Student press leader

Hanna Conrad, Staff Writer

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, in Washington, D.C., believes that the closed meetings of the WSC presidential search committee are questionable.

Nebraska State College System Chancellor Stan Carpenter distributed an email last Friday that said search committee meetings are not subject to the Nebraska open meetings law because the search committee is not considered a public body.

Carpenter also emailed the Wayne Stater on Friday denying a reporter’s request to attend the meeting on Monday between Carpenter and the committee.

LoMonte, the SPLC director, said in an email in that he “cannot find anything absolutely conclusive in Nebraska legal precedent whether or not it is legal to close the search committee meetings.”

“The key distinction is going to be whether the committee advises the chancellor or advices the regents,” LoMonte said. “If it is a body that does candidate screening at the behest of the regents, then there is a decent open-meeting argument.”

In the NSCS, a Board of Trustees exists in place of regents.

LoMonte also commented that if the committee is only answerable to the chancellor, there is “some bad precedent in the form of an Attorney General’s interpretation” in regard to demanding access to the meetings.

The Wayne State was denied access to the meetings after a FOIA request was made in February.

In his Friday email, Carpenter said there would be an opportunity to meet final candidates in open sessions set for April 27 and 28.

student press law center graphic