Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned
Attached is the University’s response to your public records request for “the guest list to the gala Friday night.” Information regarding current donors and prospective supporters of the University has been redacted, pursuant to the competitive advantage exemption of the Arkansas FOIA, Ark. Code Ann. §25-19-105(b)(9)(a). Release of this information could prove harmful to the U of A and advantageous to other organizations seeking similar financial support. In addition, the names of student volunteers and guests have been redacted as protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).Here's the full response, a snippet of which is shown above.
Let me offer some clarification about videos being shown at the event. The university has pre-produced some video interviews to be shown at the gala but there are no plans to show any video from the event. We do plan to make some of the video interviews or portions of them available to the public in the future. We will seek the permission of any benefactors or students shown in those videos before they are released. We do not publicize philanthropy without the express consent of the donor – and this includes placing names on buildings.
The university follows the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act in regards to providing public records. There aren’t many things that are exempt from disclosure under the Arkansas FOIA statute but the exemptions are there for good reason and exist whether you agree with them or not. To insinuate that any of those decisions are based on some sort of directive from university leadership is misguided. We simply follow the law. We believe it would harm the University in competing for scarce philanthropic dollars to release the additional material you are seeking. This is a valid concern for the University as we enter into a major capital campaign designed to enhance the University’s ability to serve students (especially low-income students) and carry out research that will benefit all Arkansans.
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