Monday, July 19, 2004

Open searches 

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last week that the University of Minnesota had to reveal the names of finalists for its presidency.  It hired its interim Robert Bruininks in November 2002 after saying he was the only finalist.  News organizations locally had sued under Minnesota's "sunshine laws".  UofM's defense was that constitutionally the university is not part of state government and not obliged to reveal names.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscribers only) documents the lengths universities have gone to skirt sunshine laws. 
The problem most people see is that a sitting president seeking another post may possibly be fired.  A president here at SCSU was found many times to be on finalist lists elsewhere, something he tried very hard to hide before finally taking a position elsewhere.  Current President Roy Saigo said in a convocation speech that he had been approached about a position in California but turned it down.  He is in the last year of his contract with MnSCU, and of course we know nothing (nothing!) about his future.