The Temple News asked the Board of Trustees to disclose the list of business, charitable and other relationships the trustees hold that may present a conflict of interest. Trustees are required to provide this list to the Board so that they may avoid ethical issues in university dealings. This type of oversight is encouraging because it tells us that the Board cares about being ethical.
When we asked for those records, we were denied. We are discouraged because it tells us that the Board does not want to be transparent.
Those records are essential to ensuring that we can do our job and hold the powerful people in our university accountable. We don’t have an agenda to fulfill with this information, and we aren’t looking for personal information like addresses or home phone numbers.
Releasing conflict of interest information to the public would allow students and taxpayers to ensure that an institution they fund is acting ethically.
A Board representative said the records are not required to be disclosed under state law. However, they aren’t legally prevented from disclosing them.
What troubles us is the university’s reluctance to disclose that information, especially when Temple would benefit from full disclosure of information in order to create faith between it and the rest of the community.