Editorial: UNC’s breach of public trust with president’s assessment is inexcusable, harmful

The Greeley Tribune: What we know is this: The University of Northern Colorado spent as much as $45,000 in 2014 to pay a consultant to assess the job performance of President Kay Norton.

Norton herself, along with members of the UNC Board of Trustees, picked 55 people for the consultant to interview and provided other information as needed, according to the contract signed with the consultant.

What happened with the assessment after that, though, is fuzzy.

The UNC Board of Trustees in a Dec. 19 response to a list of student demands, which included the demand to fire Norton, cited the 2014 assessment — without offering details — as evidence of Norton’s strong performance.

However, when The Tribune submitted a Colorado Open Records Act request to the university seeking to obtain a copy of the assessment, UNC’s response stated there were no records of the evaluation.

That’s difficult to understand. It’s hard to imagine any evaluation worth thousands of dollars would generate no documentation. Indeed, the contract university officials signed with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges for the assessment expressly states all documents generated from it were to be the sole property of UNC.

The Tribune sent a follow-up letter to UNC regarding the records and the protocol that saw the records disappear within two years. We are still awaiting a response.

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