Ohio State Shields Access to Records Others Deem Public
Officials from the state’s flagship public university routinely talk about a commitment to transparency, yet Ohio State University has a track record of interpreting the state public-records laws in ways that shield some vital information from public scrutiny.
Records explaining how the university spends or invests public money, protects students from criminals on campus, prescribes painkillers to athletes and evaluates the job performance of its president are a few examples of documents that OSU has deemed private, a Dispatch analysis has found.
When a former employee fired shots inside the Wexner Center for the Arts before taking his own life in November 2015, OSU officials shielded many records about the incident from the public.
The deadly episode that unfolded as students returned from Thanksgiving break was shrouded in so much secrecy that even the center’s major donor, Leslie H. Wexner, complained about the lack of communication.