I’m no law professor, but this policy seems to put to rest worries that UO will ever again access confidential student counseling records for questionable purposes.
It’s also notable in that the Oregon Bar ethics complaint against UO Interim General Counsel Doug Park and Associate General Counsel Sam Hill for obtaining the records, and the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiner’s proposed $5K fine against UO Counseling Director Shelly Kerr for releasing them, are still in various stages of appeals.
This new policy will not help these administrators’ cases – it will hurt them by making clear that what happened was wrong, and needed to be fixed. But it will help address the student concerns about UO’s institutional betrayal over sexual assaults that were identified by Jennifer Freyd. Which is more important.
UO’s new administration has done the right thing. A lot of people worked very hard to get us to this point, and I hope they are celebrating tonight. None of this would have come to light without the whistleblowing of CTS employees Jennifer Morlock and Karen Stokes, who have filed notice of a retaliation claim against UO.