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Communication from an attorney or private investigator

If contacted regarding an action, decision, communication, event, etc., that was taken, made, or occurred in the performance of your duties as a university employee—for example, you are a residence life coordinator and you are contacted regarding your role in a student conduct investigation—tell the attorney or the private investigator that they need to contact our office prior to speaking with you.

If contacted regarding an action, event, or communication that was taken in your individual capacity—for example you are contacted because you witnessed a car accident on your way to work—our office would not represent you individually and therefore you can choose to speak with the person or to not speak with that person. For events, matters, or actions that occurred in your individual capacity, you may also choose to seek independent legal advice prior to speaking with the attorney or private investigator.  See our referrals page.


Communication from a federal or state agency

A government agency may contact UO personnel for various reasons. For example, the agency may need to audit financial aid awards, investigate research misconduct allegations, or investigate cybersecurity matters that do not even involve UO personnel. Requests for UO information may also come in many forms, including subpoenas, search warrants, or requests for interviews. It is the role of the general counsel’s office to determine the validity and scope of information requests and to assist in determining the appropriate method of response to investigations that is least disruptive of business operations.

If a government agency requests UO information from you, or you otherwise become aware of a government investigation involving the UO, you should immediately contact the general counsel’s office. This does not apply to persons who initiated a complaint that is the subject of the government investigation. Below are suggested responses to government requests for UO information:

  • Be polite and courteous, and advise the government agent that the UO will generally cooperate with all government investigations, after consultation with the general counsel’s office.
  • Request identification and/or a business card from the agent requesting the information, or write down the agent’s name, title, agency, and contact information.
  • Request to make a copy of documents relied upon for information demands: search warrants, subpoenas, other court orders, etc.
  • Advise the agent that you will be pleased to assist after contacting the general counsel’s office, as required by UO procedure.
  • Contact the general counsel’s office as soon as possible. In some cases, the UO may need to make back-up copies of information before allowing computers, files, or other documents to be removed.
  • Make a note of everything you provided to the requesting agent with the time, date, and the agent’s full contact information. 

What to do if Immigration Enforcement Comes to Campus


Subpoena or summons

You should notify the general counsel's office immediately (preferably the same day) and provide a copy of the subpoena or summons. Courts impose strict and often very tight deadlines for responding to subpoenas. Please do not accept service of the subpoena or summons before contacting the general counsel's office. You should not accept a subpoena or summons that is addressed to the university, department, or another individual, unless that individual or department has specifically authorized you to accept service.

The general counsel's office can assist you in determining who can accept service of the document, whether the proposed service is valid, and whether the subpoena is otherwise lawful. The general counsel's office will work in partnership with you to ensure that all related laws are complied with and that you understand your obligations under the subpoena.

For more information, see our Primer on Subpoenas and Summons


Request for records

What should I do if I receive a records request for a student’s education records or an employee’s personnel records from an outside individual or entity?

Please contact the Office of Public Records (6‐6823 or pubrec@uoregon.edu), as this request may more properly be treated as a public records request under the Oregon public records law.  Furthermore, certain laws and/or university policies (e.g., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the university's faculty records policy) may provide additional protections for these records and require the written consent of the affected student or employee prior to any release. 

What should I do if I receive the same type of records request from a UO employee who has no UO work-related business need for the record?

Same as above. Unless the employee needs the information in order to do their job, the mere fact that a request comes from a UO employee does not mean that the above laws can be circumvented.  Please contact the general counsel's office if you need additional guidance.


Legal hold notice

Please refer to the Legal Holds and E-Discovery Guidelines on our website for more information about legal holds.


Grievance from a union

If you receive a grievance from a union, you should forward that grievance to the employee and labor relations department. That department can determine whether the grievance has been properly filed and assist you in navigating next steps. 


Threat

Threat of litigation related to University business

If you receive a threat of litigation, please forward it to our office at gcounsel@uoregon.edu. We can review the threat and determine appropriate next steps.

Threat to health and safety

If you feel like your health or safety is being immediately threatened, please call 911.

If there is a non-emergency health or safety threat, contact the non-emergency UO Police Department number at (541) 346-2919.

Please also contact the university's risk assessment team in Safety and Risk Services at (541) 346-9211.  That team can evaluate health and safety threats and determine appropriate next steps.


Notice of bankruptcy

Generally, if a student or university vendor files for bankruptcy, the university must temporarily stop collection efforts relating to that student’s or vendor’s account. Additionally, for a certain period of time, the university cannot impose restrictions generally associated with a defaulted account. For example, for a certain period of time, the university cannot hold a student’s transcript. Because there are restrictions and rules that are unique to bankruptcy, it is important that the university know when a student or vendor has filed for bankruptcy. Therefore, if you receive a bankruptcy notice stating that a current or former UO student or a vendor has filed for bankruptcy, please immediately send that notice to the following offices:

For students, please send the notice to the Director of Student Financial Services at the Thompson University Center, or email kborg@uoregon.edu
For vendors, please send the notice to the general counsel's office at 219 Johnson Hall, or email to gcounsel@uoregon.edu


Communication regarding a tax issue

Although the university is generally exempt from paying income tax, it still encounters tax issues from time to time. These issues cover a broad spectrum of matters, which include unrelated business income tax (UBIT), tax-exempt bond compliance, employment tax, gifts, retirement plans and other employee benefits, employee business expense reimbursements, and a variety of other items. If you are one of the unfortunate employees faced with a tax law concern, please contact Craig Ashford, the unfortunate general counsel attorney who enjoys these questions. Craig can be reached by calling the general counsel's office at (541) 346-3082 or e-mailing cashford@uoregon.edu.