Newspaper Editorials and MSU's Staff Congress Question Board of Regents Social Gathering

Mar 19, 2013

Two Kentucky newspaper editorials call into question a social gathering held for five or six Murray State Regents the night before a failed vote on renewing a four-year contract for MSU President Dr. Randy Dunn.  MSU's Board of  Regents voted 7 to 4 against extending Dunn a new four year contract on Friday.  On Thursday evening Regent Sharon Green invited regents who don't live in Murray  to her home for a social gathering.  Board Chairman Constantine Curris told WKMS he thought 5 or 6 regents were in attendance and they discussed university business. But, Curris maintains nothing was discussed that would violate Kentucky's open meetings law.

The Paducah Sun's editorial is titled  'DUBIOUS Murray State regents owe answers on Dunn' the Louisville Courier Journal's editorial is titled "MSU's Closed Meeting" The C-J's editorial calls on the board to publicly state who attended the social gathering and revisit the vote on Dunn's contract. The editorial also calls on Governor Steve Beshear to remind the regents of the importance of adhering to open meetings law.

The Murray State University Staff Congress is publicly opposing the regents' decision, and the Faculty Senate is exploring the possibility of filing a complaint with the Kentucky's Attorney General regarding a possible open meetings violation. The social gathering may or may not be in violation of Kentucky's Open Meetings Law.

The Staff Congress released the following letter Tuesday.

19 March 2013
For Immediate Release
On Behalf of the Murray State University Staff Congress

I have been in contact with over half the members of the Murray State University Staff Congress
since the conclusion of the Board of Regents meeting on Friday, March 15, 2013. The
sentiments expressed by those members and others on the Murray State staff that have contacted
me or that I have read address two issues.

First, the Staff Congress would like to express its disappointment that the Murray State
University Board of Regents voted not to extend the contract of Dr. Randy Dunn. The Staff
Survey of 2011 gave the President high approval ratings and the Staff Congress recently passed a
resolution expressing its support of the president and recognizing his support of the staff. The
staff of Murray State University and the faculty as well have benefited from Dr. Dunn’s shared
governance policy.

Second, the members of the Congress and other staff members are concerned at the manner in
which the board operated. When the ad-hoc contract committee was established, it was for the
purpose of conducting further research regarding the contract and compiling additional
information which was to be conveyed to the full Board at its March meeting. This is what was
outlined in the minutes of the committee’s February meeting. On Friday, the committee
approved those minutes in their morning meeting and then adjourned. In the quarterly meeting
of the full Board that afternoon, the committee presented those minutes for approval and
concluded their report. It was then immediately indicated that a vote was to be taken.

While the Board is free to act as it sees fit within the statutes under which it is legally required to
operate, one is left to wonder why material that had been given to the committee and which had
been reported in various media outlets, three examples being the Faculty Senate Resolution, the
Staff Congress Resolution and the letter from the area Public School Superintendents, as well as
other materials the committee was to gather were not presented before a vote was taken.
In conclusion, the general feeling is one of sadness and disappointment in Dr. Dunn’s contract
not being extended and one of deep concern regarding the actions of the Board of Regents.


John P. Young, Jr., President
Murray State University Staff Congress