AdministrationNews

Oregonian reportedly releases names of two suspended archivists involved in leaked documents



The Oregonian has identified the two librarians who have been suspended for releasing 22,000 pages of records to an unidentified professor as James Fox and Kira Homo. The Oregonian explains that they came to this conclusion through process of elimination and other research. Both Fox and Homo are members of the Society of American Archivists.

According to the Oregonian, the SAA advocates for “open access and use of archived material whenever possible when weighing disclosure needs against confidentiality requirements.”

University of Oregon Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Doug Blandy wrote a letter asking the unidentified professor holding the records to return the zip drive released by UO librarians, according to the Oregonian.

On Jan. 20, Blandy wrote to an unidentified professor that the documents released are “protected by the attorney-client privilege and for which the privilege has not been waived,” and that their disclosure violates state and federal law. Blandy wrote that the professor is obligated as a UO faculty member to protect the confidentiality of the documents.

To do so, Blandy asked the professor to “discontinue any review of the documents, gather or retrieve any and all copies that you have made, remove any documents that you have posted on the Internet and return the originals and all copies of the documents to the Dean of the Libraries, Adriene Lim, by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 or sooner.”

According to an email from Scott Coltrane, interim president of the university, only a memo from former UO General Counsel Randy Geller to university administration has been made public. The memo, dated at May 17, 2012, didn’t contain any private information about students or professors, but did have confidential attorney-client information.

The memo appeared on UOmatters.com on Jan. 4, headlined as: “The UO administration’s secret plan to abolish the UO Senate.” The site is operated by Bill Harbaugh, an economics professor at the UO.

Harbaugh has declined to comment on whether or not he is the unidentified professor who holds the leaked documents, and emailed the Oregonian stating that his attorney advised him not to speak about this topic.

Follow Francesca Fontana on Twitter @francescamarief


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Francesca Fontana

Francesca Fontana

Francesca is the associate news editor for community news.
She worked as The Register-Guard's 2015 Snowden Intern, and studies journalism and economics.