Michele Jacklin: Professors’ legislation would conceal their wrongdoing

April 26, 2024

By Michele Jacklin

Read full op-ed at The Day.
Proponents of a legislative proposal that would exempt from public disclosure all research, data, and reports produced by public colleges and universities have adopted a strategy of attacking the messenger rather than the message — that is, the individual who represents the pro-government transparency group, the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

It’s a diversionary tactic. In actuality, the proponents are attacking the more than 3 million Connecticut residents whose access to all information, with the exception of financial documents, would be completely cut off.

Connecticut residents have paid for billions of dollars of bricks-and-mortar improvements at the University of Connecticut, the state’s flagship institution of higher learning, as well as infrastructure upgrades at all the campuses of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.

State residents pay the salaries of the faculty, staff, and coaches in public higher education in addition to much of the research being conducted by many of these same faculty members, staff, and students.

At its core, this issue is about the public’s right to know what is going on behind the walls of academe. The bill under consideration by the legislature would make those walls impenetrable. It would eliminate accountability and allow misconduct to go undisclosed and possibly unpunished.