Appeals Court Affirms UW-Oshkosh Professor Records Release

2nd District Court Of Appeals Upheld Decision, Said No Exemptions For Records Of Closed Misconduct Investigations

Joe Gratz (CC)

A state appeals court says the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh must release records related to misconduct investigation involving a business professor.

Alexander Nemec, a reporter with the student newspaper Advance-Titan, filed an open records request in March 2017 for a complaint against Willis Hagen and documents from an ensuing investigation. Hagen was a business professor who suddenly stopped teaching his classes earlier that year.

Hagen sued to block the release, saying personnel records are exempt from Wisconsin’s open records law. A Winnebago County judge ordered the documents released.

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The 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld that decision Wednesday, saying no exemptions exist for records of closed misconduct investigations.

Hagen’s attorney, Peter Culp, didn’t immediately reply to an email Wednesday.