The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has the story here:
University of Oregon on ‘Bias Response Team’: Nothing to See Here
This month, a number of commentators have criticized the University of Oregon’s (UO’s) bias incident reporting system—an online tool to report perceived incidents of “bias” to campus administrators—and some of the university’s “Bias Response Team’s” (BRT’s) responses to those reports. In March, FIRE filed a public records request with UO, seeking documents about students’ complaints and whether the BRT’s handling of those complaints has the potential to chill or infringe on First Amendment rights.
UO, however, is resisting public scrutiny.
In its response on April 1, 2016, the university told FIRE that it would not benefit the public to produce records relating to how they respond to what students perceive to be offensive speech. FIRE has asked UO to reverse its position and produce the records in a letter sent to the university this week. …
In a nutshell, while the UO administration is happy spending our student’s tuition money on the administrators who run the Bias Response Team, they want to charge FIRE $1,483.30 for documents that might help the public learn what it is those administrators are doing.
Under Oregon’s public records law UO must justify its decision to refuse FIRE’s request for a public interest fee-waver. UO General Counsel Kevin Reed thinks this boiler-plate satisfies the law:
You requested a waiver based on an assertion that release of these documents is in the public interest. The office has performed the three part analysis of your request, has determined that your request does not meet the public interest test, and has exercised its discretion to deny your request for a fee waiver.
FIRE disagrees. So do I. Here’s hoping FIRE takes it to court and the judge disagrees too.