Mass. AG to Review Selection of University President

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley ...

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One of my pet peeves in FOI…the way university presidents get to interview for megabucks, taxpayer-funded jobs in secret, so they can just move around and around in a little circle until they land the “next” one…all aided by these private search firms that states also pay huge amounts of money to, so they can tap their stable of secret candidates.

Maybe the states are waking up:

The state attorney general says she will review the actions of the trustees of theUniversity of Massachusetts for possible violations of the state Open Meeting Law when they met in closed session in January to question three finalists for the president’s job.

Attorney General Martha M. Coakley’s review should help clarify a section of the Open Meeting Law that regulates interviews for finalists for positions. Coakley took over enforcement of the law on July 1 from district attorneys. The Republican had asked Coakley about the Jan. 13 closed session as part of Sunshine Week, a national effort starting Sunday and led by the American Society of News Editors to promote a discussion about open government and freedom of information.

All this skullduggery in a state with one of the better provisions when it comes to hiring.

The state’s sunshine law provides for executive sessions to interview job applicants but such closed meetings can occur only during preliminary screenings of candidates. Once there are finalists, all screenings must be conducted in open meetings. Then, all other meetings “to consider and interview applicants” must be conducted in public.


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