The University of Kansas strongly sided with a student group’s attempt to obtain e-mails from Art Hall, executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at KU. Hall sued last year to block the request, arguing in part that his e-mails aren’t subject to the state’s open-records law because his position is “self-funded.” Hall is a former economist at Koch Industries, and the center at KU is funded through contributions from the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation and other private donors, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. But in court documents filed last week, KU argued that Hall’s e-mails “don’t become ‘private’ or ‘personal’ simply because a private company donates money the university then uses to pay him.” A sub-headline in the filing was even more direct: “Companies cannot buy state employees – and then keep their work secret.” – Phillip Brownlee
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