Could it be that the Kansas Board of Regents wasn't interested in hearing anything more from the public before approving a pact between Kansas University Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital?
The fact that consideration of the final affiliation agreement for the two entities didn't appear on the regents' agenda this week certainly could make Kansans wonder.
The regents fulfilled their legal responsibility by announcing their meetings this week. They also provided an agenda and posted it on the board's Web site. But, although they had known for several days that the affiliation would be discussed, they made no effort to update the online agenda or inform the public until about an hour before taking up the issue Thursday morning.
Public bodies aren't required to release their agendas ahead of time, but it seems a bit underhanded to publicize an agenda that omitted an item that had so much public interest.
It would be easy for the public to conclude that the regents, as well as KU and KUMC officials, preferred to push this 10-year agreement through without any further interference or discussion from other parties.
Were their actions illegal? Probably not. But rather than build public confidence, this tactic will tend to feed public suspicion about the KU-St. Luke's matter.