Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1978-10-101
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jEZJ t - Volume 39 Number 4 AP probes salary Editor's note: The following article written by Jim Board-man, reporter for the Associated Press, appeared in the Deseret News, October 6, 1978. The Signpost is reprinting the AP article for two reasons: (1) We have the permission and (2) We feel it raises several important questions. Should the taxpayers whose money pays the salaries of college and university employees be permitted to find out how much those employees are being paid? That's a debatable question in Utah. The state's Board of Regents and its commissioner of higher education say no. And that position has been supported by the state attorney general's office despite the fact that: The State Record Committee has ruled that payroll figures should be a matter of public record. Every state surrounding Utah makes such information routinely available to anyone who asks. Dr. T. H. Bell, commissioner of higher education, refused to release the payroll information, saying, "I don't want to be sued for invasion of privacy." Donald B. Holbrook, chairman of the State Board of Regents, 'What's the big secret?" refused to order release of the information because "the attorney general's office has raised certain issues with respect to the legality of providing this information in which individual names are used." Brinton R. Burbidge, as assistant attorney general, issued an opinion in which he advised Weber State College officials not to release "personally indentifiable" salary information. Attorney General Robert Hansen said Burbidge 's opinion was an "advisory" one which could be overruled by a "formal" opinion from him. But he said such an opinion was unlikely anytime soon. Hansen said universities are reluctant to disclose salaries because it might cause problems on campus if professors in the sciences were shown to be paid more than those teaching subjects such as philosophy and English, where they are "a dime a dozen." The Burbidge opinion was issued after reporters for the Signpost, the student newspaper at WSC, asked college administrators for a list of faculty salaries. Some professors at the college threatened to sue the school if their salaries were disclosed. Under provisions of the Utah Information Practicies Act of 1975, a State Records Committee Weber State College issue was established to determine what information "should be open to the public." That committee ruled last spring that salaries at Utah colleges and universities should be open to public inspection. However, Hansen, a member of the records committee, contends that the group cannot set policy-only issue advise. And, he said, the information act provides no penalties for failing to disclose what is deemed public. Legislative General Councel Mel Leslie said the committee was created by the Legislature and is empowered by that body to make policy. Leslie's office had said earlier that "employment salaries of university a administrators and other employees are contracts which cannot be kept secret, but which must be available to the public. Employment salaries are considered public data and available to public scrutiny." Education officials in every state bordering Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, said salaries of professors and administrators are available for public inspection. Hansen said he expects the regents will take a formal position against salary disclosure, perhaps at next month's meeting. But he predicted the final outcome will be decided in the courts. Utah Regents will adopt policy by Beverly Taggart staff reporter The Utah State Board of Regents will adopt a salary policy next month during their regular meeting, according to Donald B. Holbrook, chairman of the Regents. The attorney general's office advised Weber State College not to release '-'personally identifiable" salary information, noted Holbrook, and the Regents are going to accept their advice. Holbrook said releasing that information wouldn't "serve any real public service." He claimed that employees working for Utah colleges and universities were Captain , Tennille appearing Friday Tickets are selling well for the Captain and Tennille concert appearance Friday at 8 p.m. in the Weber State College Dee Events Center, but many good ones are still available. Scott Applonie, cultural affairs vice-president for the WSC Associated Students, sponsors of the event, said top-priced tickets are almost completely sold out. What with the 11,500 seating capacity of the big events center, many excellent seats are still left at good prices, however, he said. The two, known in real life as Toni and Darly Dragon, are probably best known for such hit recordings as "Love Will Keep Us Together," "The Way I Want to Touch You," and "Lonely Night." In addition to their recording and concert work, they were picked by Fred Silverman, legendary television executive, Bell on salaries by Beverly Taggart Staff Reporter Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. T.H. Bell, said his office has never had a policy restricting any college or university from releasing salaries. "All of the salaries fall under the jurisdiction of President Brady and Weber's Institutional Council," Bell said. "We do not fix salaries, that's up to the president and the council, so we are not responsible." Dr. Rodney Brady said he was going to accept the advice of the "informal" attorney general's October 10, 1978 being paid on a salary schedule to meet compitition. "If we were to pay everyone the say amount of money," he said, "then it would be more costly to the taxpayer." The chairman said he would release salary information according to ranges and in catagories, but he would not release "personally identifiable" salaries. Holbrook noted that releasing salaries might conflict with privacy statutes and result in liability. The next Board of Regents meeting will be on November 20 and 21, at the University of Utah Special Events Center. now with CBS, for a summer special on the ABC network. High ratings the show earned brought them their own series, "The Captain and Tennille Show," on ABC in the fall of 1976. Married on Valentine's Day in 1974, they are currently on a nationwide swing which will include such centers as Cleveland, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Paul, Minn., Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., plus a number of college towns in the intermountain area before they go to Las Vegas for an extended engagement there. Tickets are available at the Dee Events Center box office; ZCMI in downtown Ogden; Odyssey record shops in Salt Lake City, Odgen, and Logan, and Hill Air Force Base. Further information is available by calling 626-6550. opinion, and not release any salary information. Bell noted that the press had a right to information, but Weber State College had to be careful because of privacy laws. "There are two conflicting laws," he noted, "and the Institutional Council will have to decide between the public's right to know and employee's right to privacy." The attorney general's informal opinion advised the college not to release "personally identifiable" salary information. Utah state law had classified state employee's salary as "Public information in July, 1977.
|Title||Signpost (Weber, Utah), 1978-10-10, Vol. 39, No. 4|
|Creator||Weber State College|
|Contributors||Associated Students of Weber College; A generous grant from the Utah State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.|
|Description||Weber's current student newspaper, the Signpost, first appeared on September 29, 1937. For two years prior to that time, campus news was disseminated via announcements posted on a bulletin board known as the "Signpost". As a result, the masthead of the first issue of the paper itself featured a rudimentary wooden sign with the title spelled out in rustic-looking letters. Over the years the paper has been published continuously, though the look, size and style has changed several times.|
|Subject||College student newspapers and periodicals; Weber State College|
|Publisher Digital||Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Source||University Archives LD5893.W55 S5, Stewart Library, Weber State University|
|Rights Management||Public Domain. Courtesy of University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.|