State Records Committee Appeal 93-04
SUE CHERRY vs.
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
DECISION AND ORDER, Case No. 93-04
By this appeal Sue Cherry seeks an order compelling Utah State University to give her access to all files held by Utah State University with her name on it or that pertain to her and the decision regarding her retention. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, having heard oral argument and statements by the parties, having solicited public comment at the time and hearing of the matter, June 24, 1993, and being fully advised in the premises, now issues the following Decision and Order:
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The records sought by Ms. Cherry were classified by Utah State University as protected pursuant to the Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) as records of a public institution regarding tenure evaluation and retention decisions. See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(27). At the time of the hearing, Utah State University and Ms. Cherry stipulated and agreed that certain personnel files and other files could and would be made available to Ms. Cherry, but that certain other files were the subject of dispute, often referred to as the "department file."
2. That in connection with a grievance filed by Ms. Cherry, the Utah State University filed and released to her a portion of those protected records as part of the grievance process.
3. It is unfair to allow Utah State University to classify all of Ms. Cherry's records as protected, to then release portions of those protected records in connection with her grievance on the decision regarding her retention, and to not allow her access to those other and further records.
4. That the records sought by Ms. Cherry were initially and properly classified as "protected."
5. That pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(11)(b), the Committee has weighed the various interests and public policies pertinent to the classification and disclosure or non-disclosure of the disputed items, and expressly determines that based upon the disclosure of a portion of these documents to Ms. Cherry that the public interest favoring access outweighs the interests favoring restriction of access, and that the contested documents should be released to Ms. Cherry.
It was therefore Ordered that Utah State University make available to the Petitioner Ms. Cherry all records concerning Ms. Cherry and records involving the decision regarding her retention.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404, any party to this proceeding may petition for judicial review of this Order by filing a Petition in the District Court no later than thirty (30) days of date of this Order.
Entered this 30th day of June, 1993.
STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE:
MAX J. EVANS, Chairman.