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Archive for Thursday, February 8, 1996

KU TO ANSWER REQUEST FOR EVALUATIONS

February 8, 1996

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A Kansas University student, not willing to wait for a possible consensus from university governance, will find out today whether KU will make public its student evaluations of faculty.

Scott Sullivan, a student senator, on Monday filed a Kansas Open Records Act request with the KU chancellor's office asking the university to release the evaluations.

The move angered some faculty members on the Senate Executive Committee, who said they had hoped an agreement could be reached on the issue through discussion.

"I'm disappointed that it has now become confrontational," said Bob Minor, professor of religious studies and SenEx member. "It's disappointing that we couldn't work something out."

The university has until today to respond to the request.

KU General Counsel Victoria Thomas declined to say what the university's response would be.

But it is widely believed among faculty governance members that the KU administration will try to prevent the records from being opened.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs David Shulenburger last week told SenEx that he does not think that the forms should be made public because they are personal documents.

Sullivan argues that although personal records are exempt from being released under the Kansas Open Meetings Act, past court cases have stipulated that faculty evaluations can be released.

If the university does not open the records, Sullivan said he would first look at the reasoning behind the decision and then take his request forward.

"We can either file a lawsuit or the Legislature could intervene," he said.

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