- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The University of Oregon gave a stern warning to a professor last week that further disclosures from a cache of 22,000 documents from the school’s presidential office would be in violation of the teacher’s responsibility as a faculty member.

The school said the documents contain student, faculty and employee information that must be kept confidential under state and federal law, as well as legal communications protected by attorney-client privilege. Two unnamed archivists have been put on leave.

The Oregonian reported Monday (https://bit.ly/1wy2McI) it obtained a Jan. 20 letter from Doug Blandy, senior vice president for academic affairs, that had the professor’s name blacked out.

Economics professor Bill Harbaugh maintains a blog where one of the documents surfaced Jan. 4. He told The Oregonian in an email on Monday that his lawyers have advised him not to talk.

The documents, in electronic form, were released as they were being archived, university officials said. They covered the years 2010-2014 and contained communications to and from the presidents.

The school has had two permanent presidents and two interim officeholders in those years. Its board is now in a search for a new president.

The letter from Blandy tells the unnamed professor that as an employee, he shares the school’s obligation to keep certain kinds of information confidential, and further disclosures “would be in direct contravention of your responsibility as a member of the faculty.”

“You should immediately discontinue any review of the documents,” Blandy wrote, “gather or retrieve any and all copies that you have made, remove any documents that you have posted on the Internet, and return the originals and all copies of the documents to the Dean of the Libraries, Adriene Lim, by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 or sooner.”

University of Oregon officials said that deadline passed without the return of the documents. School spokesman Tobin Klinger did not immediately respond to calls Monday.

Once the documents are reviewed and the confidential information taken out, Blandy said, what’s left would be made publicly available.


Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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