“laughable and absurd!”
Campus Reform made a pretty simple request and the response from the school is beyond parody.
Campus Reform reports:
University charges Campus Reform $357,400 to conduct public record request
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMass Dartmouth) recently requested $357,400 to fulfill a public records request submitted by Campus Reform in late September.
The request sought communication records between just two individuals over the course of 7 months.
“[R]ecords should include email communications from Lori Hendricks, the Director, and Greg Homol, the Fitness Center Director between January 1, 2022 and August 1, 2022,” the request specified.
Ryan Merrill, Director of Strategic Communications and Media Relations at UMass Dartmouth, wrote that the search would take “14,300 hours,” totaling $357,400.
Ken Tashjy, a Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow and lawyer familiar with Massachusetts public record law, calculated that if “UMASS searched and compiled records for 8 hours a day, it would take 1,787.50 days to reach 14,300 hours, or 4.89 years.”
Tashjy called the fee “laughable and absurd!”
“The fact that UMASS claims it will take an estimated 14,300 hours at a cost of $357,400 to ‘search and compile’ records of the electronic communications between two individuals over a 7 month period is laughable and absurd,” Tashjy said.
Campus Reform analysis also reveals that the estimated hours to fulfill the request would not just take years, but that the fee is enough to cover college expenses for several students and is more than 5 times the yearly salary of the average Massachusettsan.
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