University of Kansas: Student Group Requests Professor’s Emails as Public Records

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Kansas

In August 2014, University of Kansas student group Students for a Sustainable Future filed a public records request seeking, in part, professor Art Hall’s email correspondence related to Hall’s relationship with Charles and David Koch, two donors to the university. FIRE wrote to KU on October 7, urging the university to consider Hall’s right to academic freedom when deciding which documents to provide. On December 4, Hall filed a lawsuit to prevent KU from releasing his emails, and the court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the university from releasing further records to SFS. In August 2015, the university, the student group, and Hall reached a settlement, whereby SFS would withdraw its request for Hall’s correspondence.