I was on NBC affiliate Valley News Live’s 6:30 Point of View show last night with Chris Berg talking about the email controversy at North Dakota State University. One interesting point Berg made in his opening monologue, and which he asked me about during my segment, was the tone of a letter President Dean Bresciani sent out to the campus defending himself against accusations of deleting emails.
You can read the full letter below, but as I mentioned on television whether you side with Bresciani or not in this scandal the tone of the letter is disappointing. North Dakota State University, and the university system in general, have an atrocious track record when it comes to open records and transparency. So to read Bresciani flippantly dismiss very serious allegations about hiding information requested by the legislature is disappointing, and ought to be a point of criticism for everyone concerned with open government.
Bresciani shouldn’t be writing these accusations off, as the letter suggests. He ought to be talking about his and NDSU’s commitment to openness, and providing us with details to prove he didn’t mass-delete emails to avoid a legislative inquiry.
But that’s not the tact he’s taking.