Iowa State University Foundation is public, Iowa’s highest state court rules

IOWA ? After a four-year battle against the Iowa State University Foundation, retired Des Moines businessman Arlen Nichols, 75, came one step closer to obtaining foundation documents that could prove his suspicion that university funds were mishandled.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in February that the ISU Foundation?the fundraising arm of the university that denied Nichols an array of records?was performing a government function as a result of its contract with Iowa State University.

Legislators aim to shield foundations from public scrutiny with Georgia law

GEORGIA ? A bill that allows public universities to withhold documents and records from the public to protect donor confidentiality was passed in the Georgia House of Representatives and the Senate in April, bucking a nationwide trend of openness.

Public colleges and universities, Republican legislators in favor of the bill argued, are at a disadvantage because foundations at private universities are not required to release information about their donors.

Crumbling foundations

University foundations are non-profit entities that receive donations from private citizens and corporations to benefit the public, taxpayer-funded schools with which they are associated.

Florida student paper struggles for autonomy from student government

FLORIDA ? When it comes to funding student publications, a state law that allows student government control over the funding of student organizations propagates a power struggle between student journalists and student government officials, and the Florida Atlantic University student newspaper is caught in the center of it.

Student arrested for libel challenges statute in U.S. court

COLORADO -- Thomas Mink, a University of Northern Colorado student who was arrested for criminal libel after he posted an altered photo of a professor on his Web site, has appealed to a federal appeals court to challenge the constitutionality of the state's criminal libel law.

Mink, author of the satirical Web site The Howling Pig, altered a photo of the professor to look like Gene Simmons, lead singer of KISS, and posted the photo on his site, along with a satirical biography of the professor. But Mink's computer was soon confiscated by police and Mink was arrested on the grounds that he violated the criminal libel statute.

Criminal libel statues are different from civil libel laws, which allow victims of libel to seek compensation from speakers.