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Star Tribune Company v. University of Minnesota Board of Regents

August 19, 2003

STAR TRIBUNE COMPANY, RESPONDENT, THE MINNESOTA DAILY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS, NORTHWEST PUBLICATIONS, INC., RESPONDENT,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA BOARD OF REGENTS, ET AL., APPELLANTS (A03-0124); STAR TRIBUNE COMPANY, RESPONDENT, THE MINNESOTA DAILY, ET AL., RESPONDENTS, NORTHWEST PUBLICATIONS, INC., RESPONDENT,
v.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA BOARD OF REGENTS, ET AL., PETITIONERS (A03-0155).



Hennepin County District Court File No. MC 02-019397

Considered and decided by Harten, Presiding Judge, Anderson, Judge, and Wright, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. §§á13.01-.90 (2002), applies to the procedure followed by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in selecting a university president.

2. The Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Minn. Stat. §§á13D.01-.07 (2002), applies to the procedure followed by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in selecting a university president.

3. The Minnesota Constitution does not preclude the application of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. §§á13.01-.90, or the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Minn. Stat. §§á13D.01-.07, to the procedure followed by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in selecting a university president.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harten, Judge

Affirmed ; motion granted

OPINION

Appellant University of Minnesota Board of Regents (the board) conducted closed meetings with selected candidates for the university presidency and refused the requests of respondents, print media news organizations, for data on the unsuccessful candidates. Respondents then brought this action, alleging violations of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Minn. Stat. §§á13D.01-.07 (2002) (OML), and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. §§á13.01-.90 (2002) (DPA); respondents also sought an order compelling disclosure of the data on the unsuccessful candidates and enjoining the board from conducting closed meetings. The board moved to dismiss; respondents moved for partial summary judgment on the board's alleged violation of the DPA. Following a hearing, the district court concluded that both the OML and the DPA applied to the board's search for a university president, denied the board's motion, granted respondents' motion, and ordered the board to disclose data on the unsuccessful candidates.

The board sought review in this court and moved to stay the order requiring it to disclose pending resolution of its appeal.*fn1 This court granted the motion to stay. The undisclosed unsuccessful candidates sought either to intervene or to file an amici curiae brief; they were granted leave to file an amici curiae brief.*fn2

FACTS

When the president of the University of Minnesota announced his resignation, the board began a search for his replacement. Some individuals declined to apply for the position unless they were guaranteed that their candidacy would be kept confidential.

The board voted to suspend its adherence to the OML and to conduct closed meetings with the candidates. Respondents requested information on the candidates; the board denied their requests, claiming that information on candidates was not subject to the DPA. After conducting closed interviews of the ...


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