Magazine article Information Management

Penn State Exempt from Open Records Laws

Magazine article Information Management

Penn State Exempt from Open Records Laws

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, Pennsylvania lawmakers and taxpayers are calling for a change in the law that exempts public universities from the state's open records law.

In 2007, Penn State's then-president personally appealed to the state legislature for his school to be allowed to legally keep its records private. Graham Spanier told lawmakers that he wanted Penn State to be exempt so it could protect its competitiveness, for example, by keeping faculty salaries a secret and preserving lucrative deals between big companies and the athletic department.

Spanier also said he was concerned about the cost of complying with the open records law and that a huge bureaucracy would have to be built to answer questions about and open those public records, according to a CNN report.

Three other schools in Pennsylvania that receive state funds are also exempt from the state's open records law.

Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, was charged in November 2011 with molesting eight children, some at campus facilities he still had access to after his 2000 retirement. …

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