Use of Restricted University Records at the Bentley Historical Library
Most University records are open without restriction, however:
By authority of the Bentley Historical Library's Executive Committee, University of Michigan records generated by the university's Executive Officers, Deans, and Directors and their staffs, are restricted for a period of twenty years from their date of accession by the Bentley Historical Library. This restriction is subject to applicable laws, most notably the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and takes effect on January 1, 2001.
"Restricted" means that these records are not automatically available for examination by the public. The intention is to allow the originating offices to review material less than twenty years old to ensure that information protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), privacy and other rules is not inadvertently released. Researchers should follow the procedures listed below to request access to the records described above.
A list of position titles for Executive Officers, Deans and Directors is available upon request.
Which files are open without restriction:
If you wish to see a box which was accessioned within the past twenty years (this should be specified in the finding aid, but feel free to consult with the Reference Staff).
- If you find files that are restricted by the twenty year rule, but seem to contain much earlier material (files more than twenty years old), consult the Reference Archivist for access.
- If time permits, the Reference Archivist will review your request and, if appropriate, permit immediate access. If the Library is busy, you may be asked to return on a different day to see accessible files.
- If the desired material is indeed less than twenty years old, you will need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (see below).
What about records received before January 1, 2001?
This applies to records from the Office of the President; Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost); Vice President for Development; and the Dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Records created from 1981 to 2001, but received before January 1, 2001, are restricted for ten years only. This was the policy in place until 2001 and records received before this year are governed by the old policy.
How to pursue a Freedom Of Information Act Request:
FOIA requests must be in writing (which includes e-mail and fax). Written requests should be sent to the UM FOIA Office 2025 Fleming Building, 503 Thompson St., Ann Arbor MI 48109-1340. Requests can also be faxed to the office at 734-763-1399. Or, they can be e-mailed through the FOIA Office website at: http://www.umich.edu/~urel/foia.html. The Bentley Historical Library reference staff will forward written requests to the FOIA Office.
Copies of the Bentley Library's FOIA form, as well as FOIA Office brochures, are available at the reference desk. The Bentley Library's FOIA form is also available online as a PDF document. The FOIA Office doesn't have a specific form, but asks for the same pieces of information which should be included in any written, faxed, or e-mailed request.
This is the information from the FOIA website:
How to file a FOIA request with the University:
D. Lee Doyle is the chief Freedom of Information officer at the University of Michigan. Patricia Sellinger is FOIA coordinator. They may be reached by phone at (734) 763-5082. The office is responsible for handling FOIA requests made to the Flint and Dearborn campuses as well as to the Ann Arbor campus. Assistance at the regional campuses is provided by Jennifer Hogan, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Director of University Relations at UM-Flint (810-767-2150), and Judy Modelski, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Business Affairs at UM-Dearborn (313-436-9158).
Written FOIA requests should be sent to the University of Michigan FOIA Office, 2025 Fleming Building, 503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340. Requests can be faxed to the office at (734) 763-1399. They also can be e-mailed to Doyle at email@example.com or to Sellinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please specify with as much detail as possible the records you wish to inspect and/or receive copies of. For example, if applicable please include the time period involved, and the department where the documents may be located, if you know it.
Please include your mailing address and daytime phone number, as well as an e-mail address and fax number if applicable.