State tables bill

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February 5, 2008

12:26 PM

__Act would have forced state schools to release internal e-mails__

p. A Virginia Assembly bill that would force state college and university presidents to release their “working papers and correspondence” upon request has been delayed until next year, according to last Monday’s article in The Daily Press.

p. The article quoted Delegate Steven Landes (R-Weyers Cave), who said he sponsored House Bill 313 at the call of College alumni.

p. The bill would be particularly resonant on the College campus because of recent controversy surrounding President Gene Nichol and the revocation of a $12 million donation to the school by an alumnus.

p. Late last year, Nichol rejected requests from news media outlets and some alumni for copies of e-mail correspondence with former College President Timothy J. Sullivan that would have been pertinent to the success of a $500 million fundraising campaign.

p. Landes proposed the bill when he found that state legislators were also unable to see presidential correspondence from state-funded institutes of higher education. Last month, he revoked the bill because it was too broad.

p. One of his primary concerns was that the bill would not protect issues of confidential student matters and might result in the accidental release of such private information.

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