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Position Summary:

The Director, Public Records ensures collaboration amongst and between the UMass President s Office (UMPO), UMass System Office (UMSO), UMass Building Authority (UMBA), and the university s five campuses in responding to public records requests maintains compliance with the Massachusetts Public Records Law (Chapter 66 of the General Laws).

The director coordinates responses to records requests in a timely, appropriate and cost efficient manner. In this role, the director will manage highly public and sensitive public records and communications projects that have significant impact on the reputation of the university.

The director works closely and collaboratively with the Office of Communications, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), University Information Technology Services (UITS), other UMPO/UMSO departments, and campus records access officers to ensure compliant and consistent responses to public records requests and the application of best practices. In addition to ensuring compliance and consistency in responses, the director works collaboratively to implement processes reduce the financial impact of public records requests on the university and reduce workload impact on its personnel.

As the primary public records response and advocacy coordinator for the Commonwealth s 75,000-student public research university and the largest public employer in the state, the director will be a prominent communicator, advocating for both the public s right to have insight into the workings of public entities, while also advocating for fair application of the law and the ability for public entities to conduct business, including negotiations with private entities, for the benefit the Commonwealth.

Essential Functions:

  • Primary responsibility for managing, coordinating and fulfilling public records requests submitted to the UMass President s Office (UMPO), UMass System Office (UMSO) and UMass Building Authority (UMBA), including maintaining commonly requested documents, coordinating the search and compilation of responsive records, reviewing records for redaction and/or withholding due to exemption or privilege, negotiating scopes and extensions with requestors, furnishing documents to requestors, maintaining records of requests and correspondence, and coordinating interactions with regulators, including the Secretary of State s Office ( SOS ) and the Office of the Attorney General ( OAG ).
  • Maintains an advanced level knowledge and understanding of current Massachusetts public records law, guidance from the SOS office and the OAG, and trends in the opinions and findings issued by the Supervisor of Public Records in response to university-related appeals.
  • Coordinates select system-wide requests involving multiple campuses and/or select requests inclusive of one campus and the UMPO/UMSO.
  • Through regular communications with university leadership, monitors emerging issues and high-impact projects that could generate spikes in public records requests, and marshals the necessary resources to prepare for and manage those high-demand periods given the restrictive response requirements of the public records law.
  • Seeks input and feedback from senior leadership and the OGC on high-profile and sensitive requests, and works with the Office of Communications to ensure appropriate messaging and context for information releases.
  • Maintains the university s system-wide public records database and performs statutorily-required annual reporting to the State.
  • Maintains and updates training materials (instructional videos, PowerPoint presentations, sample response materials) and performs regular training with system office and campus personnel to ensure system-wide compliance and application of best practices that mitigate risk in the form of compliance and legal action, negative media attention, or other potential financial or reputational damage.
  • Maintains strong and effective relationships internally and with campus colleagues, and externally with the SOS Supervisor of Public Records office, OAG, members of the media, other frequent records requestors, and government transparency advocates to ensure a positive reputation for the university among these key stakeholders.
  • Serves as an official university external communicator and point of contact, interacting with media, legislators and others and representing the position of the university.
  • Serves as an advocate for the university by ensuring that the application of the public records law is fair and consistent; researches and monitors state and national trends in public records laws; and works with government relations staff to advocate for meaningful reforms that ensure transparency while allowing the university to fulfill its core missions and not be disadvantaged in business activities, including negotiations with private entities, that benefit UMass students and the Commonwealth.
  • Utilizes eDiscovery Point and researches and makes recommendations for new technologies that could increase efficiency; manages system wide-procurement and deployment of new technologies as appropriate.
  • Minimum Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience in a legal and/or compliance role
  • Demonstrated experience with negotiations
  • Strong command of communications and media relations best practices
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex, self-directed projects with multiple stakeholders and influencers
  • Demonstrated ability to establish authority and inspire diverse personnel with varying professional incentives/relationships to work collaboratively toward common goals
  • Preferred Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor/Law degree
  • Experience as a public records access officer
  • Experience in a state government regulatory or compliance role
  • Other Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Exercise discretion and confidentiality, and take appropriate steps to protect confidential information.
  • Perform other duties as required.
  • Additional Information:

    Salary Range: Up to $110,000.00

    Associated topics: emergency management, government affairs, media, public, public affairs, public records, public works, regulatory affairs, social media

    * The salary listed in the header is an estimate based on salary data for similar jobs in the same area. Salary or compensation data found in the job description is accurate.

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