University of Northern Colorado may have violated open meetings law in presidential search

The Greeley Tribune: The University of Northern Colorado may have violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law with how its presidential search committee selected the finalist for the position.

The search committee — comprised of the board of trustees and representatives from faculty, staff and the student body — announced Andy Feinstein, the provost at San Jose State, as the sole finalist for the position Tuesday. But the dates, times, locations and agendas for the meetings in which the search committee interviewed candidates and selected Feinstein as the finalist were never publicly posted, a potential violation of Colorado Open Meetings Law. UNC officials stand by the selection process and have cited previous court cases to defend it.

Trustee and search committee chairman Dick Monfort confirmed the entire board of trustees were present at every interview, as well as when the committee decided upon Feinstein as a finalist.

The Colorado Open Meetings Law require any meetings of a public body “at which the adoption of any proposed policy, position, resolution, rule, regulation, or formal action occurs or at which a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, or is expected to be in attendance, shall be held only after full and timely notice to the public.”

“It sounds like they didn’t even use that process,” said Jeff Roberts, the executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.

The search committee formed after UNC President Kay Norton announced her retirement in September. It met six times between October and February to come up with the leadership characteristics it sought in Norton’s successor, finalize a job description and receive advice from the executive search firm it hired to help it find a new president. All six of those meetings were publicly posted.

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