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From the October, 2021 Brechner Report:


From Kentucky, a reminder that universities can't conceal their fundraising operations by creating shell corporations

"The Kentucky State University Foundation is a non-profit agency and KSU's primary fundraising source with an endowment fund of $12.3 million. The State Journal, a midsize newspaper local to the area, submitted an open records request for the foundation's audit and was denied. The newspaper's request specifically sought records from the past two years involving the university's former president M. Christopher Brown II, as well as payments to any entity or individual totaling more than $1,500. The KSU Foundation gave as its reason for denying that the foundation is incorporated as a private, nonprofit entity nominally separate from the university, and therefore not a public agency and immune to the state open records law. The State Journal appealed the denial.

"Recently, the Office of the Attorney general issued an opinion siding with the State Journal. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Ray cited a 1992 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling in which the court determined that the KSU Foundation is controlled by the university and therefore, like the university, a public agency. As the court had found the foundation to be a public agency in 1992, and there was inadequate proof the organization had changed drastically since then, its ruling still stands. Neither the attorney for the KSU Foundation, Ed Logan, nor the executive director of the foundation, Donald Lyons, have responded to the newspaper's request for comments about the ruling, which is appealable in court."

The Brechner Report is published by the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the University of Florida.


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