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700.1 - Public Records

University Group Policy #700.1

I.  Policy Statement

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina and an agency of the State of North Carolina. WSSU is committed to a policy of openness, honesty and cooperation with members of the public and news media. This policy will be implemented and construed in accordance with the NC Public Records Act, N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, as it may be amended from time to time.

II.    Guidelines

Public Information

All records created or received in the course of University business, in whatever format, including but not limited to paper, photographs, recordings, emails or digital images constitute a public record unless an exception applies under federal or state law.

Certain information is confidential under federal or state law and is not subject to release or disclosure. Any questions regarding confidentiality of records or portions thereof should be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs. Information should not be released until it has been reviewed to ensure that confidential information is not disclosed. Student directory information should not be released until a determination has been made as to whether the student has a privacy block.

Public Records Request:

Individuals seeking public records must submit a written request to the General Counsel

WSSU 125 Blair Hall
601 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27110.

The General Counsel will determine the office or offices that hold the requested information, obtain those records and prepare a response to the request from the individual.

An administrator, faculty member or staff member who receives a request directly from an individual should forward a copy of this policy to the requestor, noting in particular the requirement that the request must be made in writing and submitted to the General Counsel.

Copying Fee

If a request is made for copies of documents, the university may charge the actual costs of the copies. Generally, the university will not charge for cost of copies unless the number of pages exceeds 25 pages. The cost will be five (5) cents per page. The cost for the copies must be tendered prior to the physical request.

Special Service Charge

If the request is such to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance, or if producing the records in the medium request results in excessive use of information technology services, then the university may charge, in addition to the copying fee, a special service charge. The special service charge will be reasonable and no greater than the actual costs incurred. The university considers more than four (4) hours to constitute extensive use of personnel. If a preparation of the response will exceed four (4) hours, the university will charge a presumed rate of $15 per hour for the additional time. The General Counsel will consult with the Chief Information Officer and provide an estimate of costs for the extraordinary request prior to making the records available for inspection or release and allow the requestor the option of either agreeing to pay the charge or revising the request to narrow its scope or nature. Multiple requests within a short period of time from the same individual or entity will be considered a single request for purposes of determining whether to charge under this section.

News Media Requests

Any request from the news media should be immediately forwarded to Director of Public Relations at 336-750-8764. To assure the accurate release of information to the media and the coordination of media relations, the all news releases, news information, and news conferences will be arranged by the Director of Public Relations.

III.     Applicability

This policy is applicable to public records maintained by Winston-Salem State University.

Responsible Division: Office of Legal Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted March 18, 2011