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Student journalist challenges University of Wisconsin for records in investigation of professor

(08/15/17 5:28pm)

When a professor was pulled out of a lecture and suddenly stopped teaching his other classes, Alex Nemec, a student journalist at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, filed records requests to find out why. Nemec has encountered two hurdles to accessing records, the first imposed by the University and the second by the professor himself.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Journalists requesting public records from colleges are being treated like dogs. This Sunshine Week, it's time to unleash some shame.

(03/12/13 10:08pm)

A federal privacy law meant to safeguard student grades, transcripts and disciplinary files continues being misapplied to obstruct public accountability, even where no legitimate privacy interests are at stake. Exhibit A is the University of Oklahoma's stubborn insistence that parking tickets are "confidential education records" under FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Federal appeals court puts a stop to the "FOIA death spiral"

(04/02/13 7:29pm)

For years, federal agencies have been freezing journalists in public-records purgatory with a maddening tactic: The "thanks for your request, we'll respond to it (someday)" letter. It's the bureaucratic equivalent of the spinning beach ball of death, and twice as frustrating. Getting the "non-response response" letter trapped the requester in a no-win predicament.

Are governments with stronger FOI laws also more corrupt? A new study challenges "good government" assumptions.

(07/05/13 11:17am)

Does a well-enforced freedom-of-information law lead to more honest government? Intuition says "of course," but a newly released study by a University of Missouri researcher challenges that assumption. Doctoral student Edson C.