Our Views: LSU Board shows its contempt

A judge’s ruling that LSU’s Board of Supervisors is in contempt of court for failing to make public the records it used in picking a leader should be a source of shame for the board.

The Advocate and The Times-Picayune had sued the LSU Board of Supervisors in an attempt to obtain the release of documents that the board used in selecting F. King Alexander as LSU’s new system president. The board had used a series of subterfuges to keep those records secret — a slap in the face to the taxpayers who help support LSU’s operations. By shielding the records, LSU officials have prevented the public from learning who, besides Alexander, was considered for the top post. If the public doesn’t know who else was considered for the job, how can we know that the best person was selected for this important position?

District Judge Janice Clark had ruled that the documents should be made public. Because the LSU board has refused to comply with the judge’s ruling, Clark found the board in contempt of court. She is fining LSU $500 a day for each day the board fails to comply with her order.

Jimmy Faircloth, LSU’s attorney, said that the university will continue to appeal Clark’s ruling as well as the contempt citation.

In doing so, LSU officials have shown more than contempt for Clark’s court. They have also shown contempt for the people the university is supposed to serve.