Tuesday, February 03, 2004

PSU law school board must open meetings to public

Centre Daily Times
(c) Copyright 2004, Centre Daily Times. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 3, 2004


PSU law school board must open meetings

The Associated Press

CARLISLE The board that governs Penn State's law school, which is considering whether to move its campus, must open all future meetings to the public, a judge ruled Monday.

Cumberland County Common Pleas Judge Edward E. Guido granted a preliminary injunction sought by two newspapers, The Patriot-News, of Harrisburg, and The Sentinel, of Carlisle, that have sued to open the meetings of The Dickinson School of Law's board of governors.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for Saturday.

The newspapers went to court in November after law school officials said that an "informational meeting" about the school's facilities and location would be closed because the open-meetings law does not apply to the board. No decision was made at that meeting.

LeRoy Zimmerman, chairman of the board, said Monday that while he planned to review Guido's opinion with the board's counsel, "I can see no reason why we would not file a prompt appeal to the Commonwealth Court because of very important policy issues that result from this decision."

"We believe that it's an erroneous judgment and there are grounds for appeal," Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said. "We believe the higher court will ultimately decide in favor of the board of governors."

Mahon said he did not know when the case would be appealed.

It was reported in November that the law school's dean, Phil McConnaughay, was recommending that the school move to State College by the fall of 2008, citing a need to expand and concerns about its "languishing reputation."

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