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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.

Relief for records requestors? Schools ordered to pay fines, attorney's fees in open records lawsuits

(09/20/13 5:29pm)

Violating state open records laws could actually cost you a lot of money, officials in Washington and Iowa have learned this month. First, the University of Washington was ordered last week to pay more than $720,000 in fines for withholding 12,000 pages of public records from a former professor who wanted to see whether she was wrongfully denied tenure at the University of Washington's Tacoma campus because of her gender or heritage.

Public records deflate myths about "profitable" college athletics

(01/10/16 6:16pm)

Contrary to the image of college sports as a moneymaker, most athletic programs (even championship-caliber powerhouses) rely on student fees and grants from their parent institutions to make ends meet. Recent investigations by The Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education have captured the enormity of the growing financial burden that athletics imposes on debt-strapped students.