Disclosure Of Student Mental Health Records: Teachable Moment From Oregon

This month’s column in the Albany County Bar Association Newsletter reviews the situation that unfolded earlier this year at the University of Oregon.  The university, which had been put on notice of a tort claim by a student in connection with an alleged sexual assault,  controversially obtained the treatment records of the same student from an on-campus mental health clinic in preparation for its defense of the matter.

The situation at Oregon should serve as a teachable moment for colleges and universities. The article reviews the history of the case, summarizes the legal framework that applies to these types of student health records, and highlights some of the policy considerations that should accompany the legal analysis.