Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sunshine on HSSU "Transparency" and "Effectiveness"

As a state supported public institution, HSSU is bound by the legal requirement that records be open and accessible to the public.  We all know that we are just a few clicks away from being able to access the salaries of public employees – by name--through the Blue Book.  When those records are not readily accessible, the Revised Statutes of Missouri, through the Sunshine Law, Chapter 610, provide just such an avenue.

 The HSSU-NEA has two outstanding Sunshine requests pending with the university.


In a letter dated August 29, HSSU Interim President Constance Gully reported that the Board of Regents had approved a revised organizational structure “in its efforts to improve effectiveness and continued growth in size, scope, and service to the students of Harris-Stowe University.”

The HSSU-NEA believes in “effectiveness”, and we also believe in open records of public institutions.  To that end, on September 12 MNEA staff, utilizing the Sunshine Law, requested the following information from Harris-Stowe State University:

  •       Salary, stipends, bonuses, and job description for each of the threenewly promoted vice presidents and the interim president.

  •      Records for any consultant contracts with specific compensation issues by Harris-Stowe State University for the 2013-2014 school year.

  •      Salary, stipends, or consultant fees to past president Dr. Henry Givens for the 2013 2014 school year.


Last week Interim President Gully and the president of the Board of Regents, Thelma Cook, issued a letter to the full-time faculty addressing the upcoming October 1 election.  In closing they stated, “Transparency is our goal.  We want you to have honest information in a candid manner.” MNEA requested the following information from the university two months ago:

  • Audited university financial records for the past four years.

A thorough review of HSSU financial records is the first step in engaging the Board of Regents in serious, collaborative, and thoughtful collective bargaining.

You can trust the HSSU-NEA will keep you apprised of our efforts for effective transparency.

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