Data Practices Act and Privacy

May 10, 2019

The University is a large public entity that maintains large amounts of data—about students, employees, research projects, funding, administration, and a host of other topics. As a communications professional, you may be asked by faculty members, students, media, or the public for data. It is important to note that data at the University are governed by federal and state regulations that classify some data as private or nonpublic, and other data as public.

Public information must be disclosed upon request under the state’s Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), Minnesota Statute §13. Private information, on the other hand, must be kept private, and can only be shared within the University with people who have a job-related need to know or with others outside the institution as authorized by law. For more information about what is considered public or private, visit the University Policy Library to view the administrative policy on Public Access to University Information.

Requests for data should be submitted via the University's Data Request Center. The University’s Records Manager, who reports to the General Counsel, is the Responsible Authority for the University with respect to access to public information and the University’s obligations to keep private information private. The University Public Relations team, in conjunction with the Office of Records and Information Management, handles requests by reporters and those affiliated with news organizations.  

If you have any questions about data requests, feel free to reach out to the University Public Relations team at 612-624-5551.