The University of Minnesota will review its policies and practices on providing access to public information after recently acknowledging missteps in how it handled a media data request.
U President Joan Gabel, who took over this month, announced Tuesday in a note to employees that the university’s general counsel will conduct the review and recommend improvements by Oct. 1.
The announcement comes in the wake of a Star Tribune report last week outlining problems with how the U handed over documents about the work of a task force on renaming campus buildings, documents the newspaper had requested this past spring.
The U improperly redacted e-mails it provided in response to that request. It also released an e-mail from an administrator in former U President Eric Kaler’s office. That e-mail urged task force members to each delete an e-mail they received so they wouldn’t have to make it public under the state’s Government Data Practices Act.
“In my short time here, I’ve seen a community of people who take pride in our work and who build the University’s reputation in countless ways,” Gabel wrote. “But unfortunately, it only takes an instance or two of falling short to damage the public trust.”
Gabel also asked all employees to review their responsibilities under the university’s expense and data practices policies.
“We can all do better and we need to in fulfilling our mission and reflecting our values,” she wrote.