Request Public Records
How to Prepare Your Request
Public records requests are submitted online using our public records portal. The University requires requests to be in writing. If you are unable to submit a request in writing, please call us at (919) 962-8511 for assistance.
North Carolina law does not require the University to respond to a request for a public record by creating or compiling a record that does not exist.
Your correspondence to the University making a request is itself a public record and may be asked for by other requestors, along with the University’s response.
Where to Submit Your Request
Several University offices are responsible for responding to public records requests. They include Public Records, as well as the University Registrar (student records), Human Resources (employee records), and the Department of Public Safety (public police records). Questions from news media may be directed to the Office of University Communications.
UNC-Chapel Hill employees who receive a public records request from an individual should forward the request to the appropriate contact and respond to the requester with the appropriate contact information. University employees unsure of the appropriate office or contact should contact the Public Records Office.
Following is the contact information for each of those offices:
For student “directory information” the University can provide under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal privacy law, contact the Office of the University Registrar:
UNC-Chapel Hill Office of the University Registrar
Attention: University Registrar Reporting
Campus Box 2100
SASB North, Suite 3100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-2100
About Faculty and Staff
For employee information the University can provide under the State (North Carolina) Personnel Act, contact the Office of Human Resources:
UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Human Resources
Attention: Records and Information
Campus Box 1045
104 Airport Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1045
About Police Records
For public University police records, contact the Department of Public Safety:
UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety
Attention: Information Specialist
Public Safety Building, Campus Box 1600
285 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1600
From the News Media
Media representatives may contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs with additional questions. Requests at https://nextrequest.unc.edu/.
UNC-Chapel Hill Office of University Communications
Attention: News Services Director
Campus Box 6210
210 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210
All Other Requests
All other requests should be submitted to the University’s Public Records Office:
After You Make a Public Records Request
Your request enters a queue of other public records requests. North Carolina citizens or North Carolina news media outlets typically receive priority under the Public Records Policy.
Requests are reviewed for content prior to be posted publicly at https://nextrequest.unc.edu/. A requestor may always view their request by logging into the online records portal.
For requests made to the Office of Public Records, staff members contact the department, office or other units across campus that may have the records you seek to notify them about the request. That starts the process of identifying, collecting and sending potentially responsive materials to the Public Records Office.
A Public Records Office staff member will review the records and may be required to remove (redact) certain information from records to protect the privacy rights of students or employees, or information that is confidential under federal or state law.
In certain cases, the staff members may also need to notify third parties with an interest in the records you have requested.
When your records are ready for release, they will be uploaded to https://nextrequest.unc.edu/. The response time will vary on a case-by-case basis. The University will respond as systematically as possible based on factors including the availability of records, the complexity of the request, the volume of materials involved, the number of requests ahead of yours in the queue, the priority order of the request in cases in which a requester has submitted multiple requests, and the time required to review the materials for possible redactions to protect the privacy rights of students or employees or other information deemed confidential under federal or state law.
Our overarching goal is to be as responsive as possible to each and every request.
Charges for Records
Under the North Carolina Public Records Act, public agencies are authorized to charge minimal fees to cover the actual cost of reproducing public records or public information.
The University may charge a fee for searching for, gathering, and copying documents that are public records. Copying costs are charged at 10 cents per black-and-white page after the first 50 pages for requesters who ask for hard copies.
Requesters will be notified in advance of any service fees that will be assessed cases involving extensive information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance exceeding more than four hours of staff time. The hourly rate is $18. The requester will have an opportunity to revise a request to avoid or reduce an hourly charge.
The Public Records Staff will provide a requester with a written estimate and ask if he or she agrees to pay the charge. The requester may also choose to narrow the scope of the request. The University may not include the actual cost of redacting legally privileged or confidential information in calculating the service fee. However, the time spent for identifying and gathering potential public records will be included.