Politics, Public Records and Academic Freedom

August 13, 2015

Missouri has become the latest state with controversy over the privacy or lack thereof of faculty members' email and other documents. Josh Hawley is an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri at Columbia and a candidate for the Republican nomination to be attorney general in the state. A state representative who backs Hawley's rival for the nomination has requested documents and email from the university about, among other things, Hawley's tenure status, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported. Hawley says that his academic freedom will be violated with release of the records, and his dean has indicated that the tenure process could be threatened if documents about it are released. But so far the university says that under state law it has no choice but to release the records.

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