OU Daily: Oklahoma Open Records Act expert weighs in on OU blocking incentivized retirement records

An Oklahoma open records expert said he believes OU’s denial of three Daily open records requests goes beyond the scope of the court ruling on which OU has based its denial.

OU has denied The Daily three requests for the names of university employees who are eligible for its Special Voluntary Retirement Incentive. The program encourages eligible employees to retire early and receive a payment equal to a portion of their salaries, and it has now been implemented a second time as a cost-saving measure.

OU denied the records, which it gave to The Daily just one year ago, on the grounds that the ages of employees are protected under the Oklahoma Open Records Act as a personnel record. The records The Daily seeks would show which employees are aged 60 and older — the requirement to be eligible for the early retirement program — but not give the employees’ exact ages.