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Iowa State University Thwarts Open Records Law in Gonzalez Case: What Does It Have to Hide? (Updated)

UPDATE (12:45 pm): Within the hour of our posting of this story, we received a communication from ISU's university counsel that states: "We believe we can start sending some material to you early next week, but since we don't have most of the submissions from the departments yet, I don't know how long it will take to complete the process." Well, better late than never. The power of the blogosphere is demonstrated once again! We will be interested to see how many documents we actually do receive next week.

For the past two weeks, Discovery Institute has attempted to obtain data from Iowa State University (ISU) about the record of publications and grants of those considered for tenure by the university over the past several years. Unfortunately, ISU has thus far stonewalled these requests for information, even when submitted pursuant to Iowa's open records act.


On May 16, Discovery Institute filed a public document request under Iowa's open records act in order to obtain the grant and publication data of faculty considered for tenure in ISU's Department of Physics and Astronomy since 1997 and for faculty in other departments considered for tenure since 2002. Thus far the university has provided no data in response to these requests, nor as of today has it responded to repeated requests about when the requested information will be provided.

We also have requested statistics on the race and gender of those denied tenure at ISU. After ISU's John McCarroll refused to answer that question, we submitted it under the open records act as well--but, again, ISU has stonewalled rather than provide the data.

ISU apparently doesn't want the public to have access to this information. What does it have to hide?