One bill would require state-related universities — institutions that receive taxpayer dollars but get a majority of their funding from private donors — to create online databases disclosing budget, salary and contract information. The other bill would require campus police departments at all universities to comply with the same open records requirements as municipal police departments.
Delaware and Pennsylvania are the only states with open records exemptions for “publicly funded” or “state-related” universities — institutions that receive taxpayer dollars but receive a majority of their funding from private donors. The laws permit UD, Delaware State and four other institutions — University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and Lincoln University — to limit what information the public has access to.
The Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill that would require four public universities to disclose more under the state’s public records law.
Two years ago, a Temple University student’s attempt to complete a photojournalism assignment by taking pictures of a police traffic stop ended in arrest for both him and his girlfriend, who was accompanying him at the time. The pair was acquitted on charges of obstructing justice later that year, but the issue is back in court this month — this time, in a civil lawsuit filed by the pair against the two Philadelphia police officers who made the arrest.
Legislation that would bring four colleges in Pennsylvania under the same open records laws as other government agencies has stalled as the state legislature’s session nears its close.
ATemple University photojournalism student who was arrested after taking photosof a routine traffic stop faces three criminal charges — though a previousfelony count has been dropped.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision Monday by a federal district court that Temple University's formeranti-harassment code was unconstitutional.