Court opens college presidential search

MINNESOTA ' Despite a recent district court ruling requiring the University of Minnesota to hand over documents related to its search for a new university president, news organizations will have to wait to find out who was considered for the post.

The university's board of regents received a temporary stay from the state court of appeals March 20, putting on hold a ruling by district Judge Pamela Alexander that ordered the names of finalists and other pertinent information to be released by that day.

In her March 13 ruling, the Hennepin County District Court judge said that the board of regents had violated the Minnesota Data Practices Act and the Minnesota Open Meeting Law by withholding the names of presidential finalists during the search last November.

'The statutes do not limit the board in who they may select as university president,' Alexander wrote.

High school principal tells paper to remove pregnancy advertisement

MISSOURI ' The Parkway Central High School principal rejected the student newspaper's proposal to run advertising for a pregnancy center in its February edition.

Principal Bill Myer said he was concerned that publishing the Pregnancy Resource Center ad, which offered free pregnancy screenings, would force the Corral to accept ads from any reproductive service organization, regardless of their views on abortion or birth control.

Access updates

NEW YORK ' The New York Court of Appeals denied a request to hear Cornell University's latest appeal in a case that will decide whether its biotechnology records are subject to the state Freedom of Information Law.

In 2002, a lower court ruled in favor of former radio host Jeremy Alderson, who requested the files because he was concerned that the college was hiding the possible risks of genetically engineered crops from the public.

Cornell will now have to prove that each individual record is exempt from freedom of information laws.

Calif. courts toss out libel claims

CALIFORNIA ' State legislation intended to protect expression regarding matters of public concern broke new ground late last year when two appellate panels provided free-speech protections to students and high school media.

Two libel cases focusing on the rights of high school students to publish or pass along controversial comments made by classmates were thrown out of the California Court of Appeals in December 2002.