Victory for media coalition in CSU/Joe Blake case

In a May 26 blog, Bob Moore, editor of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, complained that the Denver Post had offered no substantial, self-generated coverage of a lawsuit filed by the Coloradoan, the Pueblo Chieftain and the Colorado Independent website against Colorado State University; the suit argued that CSU's governing board had violated open-meeting laws by the way it anointed board member Joe Blake as sole finalist for the institution's chancellor position. This situtation changed ever so slightly on June 21, when the Post, which had editorialized in support of the university choosing Blake, published a small, byline-free item noting that on Friday, District Judge Stephen Schapanski ruled that "Colorado State University's governing board violated the state open meetings law when it selected one of its members as the sole finalist for chancellor in a private session."

Predictably, the Coloradoan's account of this development offers a much more in-depth treatment of the development, which wouldn't have happened if the media organizations in question hadn't decided to stand up for principle despite the expense involved. Other aspects of the suit haven't been resolved, but in the meantime, Moore is quoted as saying that the Schapanski's decision "reaffirms the importance of open government," adding, "We hope CSU officials will take his words to heart and move away from the secrecy that has pervaded much of the university's decision-making recently."

Every taxpayer who'll have to pick up the tab if CSU loses in court again should echo those sentiments.

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