Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

University of Oregon Needs a Records Management Intervention

Hey, University of Oregon, is there something going on that we need to talk about? I’ve been seeing your name in the news a lot. Are you ok?

First there was that professor with all those emails from the archives. He sounds like a crack researcher. I understand that he followed all the rules, and that the archivists did their due diligence, too. Thirty-thousand emails is a lot of documents. Haven’t you heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

Ok, yes, perhaps the university administration’s full court press in trying to get the records back has more to do with their own embarrassment and maybe some skeletons in the closet. No, the emails didn’t contain any protected student information. And, yes, open records are very important to accountability. Yes, especially for government institutions such as state universities. It does kind of sound like the administration was up to no good, something about the UO Senate and shared governing powers, I heard. Yes, the ongoing bloat of college and university administrations is practically criminal, and, yes, the proliferation of digital records presents myriad novel problems. Yes, I agree. Stop trying to change the subject.

And then there’s that young woman who was raped on your campus by your own basketball players! I can’t believe that you’d use her therapy records in court against her! I had no idea that was a legal technicality, that her records from the campus counseling center were covered by FERPA as educational records, instead of as medical records under HIPAA. That’s a travesty, and the laws should be changed immediately so this can’t happen again. But that doesn’t make it ok that you’ve abused records in this way. Your own employees are horrified by your actions, and you’ve betrayed your students in a most disgusting manner. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it ethical. And you’ve set a bad example.

Don’t make excuses. I’m sure a lot of other universities are doing it, too. That doesn’t make it ok, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a records management problem. And there are definitely going to be consequences. But I’m sure the archivist community cares about you and is willing to give you guidance as you pull yourself together.


About oneofthelibrarians

Respectable librarian by day, dirty street librarian by night & other days.

2 comments on “University of Oregon Needs a Records Management Intervention

    March 11, 2015

    Reblogged this on Frantec Engenharia.

  2. Pingback: FERPA, Defensible Deletion, and Newsaliens with Opinions | The Schedule

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Ne'er do wells



Creative Commons License


  • Impending doom: 3 weeks ago: nuclear war 2 weeks ago: climate change Last week: climate change This week: nuclear war Next week: meteor 12 minutes ago
  • Hey @SenBobCasey The Graham-Cassidy bill would be bad for PA & bad for the country. Oppose it, back Medicare-for-all instead! - A PA voter 29 minutes ago
  • Hey @SenToomey, The Graham-Cassidy bill would be bad for PA and bad for the country. Show some backbone and oppose it! - a voter in PA 39 minutes ago
  • To whom it may concern, Failing leaders embrace disastrous military exploits to appear strong. Sincerely, History… 1 hour ago
  • Talk like a pirate day is meant as a grim joke about how sea levels are rising and how Waterworld is a vision of the future, right? Right. 1 hour ago
%d bloggers like this: