UNIVERSITY DEMANDS STUDENT PAY $500 FOR PUBLIC RECORDS ON ITS CHINESE PROPAGANDA INSTITUTE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


UNIVERSITY DEMANDS STUDENT PAY $500 FOR PUBLIC RECORDS ON ITS CHINESE PROPAGANDA INSTITUTE

Crowdfund to ‘show public agencies they can’t make requesters go away’

Under scrutiny from lawmakers of both parties and academic groups, universities have been closing their Chinese government-run centers at a brisk pace.

The University of Kansas has not publicly moved to shutter its Confucius Institute, however, and a KU student wanted to know if administrators had discussed the possibility. He filed a public records request a month ago.

The taxpayer-funded university gave him an answer Thursday: $506.50.

Conner Mitchell set up a crowdfunding page to raise the money demanded by KU to hand over emails from top administrators that include the phrase “Confucius Institute.” He describes himself as a freelance journalist who has previously written for The Kansas City Star, Palm Beach Post and KU’s hometown newspaper, the Lawrence Journal-World.

“I simply don’t have the funds to pay for a request like this, even though I think the results could be of great public interest,” Mitchell wrote, explaining that his interest was piqued by the University of Michigan’s planned closure of its Confucius Institute.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this institution is taxpayer funded, it should have no problems in meeting his request for only as much as it has to pay in copying, or handling, fees; this is thoroughly outrageous, and makes utterly no sense, except for attempting to squeeze this guy financially, as though he were a tube of toothpaste.

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