Department Spotlight

Public Records (part of Finance and Administration)

Number of employees:  4 employees (pictured above, L-R: Anne, Laura, Stephanie and Sheri

Who they are

Anne, Laura, Sheri and Stephanie strive to provide the best customer service possible to requesters and record holders while facilitating the public records process, including reviewing thousands and thousands of documents each year.  One of our employees has bachelor’s degrees from both Lewis-Clark State College and Central Washington University while the rest of us are WSU graduates (Go Cougs).  Vicky Murray, Executive Director of Finance and Administration, serves as the WSU Public Records Officer.

What they are known for

The Public Records Department processes public records requests for all WSU campuses.  When a request is received, our staff coordinates retrieval of the records from the record holder(s) then processes and sends courtesy notices and finally, sends the records to the requester less any redactions or withholding as provided by law (RCW 42.56).  Public Records FAQs can be found here:  https://public-records.wsu.edu/.

Significant achievements

The Public Records Office responds to over 400 requests per year, and these requests for documents may vary from a single page to thousands of pages.   We have made time-saving process improvements and are continuing to do so through improved technology, including a secure server allowing individuals to send or receive large files easily with no memory device or CD required.  This has made the process both faster and cheaper.

What they can do for you:

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the Public Records Act and how to make or answer a request.  The Public Records Office provides training through HRS and to individual departments or colleges as requested.  We can assist you in determining whether you have public records (if you work for the University, you do) and whether you have received a request that should be handled through our office.  We can also direct you to resources providing assistance in determining which records must be kept, how long they must be kept, and which can be discarded.  Records kept beyond the required retention period may still be released if they are responsive to a request.

Big Goal:  Finding software that will fill our request management needs.

Hidden department fact (Hidden or interesting department fact):

Our Department has moved twice in 2016 but are now in our (hopefully) permanent location ITB 3011, 3013 and 3015.

The Washington Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) is a result of the Watergate scandal in 1972.


Previous Department Spotlights:

Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life (CFSL)

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)

International Programs (IP) – Global Services

The Graduate School

Enterprise Systems

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