On Tuesday, two Colorado newspapers sued the CSU Board of Governors after it met for several hours Tuesday in a closed session, naming Joe Blake, BOG vice chairman, as the finalist for the CSU chancellor position.
A Denver-based lawyer specializing in First Amendment law, Chris Beall, said that the BOG’s closed-door discussion “violates the Colorado Open Meetings Law because they discussed a member of the public body . in an executive session,” as reported by the Coloradoan.
The BOG responded, saying that Blake was nominated as the finalist in a public meeting, not in executive session, and that in the closed-door session board members discussed the committee’s recommendations related to candidates.
Last month, the Student Fee Review Board, a student government entity that makes student fee recommendations, barred the public from its last two meetings when it went into “executive session.” SFRB said it did so after receiving advice from CSU legal counsel that the action was legal.
While the community does not yet have all of the information, we on the Collegian Editorial Board believe the controversy surrounding the BOG’s Tuesday chancellor candidate selection — and the dealings with SFRB — reveal a trend toward decreased transparency among university administration.
In light of these recent cases, the university has strayed from its promise of increased communication with university stakeholders, a promise that was made after the sudden resignation of former CSU President Larry Penley in November.
With this in mind, we say to the university: Open your doors wider to include students, faculty and community members in discussions whenever possible, especially when the discussions behind those doors directly affect those individuals.