What are public meetings and when are my meetings required to be public?

Oregon's public meetings laws (PML) (codified in ORS 192.610, et. seq.) generally requires that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly. The PLM’s key requirements are to

  1. Hold meetings that are open to the public unless an executive session is authorized
  2. Give notice of meetings
  3. Take minutes of or otherwise record the meeting

There are also requirements regarding location, voting and accessibility for disabled persons. Not all meetings involving the UO are "public meetings," however, because the PML defines a "meeting" as the convening of a governing body of a public body for which a quorum is required in order to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter. Accordingly, if a UO committee meets to deliberate on what recommendation to make to a single decision-maker (e.g. the president, provost, dean, etc.), that meeting is not subject to the PML. Even if a meeting is not subject to the PML, meetings may be opened to the public, unless confidential information is discussed at the meeting, such as student records, faculty records, or other confidential information. Additional information about the PML is available in the Oregon Department of Justice's public records and public meetings manual or if you have questions about whether a meeting is required to be public, please contact the general counsel's office.