Amy Dalrymple, Published January 27 2009
ND legislators vote for more openness in college president searchesBISMARCK – A legislative committee this afternoon amended a bill that relates to open records and the applications of university presidents.
The bill, with an amendment introduced by Sen. John Andrist, R-Crosby, would provide more openness than what the state Board of Higher Education had requested.
Andrist, who spent his career as owner and editor of a weekly newspaper in Crosby, told the Senate Education Committee he thought the original bill went too far.
“Open records and open government are part of my heart and soul,” said Andrist, past president of the National Newspaper Association.
In Senate Bill 2087, the higher education board asked for names of applicants for university presidencies and the higher education system chancellor to be kept secret until a search reached the semifinalist phase.
But under the new amendment, more names would be made public and sooner in the process.
The initial applications would be exempt from open records. But once the search committee makes an initial cut, the applicants still being considered would be contacted. The applicants would have two weeks to decide if they want to remain candidates and then their names would become public.
The committee unanimously approved the bill.
For more on this story, read Wednesday’s Forum.