U.Va. asked to produce faculty record policy 

Chris Horner, counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records outlining the University of Virginia’s policies and procedures for maintaining and releasing faculty records.

The May 24 FOIA follows an earlier subpoena by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the records of former climatologist Michael Mann.  Mann’s emails and other communications with key members of the Climategate scandal are currently under investigation by Cuccinelli’s office.

As I reported on May 18, U.Va. refused a previous request by state Del. Bob Marshall, claiming that Mann’s records were deleted when he left the Charlottesville school for Penn State. However, university officials acknowledged retaining the files of former climatologist Patrick Michaels, who worked in the same department as Mann.

In a May 23 oped in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (“Cuccinelli Is Following the Law; Mann Up, UVa”) Horner defended the AG’s actions: “UVa’s Faculty Senate has condemned Cuccinelli’s request, calling it a serious infringement upon academic freedom and assault on the freedom of scientific inquiry. It joins a chorus of voices enjoying massive financial support from the taxpayer but who, it seems, believe that this should come without conditions, established by law, which follow the money.”

One of those conditions is that even protected academics cannot use tax money to engage in fraud.

CEI has also requested certain records produced, received or held by current faculty members William C. Keene, James N. Galloway, and Patricia L. Wiberg that include the words “ClimateGate,” “Greenpeace,” “FOIA,” and “Michaels.”

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