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'Very transparent': UK argues Open Records ruling largely aligns with university's position

Josh James

The University of Kentucky says it’s cooperating with a ruling by the state Attorney General’s office that found the school ran partially afoul of Open Records law. UK is also claiming the ruling vindicated its decision to withhold some documents.

The case involved an Open Records request by the Lexington Herald-Leader, which sought information regarding UK’s use of a consultant to help shape a new governance structure at the school.

The Leader wanted access to the contract and other communications between UK and consulting firm Deloitte. Upon appeal, the AG found UK had partially violated records laws by not properly explaining the reason for denying the requests, and by withholding a “Statement of Work” that qualified as a contract between UK and Deloitte.

"The Deputy Attorney General basically said there's two things: One, you need to provide us more detail on why you're claiming these exemptions from the open records law. We did that. And then the Attorney General came back and said, 'OK, that you're right. We affirm that, but we do think you need to provide what they called a scope of work, which basically is the outline of what Deloitte, the consultant in question, was going to do for us and we're going to comply with that completely," UK spokesman Jay Blanton told WUKY.

The tussle over the documents comes as UK is moving to do away with the university senate and replace it with a faculty senate in an advisory role – along with advisory bodies for staff and students. It’s a change the school argues is necessary to streamline operations at the university.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.