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Regent: Law limits search for president

Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- A University of Minnesota regent suggested ignoring a state public disclosure law that he said could drive away the best candidates for the job of university president.

Regent Frank Berman, a lawyer, said the requirement to reveal candidate names once regents have made contact with them creates an "impossible situation" for the school.

"I can't imagine anyone of stature submitting themselves to that -- I wouldn't," he said. "It is my fervent belief that the open-meeting law is absolutely hostile to this process."

Concern over the effect of the Data Practices Act on the search dominated the board's 90-minute discussion Thursday.

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Around the nation, universities have asked courts and legislatures to exempt presidential searches from public disclosure laws, arguing that the best candidates are already happily employed and won't apply unless they can interview in secret.

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