Secret University Searches, and the Excuses Made for Them…

The Associated Press reporter Alan Zagier wrote a nice story looking at the tale of two very different searches at my university, one fairly open, one Vatican-like in its secrecy…and I lob an incendiary quote in for good measure!

“The law school search really demonstrates the power of this institution to attract high-caliber candidates in a very public search,” said Charles Davis, an associate professor of journalism and former executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. “There are institutions all over the country that run public searches, and they work fine. None of them have dropped off and fallen into the ocean, last I checked.”

Some states, notably Florida, legally require public colleges and universities to disclose finalists’ names in chancellor and presidential searches. That’s not the case in Missouri, which leaves it up to schools and their governing boards.

At our shop, everyone else runs partially open searches, but the top job is top secret.

Connecticut’s High Court to Hear FOI Case Involving UConn Ticket Holder Info

Connecticut’s highest court will soon consider whether the University of Connecticut must release its season ticket holders’ names and some other lists under open records laws.

The state Supreme Court has scheduled an Oct. 21 hearing on the case, which stems from a Freedom of Information Commission decision in 2009.

That agency ordered UConn to provide the records to alumnus and former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto. He’d requested them to reach more people for a new advocacy and watchdog group.

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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Judge orders release of university foundation records…

From the erstwhile Student Press Law Center:

A state court judge on Monday ordered the releaseof East Stroudsburg University Foundation’s donation records, placing a hopeful capstone on a 2-year public records battle.

In February 2009 The Pocono Record, a regional paper in Pennsylvania, filed a public records request for funding information from the East Stroudsburg University Foundation in connection with the paper’s investigation of an ESU official suspected of sexual and financial impropriety.

The ESU Foundation is a nonprofit organization that collects private gifts and grants for the university.

The Record argued that the foundation’s files were subject to Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law because the foundation performed government functions for the university and was a state-affiliated entity.

The university and foundation denied the request, however, arguing that the foundation was exempt because it is an independent contractor.

UK Site Uses FOI To Examine Universities…

AcademicFOI.Com aims to investigate UK universities and higher education institutions through the use of Freedom of Information requests. We actively invite suggestions for investigations from university staff, student representatives, careers teachers, alumni, benefactors, research clients, journalists, politicians and special interest groups. The results of requests are carefully analysed, published in detail on our website and promoted extensively to all the above groups.

Did The Wisconsin GOP Get Anything of Use From Their Much-Ballyhooed FOI Request?

I don’t really know, but this thoughtful commentary on the issue has me wondering whether the balancing test employed by the University of Wisconsin in determining which records would be disclosed is not ripe for appeal.

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