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ERIC Number: ED263814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 62
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Costs and Benefits of Openness. Sunshine Laws and Higher Education. AGB Special Report.
Cleveland, Harlan
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
The impact of sunshine laws on college governance is discussed based on field and legal research, a Wingspread symposium (Racine, Wisconsin, September 4-5, 1984), and a follow-up meeting (Washington, D.C., October 1, 1984). In addition to open meeting laws, the way that the democratic process currently operates, and should work, is examined. A review is provided of: the sunshine laws of all 50 states and their relative degrees of openness, relevant case laws and the opinions of state attorneys general; and the findings of in-depth interviews with a cross section of individuals from six states. The states were selected from among the array of statutes currently laws in effect. From "most open" to "least open," those states are Florida, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The debate about openness is based on issues such as the relative costs and benefits derived by particular colleges, questions of effectiveness in getting things done, and conflicting aims of individuals who seek both participation and privacy. The importance of information as a resource is also addressed. Included are recommendations for reform that take into account the public's right to know and also what each of the various publics has a right to know. Appendices include: definitions of 25 characteristics of openness and a matrix matching states and the characteristics; information on court cases for each state; a list of citations to state sunshine laws; a list of the Wingspread and follow-up meeting participants; and a selected bibliography. (SW)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site:
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Johnson Foundation, Inc., Racine, WI.; EXXON Education Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.