The Boulder Daily Camera said Monday that it filed a lawsuit against the University of Colorado for denying records requesting the names of finalists considered to become the university system’s next president.
The paper said it filed a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request for the names of individuals that the Board of Regents interviewed for the position, but was twice denied.
Six finalists for president were reportedly interviewed by the Board of Regents for the position, but five of their identities have not yet been disclosed.
Mark Kennedy was officially selected as the next president by the Board of Regents on May 2. Kennedy, who served as University of North Dakota president and is a former Republican U.S. congressman, was criticized by some during the selection process for his conservative voting record on social issues while in Congress.
Daily Camera publisher Al Manzi said that negotiations with CU’s administration failed, leading to the lawsuit.
“We attempted to negotiate through our attorneys with the administration and the regents to have them do the right thing and release information on all the finalists for the university president,” he said. “The regents determined they would not offer any transparency.
“The Camera was forced to file a lawsuit in order to protect the public’s right to the information,” Manzi added. “We feel certain we will prevail and the university will be required to release the information we are seeking.”
Former Camera reporter Madeline St. Amour submitted a CORA request for the finalists’ names on May 24, the newspaper said. After not receiving a response, the Daily Camera sent a follow-up on June 12 and soon after was denied the request.
The Daily Camera sent a second CORA request on July 9 seeking finalists’ application materials, but that request was denied on July 23.
“The public’s right to know the identity of the other finalists is vital to ensure transparency and accountability in the presidential selection process,” said Robert Gunning, the newspaper’s attorney. “CORA provides this right. Through this litigation, the Daily Camera seeks to vindicate this right to shed light on the present and future presidential search processes.”