School/Unit: University Relations
Department: University Public Affairs
Purpose of Position:
The FOIA Officer is responsible for ensuring the university's compliance with the state Freedom of Information Act and other federal and state laws governing the release of public information.
The FOIA Officer reports to the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs who reports to the Vice President of University Relations, VCU's chief communications officer. The FOIA Officer is responsible for leading and managing the university's timely, accurate and legal response to requests for public information under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The position works closely with senior administration and particularly University Counsel to fulfill the university's obligations for the release of public information under applicable state and federal laws.
Position Responsibilities:Serves as the university's primary contact for all inquiries and requests related to the state Freedom of Information Act and other federal and state laws governing the release of public information.
Coordinates responses to requests for information under the state FOIA; works closely with the University Relations Vice President, Public Affairs AVP and University Counsel regarding official responses from the university.
Works closely with Information Technology in the use of appropriate tools to manage FOIA requests;
Serves as the university FOIA expert who develops, manages and reviews procedures for responding to requests for public information to ensure compliance with applicable laws.
Receives, records, acknowledges and prepares responses to answer requests within deadlines and bounds of FOIA. Maintains all records and databases related to each public information request.
Determines, subject to University Counsel supervision, whether requested documents are subject to exemption from mandatory disclosure pursuant to a specific provision of FOIA or other applicable laws.
Reviews potentially responsive records from university departments; assesses applicability of relevant exclusions, and makes appropriate document redactions.
Calculates and generates invoices for fulfilling FOIA requests.
Organizes, schedules and conducts outreach and education efforts designed to increase the university community's awareness of the state Freedom of Information Act and the university's responsibilities in complying with FOIA;
Updates the university FOIA website as needed.
QualificationsBachelor's degree required; law degree or paralegal degree/certification preferred.
Considerable (four to seven years) applicable professional experience, ideally in the public sector.
Experience preparing official correspondence and meeting statutory or regulatory deadlines.
Demonstrated experience in managing projects.
Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse university environment or commitment to do so as an administrative faculty member at VCU.
Required Skills:Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate clearly and professionally, written and oral.
Strong analytical and writing skills with demonstrated ability to collect and analyze information to derive conclusions and recommendations.
Strong technology capabilities, as most university records are digital and must be organized, reviewed, redacted, and released in digital format.
Attention to detail. Organizes information in concise, logical and analytical manner.
Knowledge and clear understanding of, or a proven ability to learn quickly, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and legal guidance concerning its implementation in particular relating to exemptions and release of documents.
Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
Preferred Qualifications:Law degree or paralegal degree/certification
3-5 years' experience preparing official correspondence and meeting statutory or regulatory deadlines
Knowledge of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act reporting requirements, exemptions and legal interpretations
To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link: www.vcujobs.comVirginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran's status, political affiliation or disability.