Editorial: CSU should set public records bar

From the Coloradoan (Fort Collins): The Coloradoan recently published a series of stories about how tax- and tuition-funded Colorado State University, the biggest employer in the city and one of Colorado’s major economic drivers, pays its employees.

Highlighting the compensation of the top administrators and 100 highest-paid employees illustrates CSU’s priorities, in terms of where it invests the most in its people. It’s one of many measures to determine in what the institution imbues value.

It’s also one of many pieces of information to which taxpayers — who contribute roughly $134 million to the institution through the state annually — should have access.

CSU keeps a record of current salaries for every faculty and staff member (they are listed by name). The 2015-16 Salary Increase Exercise for A­­cademic Faculty and Administrative-Professional Staff is available in printed form at the Morgan Library on campus. The university wasn’t willing to provide a digital copy — which is more easily analyzed — to the Coloradoan upon request.

So if you lived in Eastern Colorado, for example, you would have to make a special trip just to review the salary information. That doesn’t seem right.

It’s important to note that fulfilling public records requests can’t always happen overnight. It’s reasonable to expect that requests may take more time to pull together. The Colorado Open Records Act, CORA, and federal Freedom of Information Act are ultimately designed to give people access to information about the government and public agencies.

Visit the Coloradoan for more.

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