This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 27, 2012 10:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Here come the road blocks. The next post in this blog is Spreading wrong information about write-in votes. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Want to see what Dean Wormer's doing at UC Nike? Pay up.

The folks running the state university in Eugene are a stingy lot when it comes to disclosing public records. Unlike many other state and local agencies, they don't waive the sizable fees that they're allowed to charge to fulfill requests for information, even by mainstream media. So intent are they at nickel-and-diming requesters that the main newspaper down that way, the Register-Guard, is now asserting that the school's public information practices are unreasonable.

Rather than simply turn over requested documents without charge, campus "public records officer" Lisa Thornton spends a substantial amount of time writing letters demanding payment to lift the veil of secrecy:

To determine whether or not the request merited a fee waiver or reduction, the office conducted a three part public interest test.

First, the office considered the character of the public interest in the particular disclosure. The office acknowledges that information regarding how the University makes decisions regarding a public building, on a public campus, can primarily benefit the public at large. However, in this instance, the benefit to the public in knowing how these decisions are made is not sufficient to justify directing University funds away from its primary mission of education.

Secondly, the office considered the extent to which the fee impeded the public interest. The Register Guard is a large publication, and the office found it unlikely that the additional fee of $172.21 would unduly burden the organization.

Thirdly, the office considered the extent to which a waiver would burden the public body. In this instance, the documents require review by the Office of the General Counsel. Asking General Counsel to dedicate their limited resources to this request, without compensation, places an undue burden on their office.

Upon receipt of a check, made payable to the University of Oregon, in the amount of $172.21, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

To quote the blog UO Matters, they're showing some real chutzpah. Or as one of my old partners from eastern Oregon used to call it, "hoopster." And to make matters worse, the subject of the requested materials is the recent attempt by the administration to manipulate student opinion in the vote regarding the university's pet student union construction pork project. The suits down there deserve all the bad vibrations they get from the media and the blogosphere, and then some.

Comments (4)

Sounds like they have a lot to hide. What other motivation could there be?

Pack of lies! Everybody knows the University's mission is athletics and the promotion of Nike.

I don't know.... I think back to the early 80's when I was attending the U of O. The football team stunk, they couldn't afford to paint the buildings and they were yet to be tainted with shoe money and tuition was about $500 a term. Better times, better times....

Whenever there is something to hide... you can be sure it will cost.

When Zari was trying to sell part of Mt Tabor park to Warner Pacific we got an estimate for $724,000 for documents requested and more recently I asked PPS to show they had legitimate title to convey, for properties they "hold" title to and they refused quoting over $14,000 to start the effort in spite of many deeds being electronically available through title records.

I know I could produce my title record in less than 5 minutes.

Does anyone remember quit claiming the title to PPS for our older public facilities donated for the purpose of public education and use that would enable them to legally convey title?

Sure would be nice to know that any bond funds would be going toward legitimate ends if it passes. Just one more question they refuse to answer.

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