WKU to release sexual misconduct records involved in suit against the Herald

Gavel/law/lawsuit/courts

Laurel Deppen

WKU will release Title-IX related records involving investigations into university employees, as requested by the Herald in 2016, following a Kentucky Supreme Court decision.

WKU initially denied the request, stating the release of these would violate student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The Herald challenged WKU’s decision, claiming violation of the Kentucky Open Records Act. Former Attorney General Andy Beshear stated the university had violated the act and must release the records. To overturn Beshear’s order, the university sued the Herald.

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On Thursday, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in a similar case involving the University of Kentucky and its student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel, that UK “will have to separate redacted documents into two categories, releasing those that are not exempt and justifying why others cannot be released,” according to WKU Director of Media Relations Bob Skipper.

“We made it clear that we would follow legal precedent, and this ruling provides much needed additional clarity,” said Andrea Anderson, WKU’s General Counsel. “Our focus from the beginning has been on protecting the identity of those filing the complaints. We look forward to bringing the litigation with the Herald to resolution.”

This story will be updated.