(8.1) This Act does not apply,
(a) to a record respecting or associated with research conducted or proposed by an employee of an educational institution or hospital or by a person associated with an educational institution or hospital.
This was recently used in response to a request for emails from Ross McKitrick or University of Guelph:
UNIVERSITY of GUELPH OFFICE OF THE PROVOST
Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,
I write in response to your request which was received by the University on May 3, 2010 under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) for access to the following:
“…copies of all letters written to and received from Stephen McIntyre, Patrick J. Michaels and Anthony Watts for the period of 2002 to current date by Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph. The information is to include all copies of documents that may be backed up in mail servers.”
Your request for access to the responsive records is denied. The reasons for this decision are outlined below.
Subsection 65(8.1) of FIPPA states that the Act does not apply to “a record respecting or associated with research conducted or proposed by an employee of an educational institution, or by a person associated with an educational institution”. This exclusion is intended to preserve academic freedom and competitiveness; in particular with respect to specific, identifiable research projects that have been conceived by a faculty member of the University. Records identified as responsive to your request are in regard to research being conducted or proposed by the authors, thereby excluding them from the scope of the Act.
Additionally, s.21(1) of the Act requires that the University refuse to disclose personal information to any person other than the individual to whom the information relates. Responsive records that were not respecting or associated with research conducted or proposed by Professor McKitrick were personal in nature; therefore, the University is obliged to protect these records.
In light of these factors, your request for access to responsive records is denied.
Issues: academic freedom