Faculty and Staff Guide
The University of Arkansas’ commitment to compliance with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act includes adherence to policy and practice by all faculty, staff and administrators. (See Section II, “Policy & Regulations,” of the Faculty Handbook; Section 9.5 of the Staff Handbook.)
The Faculty and Staff Guide to FOIA is designed to help the university community understand the importance of compliance and to provide ready resources for responsiveness.
FOIA and the U of A
Like other higher education institutions that receive state funding, the University is subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967 (FOIA), among other public records statutes. The Arkansas FOIA defines public records, outlines the response process, and notes applicable exemptions. Records requests should be handled with a sense of urgency because the statute requires immediate access unless the record is in active use or storage or exempt from disclosure. Penalties for failure to comply with the Arkansas FOIA may include misdemeanor or felony charges.
Any citizen of the state of Arkansas, not just members of the media, may request public records under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Handling Information Requests
The University encourages Freedom of Information requests be sent to a central email address, FOIA@uark.edu. However, the use of that address is not required. Freedom of Information requests can potentially be sent to any member of the faculty or staff.
A department or individual who receives a FOIA request should do the following:
Immediately notify the university’s Custodian of Records of each unit or the Campus Coordinator, who serves as the central point of contact for public records requests. For assistance, call 479-575-5555.
Emailed requests should be immediately forwarded to FOIA@uark.edu.
Although a written request is not required, a requester may be politely asked if he/she is willing to email the request to the Campus Coordinator at FOIA@uark.edu. Requesters may also mail their requests to the Campus Coordinator of FOIA, University of Arkansas, 100 Davis Hall, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
If the request is verbal, please note the date of the request, the name, address, telephone number and email address of the requester and the public records requested, then promptly forward the information to FOIA@uark.edu.
For more information about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, contact the Public Information Officer in the Office of University Relations at 479-575-5555 or at FOIA@uark.edu.