USA Today Almost FOILed by SUNY
by Buck Quigley - posted 4:10 pm, April 17, 2012
It’s good to know that Artvoice isn’t the only paper that gets blown off by the State University of New York. Click here to read an Albany Times Union editorial describing how SUNY clammed up to USA Today—when that paper was simply trying to find out the salary of Stony Brook’s basketball coach. Of over 230 schools the national newspaper contacted for such information, only Stony Brook stonewalled. USA Today filed a Freedom of Information Law request, still, Stony Brook claimed the public salary was a “trade secret,” and said that divulging the sensitive information would hurt Stony Brook’s ability to retain coaches.
According to the USA Today account (available here): “Disclosure of such information would enable SBU’s 345 Division I competitor institutions to modify their employment agreements and/or use such information in an attempt to lure SBU’s coaching talent to their own institutions,” SUNY Freedom of Information Law Appeals Officer Geraldine Gauthier states in her denial letter.
The Times Union claims it took a phone call from them to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher on behalf of USA Today before Stony Brook Media Relations Officer Lauren M. Sheprow released some apparently redacted information—explaining SBU sometimes decides to release stuff it considers to be exempt from FOIL.