymous. According to Tobin Klinger, the university has asked for the professor to return the records, but it is unclear if the professor is willing.
“We’ve made the initial outreach,” Klinger told the Oregonian. “The ball is in the professor’s court.”
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