sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Thursday, October 06, 2005

......Secret selection:

The University of North Carolina committee that selected Erskine Bowles as its system president is under fire for secretively interviewing the finalists for the job:

"The committee violated the law by failing to tell the public when and where it was meeting to interview the candidates, whom it chose to shield from view, experts in North Carolina's open-government laws say."

UNC vice president and general counsel Leslie Winner said notifying the public of the interviews, which were held in late September at the Hyatt Hotel in Charlotte, was unnecessary because the interviews themselves are legally held in private.


"It's not like any actual information that was required to be given to the public was withheld from the public."

But the public and the media have the right to be on site to glean any information they can, right? Trust me, when covering the school board or county commission, it's tempting to take off when they go into closed session at 10p after a four-hour public session. But it's something you don't do, just in case.

Cathy Packer, a media law professor at UNC, further puts the situation into perspective:

"I want to know who beat Erskine Bowles out. I like him. I'm glad he's going to be president. But I want to know how good the competition was."


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