Process Overview

Winthrop University is a South Carolina State Institution of Higher Learning and responds to Freedom of Information Requests from members of the public.  We support the SC General Assembly in informing citizens of the public activities at Winthrop University.

Steps in receiving information through the FOIA process at Winthrop are as follows.

  1. Submit a request via the form on our website (FOIA Request Form)

  2. You will receive a reply that your form has been received and forwarded to the Office of General Counsel.

  3. Within a reasonable time, you will receive an Initial Determination letter related to your request.

    Included in the initial determination, you will receive one of the following:

    1. An Initial Determination and Production letter - in instances where you are requesting a readily available document, we will provide that document at the same time as the initial determination.

    2. A request for clarification.  Sometimes we need more information to be able to property respond and provide the documents you are seeking.

    3. A determination of what can be provided and the timeframe it will take to conduct the research and pull together the documentation.

      1. If this research time is minimal and the documents a reasonable size, there will be no charge.

      2. If the request is extensive, you will be provided with a cost estimate based on our fee schedule (Fee Schedule).

      3. Once we receive a deposit from you, we will begin work on your request.  Payment in full is expected by the time documents are sent.

  4. Production of documents requested-for those requests that cannot be provided with the initial determination, you will receive a letter with the final production once we have completed our research and compiled the documentation requested.

  5. A determination that Winthrop cannot respond to your request.  There are some things that Winthrop cannot provide to members of the public under a South Carolina Freedom of Information (SC FOIA) request.

    Examples of items that cannot be accessed through FOIA requests:

    1. Restricted data such as social security numbers

    2. Requests that do not relate to a specific document such as a request for an opinion or a reason as to why something occurred

    3. Where the University would have to generate a report that does not exist

    4. Documents exempt from disclosure by law