The University Record, September 21, 1992

Media make most FOIA requests

About 25 FOIA requests are logged with Nordby each month. About one-fourth of them come from students, faculty, the Michigan Daily and the Michigan Review.

“The largest number are from the media and within that group the majority are from sports writers seeking information about the Athletic Department.”

She says major newspapers, such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, frequently file FOIA requests when they are conducting surveys “so they can be certain of a response.”

There are also a lot of requests from groups and individuals seeking information on Regents’ travel and reimbursement records and records related to Rose Bowl game travel, and from a number of “watchdog” groups, such as those interested in the use of animals in research, Department of Defense-sponsored research, the Phoenix Memorial Laboratory and radiation, and incinerator emissions.

Nordby says lawyers also initiate a “fair number of requests. They’re trying to decide whether to accept a case against the University, to determine if there is any merit to a case before doing a great deal more work.”

Her most bizarre request came from a California sports writer around Rose Bowl time. He requested information on all FOIA requests—both the request and the answers—from other sports writers in the prior three months.