May 12, 2011 2:47 AM

Commentary: Persecuting professors with open government laws

A juicy little flap in the upper Midwest pits two valued traditions in a faceoff where any victory is likely to leave a sour aftertaste and a dubious precedent. At issue: Must professors at state universities open their e-mail correspondence to public scrutiny, like other government workers covered by public-records laws? Or would such disclosures strike not at official secrecy, but at the personal privacy and candid exchanges that are the lifeblood of academic inquiry?

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