Scrutiny is placed on the current Right-to-Know law at Temple.
The Temple News would like to add its voice behind state Rep. Eugene DePasquale’s efforts to remove the state’s Open Records law’s exemptions for Penn State, Temple, Lincoln University and the University of Pittsburgh.
These exemptions have come under close scrutiny from Harrisburg in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, as the university has been stonewalling the media and other institutions using said exemptions when they have tried to obtain university correspondence regarding Sandusky or various financial information.
As Joey Cranney reports in “Scandal could alter Pa. open records law” on page 3, under the current Right-to-Know law Temple is only obligated to disclose its form 990 tax filing, the salaries of its officers and directors and its Top 25 salaries of employees that do not fit in the former two categories. Beyond that, it is at the discretion of the university to disclose whatever information it wants. A contradiction exists between the fact Temple accepts state money, yet it is not subjected to the amount of oversight characteristic of a state-run institution.
The Temple News finds this notion absurd. The university cannot play both sides and take in state funding and be unwilling to subject itself to meaningful oversight. Some things the university has declined to make publically available include a breakdown of the University Services Fee, various department’s spending reports, donor information and a myriad of financial information regarding the athletic department and the university’s means of funding it.
Temple owes both its students and faculty and state taxpayers a detailed explanation of how it operates and uses state and student funds. This is not to say that Temple is hiding some dark scandal, but The Temple News feels that more could be done to make information about the university more accessible to the public.