What is the Texas Public Information Act?

Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA), gives the public the right to access the files or records of a Texas governmental entity such as The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). The TPIA requires governmental entities to produce information it holds in response to appropriate requests, unless that information is exempt from disclosure under the TPIA or other state or federal law. The TPIA does not require a governmental entity to prepare answers to questions, perform legal research, create a new document in response to a request, or comply with a continuing request to supply information on a periodic basis.

How do I make a Public Information Request?

Requests for information under the TPIA must be made in writing. Including the following information in your request will help ensure that you may receive the information you are requesting:

  • Name and contact information (i.e., email address, physical address, phone number), so UTRGV can provide you the requested information or seek clarification of your request; and
  • A description of the specific information you are requesting, including report numbers (e.g., if you are requesting a police report), document names (e.g., if you are requesting a contract, etc.), or time ranges (e.g., if you are requesting information for a specific time period), that will assist us in locating the information you are seeking.

Try to be as specific as possible about the information you are seeking.

Where do I submit my request?

Requests can be emailed (fastest method to submit), mailed, or hand-delivered. Requests should be directed to the Public Information Officer:

By mail or hand delivery:

By email:

Karen E. Adams, J.D.
Public Information Officer
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
1201 West University Blvd., Suite 3.101
Edinburg, Texas 78539 

publicinformation@utrgv.edu

Will obtaining information have a cost?

Charges for copies for public information are set by the Office of the Attorney General. If the charge for fulfilling a request for information exceeds $40.00, UTRGV will provide an itemized written estimate of the charges and indicate if a less costly alternative is available. Requestors must respond in writing within ten (10) business days after the estimate is sent accepting the costs or indicating a preferred alternative. If no written response is received in the time allowed by law, the request will be considered withdrawn.

When can I expect to receive requested information?

The Public Information Officer (or designee) must first obtain the requested information from the individual department(s) holding the information, and then review the information before it can be made available. The process can take up to ten (10) business days, depending on the availability of the information from the individual department(s), the number of requests pending, and other factors. If information is identified during the review process that may be subject to an exception under the TPIA or other applicable law, UTRGV may need to request a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General regarding the information, which also may delay release.

Can I request medical records?

Yes, but these are handled through a different process. Requests for the release of medical records must be submitted in writing, include a signed patient authorization, and meet all other elements required by law. Requests may be submitted via email to medicalrecordsoffice@utrgv.edu or faxed to (956) 296-6851. Copies of the authorization form are available in English and Spanish:

Can I request a student transcript?

Yes, but these are handled through a different process. If you are a current or former UTRGV student (or a former student of The University of Texas – Pan American or The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College) requiring your official academic record, you may request a transcript using UTRGV’s online ordering service. For more information, please visit U Central’s Transcript Request page.