Newspaper sues university over closed meetings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia newspaper has sued a university saying its leaders violated the state’s open meetings law.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports it filed suit Monday against West Virginia University, claiming the school’s Board of Governors met five times in private to discuss COVID-19, social justice and other topics.

The state’s open meetings law allows the boards of publicly funded universities to meet privately, but only for specific topics such as litigation or personnel matters.

The lawsuit filed in Monongalia County Circuit Court says the board discussed subjects in the five meetings that aren’t exempted from the state’s open meetings law. For example, it says on June 19, the board discussed a variety of topics during a session that was closed to the public.

The university did not respond to a request for comment from the newspaper.

The Gazette-Mail is asking the court to order the board to discuss campus issues in sessions that are open to the public.

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