Quite possibly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they talked democracy…

Bricks in a wall.

Image via Wikipedia

This story is just crazy awesome. Seems the Regents at Rutgers had a crowd fairly upset with them the other night over, well, I don’t know…an issue of university import. So their response? They built a wall between themselves and the crowd!

I would have given anything to be at that meeting…and I so hope that other university administrators are not taking notes.


My favorite section:

“I don’t know how you conduct a meeting with people shouting at you,” he said.

Yeah, I have no idea…wait…what if you let the students and faculty speak?

Three members of the press, including a reporter from The Star-Ledger, were allowed to remain inside the meeting room before it was sealed.

So, what was it like to be in the little meeting bubble? This is simply the greatest Sunshine Law violation in the history of mankind…



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More Coverage From The First Global Conference on Transparency Research

Nice coverage here:

The end product of a “Wikileaks World” may not be greater openness or effective repression, but more pervasive “spin.”

That is the message a leading British researcher and author brought to the first Global Conference on Transparency Research, being held at Rutgers University-Newark.

“There doesn’t seem seem to be much to stop the replication of the Wikileaks business model,” said Christopher Hood, the Gladstone professor of government and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

But Hood told 120 academics, activists and policymakers from around the world, other groups can expect the same sort of legal actions, cyber-attacks and economic reprisals that the secretive non-profit felt after releasing of documents and videos embarrassing to governments and corporations.

Those institutions are likely to chart mixed courses of correcting problems, cracking down on whistleblowers or ignoring such revelations, Hood said. But most will likely “depend more and more on spin doctors who can shift the public agenda and create distractions,” he said.

The intersection of such issues, and the effectiveness of the many possible responses, is what drew attendees of varied disciplines. backgrounds and outlooks to Newark for frank and useful discussions.

Transparency: This Generation’s Magna Carta?

Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation — a great access advocate at a great access advocacy shop — attended the first Global Conference on Transparency Research at Rutgers University-Newark, which brought together two hundred transparency researchers from around the world. Thanks to a post-surgical travel ban, I missed it, doggonit, but I thought I’d pass along his great post, here.

It’s well worthy your time.