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Response to Requests for Records

Purpose

The following procedure outlines the process for Instructional Resources staff (inclusive of Information Technology Services, Instructional Design, and the Library) to respond to requests for internal records.  The procedure provides for compliance with any type of request including subpoenas, search warrants, and other governmental requests, while assuring observance of state and federal laws, regulations and campus policy relating to confidentiality and privacy of college records.

Procedure

This procedure applies to requests for all electonic records held by any Instructional Resources, and for requests for such records on any Highline Academic Technology or staff computer resource.

This procedure applies to requests coming from outside the campus, requests from within the campus community, and outside requests referred from within the campus or community college system.

Staff members who are approached with a request for information concerning any electronic records, other than the requestor's personal information, are to indicate that such information is confidential and that the staff member does not have the authority to release such information.  Requests for records will fall into one of the following three circumstances:

  1. Unofficial requests.  These requests may come from a member of the general public, a parent, spouse, or friend of a student or employee, or a faculty member or other college employee.  Staff members are to indicate that records are confidential and that the staff member does not have the authority to release such information.  The staff member will provide the requestor with a brief explanation as to rationale for privacy of such records and, if appropriate, cite the state and federal laws that protect the privacy and confidentiality of records.  If the requestor is not satisfied with the explanation, the staff member may refer the individual to her/his department supervisor, the Executive Director of IT Services, or the Dean of Instructional Resources.
     
  2. Official requests with documentation.  When the requesting party is a law officer or a representative of a governmental agency or department and is presenting a subpoena or other formal, documented request, the staff member will indicate that he/she does not have authority to accept or act on subpoenas, search warrants or other documents; the staff member will further indicate that such requests are handled only by the Dean of Instructional Resources, the Executive Director of IT Services, or the current IRMT designee.  The staff member is to immediately contact the Dean's office and inform the Dean or the IR office staff of the request.  If no one is available in the IR Administrative office, see procedures below.  The staff member should also inform her/his immediate supervisor of the request.

    In the event the requesting party has a search warrant and insists on immediate execution of the search, the staff member is to immediately contact the Dean's office and inform the Dean or the IR office staff of the request.  If no one is available in the IR Administrative office, see procedures below.  The staff member should also inform her/his immediate supervisor of the activity that is underway.
     
  3. Official requests without documentation.  When the requesting party is a law officer or a representative of a governmental agency or department, the staff member will indicate that he/she does not have the authority to release such records and will further indicate that such requests are handled only by the Dean of Instructional Resources, the Executive Director of IT Services, or the current IRMT designee.   The staff member is to immediately contact the Dean's office and inform the Dean or the IR office staff of the request.  The staff member should also inform her/his immediate supervisor of the request.

In the event there is no one in the Dean's Office, the staff member will so inform the requestor and refer the requestor to the member of the Instructional Resources Management Team (IRMT) that is available.  Current IRMT members and the order of contact are listed below.

In the event that the request is made outside of the normal business hours, the staff member is to use the emergency telephone tree to contact the Dean or a member of IRMT.

The Dean of Instructional Resources, Executive Director of IT Services, or the IRMT designee will determine the authenticity of the requestors credentials and immediately contact Highline's Records Officer and/or the Assistant Attorney General for a review of the request and the document's legal sufficiency.  The responding administrator will inform the requestor of this procedure.

Next steps will be taken upon the advice of the College Records Officer and/or the Assistant Attorney General.

Electronic records:

The release of electronic records within Instructional Resources is handled by a committee comprised of the Executive Director of Information Technology Services, the Dean of Instructional Resources and the appropriate Director within Instructional Resources having direct knowledge of the systems to be accessed.

Highline employees will be involved in the sorting and selecting of electronic records.  Highline reserves the right to contract out the sorting and selecting of electronic records.

When allowable, provision of the requested information will be made on a cost recovery basis.

Adopted 21 August 2003;
Updated 31 January 2016 

Current Instructional Resources Management Team

Dean of Instructional Resources - Monica Luce
Executive Director of Information Technology Services - Tim Wrye
Director of Instructional Design - Marc Lentini
Associate Director of Information Technology Services - Pat Daniels
Associate Director of the Library - Gerie Ventura
Director of Insitutional Research - Emily Coates
Director of Placement and Testing - Shannon Waits