MADISON, Wis.— The University of Wisconsin System is continually seeking to improve public accountability and public records access. Today, the System’s Director of Compliance and Integrity together with the Public Records Coordinator briefed the Board of Regents Audit Committee about improvements in public records responsiveness and tracking.
Director of Compliance and Integrity Katie Ignatowski and Public Records Coordinator Katie Patten highlighted the following:
- The establishment of a formal compliance infrastructure providing guidance and support to UW System administration and universities on compliance with federal law, state law, and Board of Regents policies.
- Creation of an internal tracking system for UWSA public records requests that UW System universities can also use.
- Development of resources and guidelines for System employees, records custodians, records officers, and members of the public who wish to make requests.
- Professional development sessions for UWSA employees about public records.
- Establishment of a Community of Practice for records custodians that encourages information sharing, questions, and best practices.
- A 35 percent decrease in the average number of days to fill a records request, to 32 days on average in 2019 compared to the previous year—despite many complex and detailed requests.
Quinn Williams, System legal counsel, noted that the creation of the Office of Compliance and Integrity and the hiring of Ignatowski and Patten also demonstrate the System’s commitment to public records responsiveness and continual improvement. Patten was hired in April 2018. Ignatowski was hired in February 2019.
Read more about the UW System’s management of public records.
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.