by Nick DeSantis
Chronicle of Higher Education
The Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a conservative group’s attempt to obtain the records of a climate scientist and former professor at the University of Virginia, the Associated Press reported.
The case focused on whether the state’s open-records law exempted a range of documents deemed by the university to be proprietary. The American Tradition Institute, a conservative advocacy group, had sought records of Michael E. Mann, a former Virginia professor who now directs Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center.
The case also pit higher-education organizations against news-media organizations, which had argued that the exemption being sought by the university would render the state’s open-records law meaningless, thereby hampering journalists’ ability to cover public colleges.