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SUNY Releases UB Shale Institute Report

This afternoon, SUNY Director of Communications David Doyle sent Artvoice a copy of the 162-page UB Shale Institute report requested by SUNY trustees. “In the interest of transparency,” Doyle writes, “the SUNY Board of Trustees is releasing the report it requested regarding the UB Shale Resources and Society Institute.”

Here is the accompanying statement:

The Board of Trustees is reserving comment at this time as it continues to review the UB Shale Institute Report. It does not view the public release of the report as the end of the process and may discuss possible responses or other related actions at a future public meeting.

Click here to read the report.

The report was only emailed to me at 1:51pm. But if you click here you can read the detailed defense of the report that is already up on the UB News Center website.

UB delivered the report to the SUNY trustees on September 27. So the UB News Center had two-weeks to craft its response to the report UB submitted. All that was left to do today was click “publish” when the Trustees decided to make it public.

Which really begs the question: Why the artificial delay in releasing this document?

UB could have released it immediately, as could have SUNY. Instead, I filed Freedom of Information Requests with both UB and SUNY on September 28.

Five days later I get this email from the UB FOIL officer:

Mr. Quigley,
Please be advised that I am in receipt of your Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) request dated September 28, 2012.
I am currently determining the availability and accessibility of the requested document(s) and I expect to be in further contact with you within twenty business days.  If you wish to make further inquiry regarding this particular FOIL request, please reference File Number 12-056.
Brian T. Hines
Brian T. Hines
Records Access Officer
Employee Relations
University at Buffalo
112 HRD Building
Buffalo, NY 14260-7022
(716) 645-4475
(716) 645-5904 (fax)
P  Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

And on the same day, this from the SUNY FOIL officer:

Dear Mr. Quigley:
This is to acknowledge receipt of your request for information from the State University of New York.
We are in the process of reviewing your correspondence and will be back to you within 20 business days regarding our response.
Thank you.
Jennifer LoTurco
Records Access Officer

Nothing appears to be redacted. So why the need to sit on it?

And why can’t the UB News Center simply report that the ultimate source of SRSI co-director John P. Martin‘s salary ultimately comes from one of the secretive and private UB Foundations (UBF)—entities that do not have to disclose who or what donates to them? It’s right there in the report, for crying out loud:

$60,000 John Martin – Research Professor (in-house title: Director of the Shale Resources and
Society Institute). This is a paid appointment @ .25 FTE from the Arts and Sciences
General Fund UBF. The department listed on the UBF form is the College of Arts and
Sciences. His appointment term in 12/15/11 – 12/14/14.
$4,914 Fringe Benefit costs on above (approx.)
$12,000 Travel support for John Martin @ $1,000 flat rate per month. This is added to his biweekly
paycheck from UBF. Travel is paid from the Arts and Sciences General Fund UBF

But no. UB News services still stubbornly reports the half truth:

The University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences has been the sole source of funding for the Shale Resources and Society Institute. There has been no sponsored funding for the institute.

Oh yeah? Prove it. Oh, that’s right, they can’t prove it—because UB won’t open up the books to their foundations, which control nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars.