why the press won’t trust Lariviere’s "new partnership" plan

2/18/2011: Because he hired Liz Denecke as his Public Records Officer and Melinda Grier’s assistant Randy Geller as his General Counsel.

From George Schroeder in the RG on UO’s latest efforts to hide records on a (minor) athletic scandal:

Here’s your long-awaited update on the investigation into Oregon’s men’s basketball program: The NCAA is (redacted) in the (redacted), and it’s (redacted), and we should expect (redacted). No, sorry, that’s not quite right. The word should be “rejected.” Your right to know, that is.

Redactions would be a huge improvement over the university’s response to an open-records request made by The Register-Guard last September, when the newspaper broke the story of alleged NCAA rules violations revolving around former center Michael Dunigan. … 

“One thing I have noticed,” (Former U.S. Sen. James L.) Buckley said during a telephone interview Thursday (on the FERPA law UO used to hide these records), “is a pattern where the universities and colleges have used it as an excuse for not giving out any information they didn’t want to give.” …

Last spring, stung by criticism of the university’s mishandling of public records requests for Mike Bellotti’s contract (which we now know didn’t actually exist, at least on paper), President Richard Lariviere promised a new approach.

“We are going to change a lot of the university’s practices,” Lariviere said then. “At this point I can’t tell you exactly what the response will be to any individual request, but I can tell you we will be as responsive, open and transparent as we possibly can be.”

The UO subsequently created an office of public records, and hired an attorney to run it. Another school official said the move “emphasizes an institutional commitment to openness.

It all sounded good. But apparently, someone didn’t get the memo. We could file an open-records request to locate it — but don’t hold your breath.

UO – the academic side of UO, not the jock department – paid the Attorney General $8,514 to write this denial of the Register Guard’s request. We filed a public records request on Wednesday for documents explaining how Liz Denecke’s office has been advising administrators about public records requests – particularly emails. More on this later.
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