The Battle for Transparency in Public Universities | National Review

The Battle for Transparency in Public Universities | National Review


The people who run state university systems are often intent on keeping some of the details from the prying eyes of the citizens, who might just decide that their tax dollars are being put to poor use.

In today’s Martin Center article, Ashlynn Warta looks at the UNC system and finds that it could be a lot more open with the public. She has six specific recommendations:

By implementing these six simple steps below, the UNC system as a whole would make great strides in being more open to the public. The six suggestions are:

  • Staff and board member email addresses should be easily accessible online.

  • There should be publicly available office or university mailing addresses for each board member.

  • All publicly held meetings including committee, subcommittee, and special meetings should be recorded and posted online.

  • Meeting minutes should be made available every two meetings.

  • Votes should be taken by roll-call (and provided online in the meeting minutes)

  • Meeting notices should be made available to the public at least one week in advance

Especially important, I think, is the recording and posting of all public meetings. It ought to be easy for concerned citizens to find out what is being discussed.

Warta’s conclusion is right on target: “The lack of transparency is concerning, and has continued to be so for the past several years despite urges for change. When a public institution such as this is resistant to change and openness, it creates friction and sends a message of distrust. The Board of Governors and the Boards of Trustees exist to serve the people of North Carolina. Why does it continue to be so difficult for citizens to stay in the know?”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.