1997 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1997)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0066 and id is 1 raw text is: Office of the attornep           Oeneral
6tate of TexaS
ATTORNEY GENERAL                         March 18,1997
Mr. Max J. Werkenthin                       Open Records Decision No. 651
Office of the General Counsel
The University of Texas System              Re:    Whether research data produced by
201 West Seventh Street                     university faculty is public information
Austin, Texas 78701-2981                    subject to the Open Records Act, Gov't Code
ch. 552 (RQ-752)
Dear Mr. Werkenthin:
On behalf of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System (the
university), you have requested our opinion regarding the availability of certain
information under the Open Records Act, Government Code chapter 552 (the act). The
university has received two requests for similar types of information. You initially question
whether the requested information is public information subject to the act. In the event we
determine that the requested information is subject to the act, you assert that section 552.101
of the Government Code, in conjunction with section 51.914 of the Education Code, excepts
the requested information from required public disclosure. We will begin by describing the
requested information.
First, the university received a request for information collected by two employees
of the university, Dr. David M. Hillis and Mr. Paul T. Chippindale, in their research of the
Barton Springs salamander. Specifically, the requestor seeks the opportunity to review and
copy all field notes, raw data, and other background information used in compiling three
Central Texas salamander studies the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department submitted to the
federal Fish and Wildlife Service; the studies were published in 1989, 1990, and 1992.'
'You inform us that portions of the requested information already are available to the public. The
raw data in support of the salamander collection localities have been entered into a distributional database at
[the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department]. The preserved salamander specimens collected by [Dr. Hillis and
Mr. Chippindale] will [be] available in the Texas Memorial Museum. We will not consider the availability
of this information here. We assume, however, that the university has informed the requestor of the availability
of this information.

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