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1.02.014.001 - Public Access to College Records

Approved: 10/18/2007
Approved By: President's Staff
Category: 1 - STRUCTURE MISSION AND GOVERNANCE
Section: 02 - COLLEGE GOVERNANCE AND SPONSORSHIP
Policy: 014 - Public Access to College Records

Through Policy 1.02.014, the Board of Trustees for the Community College of Beaver County has indicated its intent to comply on a voluntary basis with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.  The procedural guidelines contained herein will be utilized in responding to requests for public access.

Formal Request

Requests for access to College records are to be addressed, in writing, to the Office of the President.  Requests received through other offices within the College are to be forwarded to the President for review prior to any response to the individual or organization making the request.  It will be the responsibility of the President to formally reply to the request and to make access to the requested records accessible when appropriate.  Under normal conditions, the President will respond within ten (10) working days from the date the request is received in the President’s Office.

Review of Request

In review of the written request, the President will determine if the records requested fall within the definition of a “public record” found in the Right to Know Law.  There will also be a determination as to whether the information requested is maintained and can be provided in the format stipulated by the individual or organization initiating the request.  The College will not provide access to records in a form requiring development of a customized reporting format.

Release of Records

Where the President determines that the information requested falls within the definition of a “public record,” he/she will inform the individual or organization making the request of the College’s intent to provide the information and the timeline for making the information available.  Information provided will be released in paper format only.

If the President determines that the information requested does not fall within the definition of a “public record”; that the information is not maintained by the College; or that the information is not maintained in a format requested, he/she will inform the individual or organization making the request that the College will not comply with the request as presented and the reason for that determination.  This information will be transmitted in writing.

Right to Appeal

Where the President denies a request for access to information on the basis that the information requested does not meet the definition of a “public record,” the individual or organization making the request can appeal the Presidents determination and request a hearing.  This action must be initiated through a written request addressed to the President within fifteen (15) working days from the mailing date of the letter from the President.  The request must state exceptions describing the reasons serving as the basis for the claim that the requested information qualifies as a “public record” for purposes of the Right to Know Act.  It must also state the reasons for the individual or organization’s disagreement with the rationale set forth in the letter from the President denying the initial request.

The right to appeal includes the right to request a hearing on the President’s determination.  It is the responsibility of the President to determine if the request for a hearing will be granted.  Where the request for a hearing is granted, the hearing will be conducted before a three member panel of vice presidents of the College.  The individual/organization requesting the hearing may be represented at the hearing by an attorney.

Costs

Where the request for information requires the copying of documents, the individual/organization making the request will be required to reimburse the College at a rate of fifty cents per page payable to the College prior to the release of the records.