Magazine article The Quill

Minnesota Pro Wins Lawsuit

Magazine article The Quill

Minnesota Pro Wins Lawsuit

Article excerpt

A district judge ruled March 13 that University of Minnesota regents acted improperly last fall by withholding the names of finalists for the post of president. The Minnesota Chapter of SPJ and other media organizations sued in November when the regents declined to identify finalists to succeed President Mark Yudof.

Board Chairwoman Maureen Reed said at the time that several of the candidates didn't want to be interviewed unless their identities were protected. Withholding applicant data violated the state's Data Practices Act, Hennepin County District Judge Pamela Alexander said. The regents were wrong to suspend the Open Meeting Law to interview candidates in secret, Alexander said. Alexander ordered the university to release the names and some relevant data on any applicants that regents chose to interview before they settled on Robert Bruininks, then the interim president.

John Borger, an attorney representing the media called the ruling a victory for people's right to see what their public officials are doing. …

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