Murray State board had discussion before meeting

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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 8:01 AM

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Some Murray State University Board of Regents members gathered at a social event and discussed university business the night before voting not to renew the contract of university president Randy Dunn.

Board of Regents Chairman Dr. Constantine Curris confirmed to WKMS-FM (http://bit.ly/111v1Tx ) that about five or six regents were at the home of regent Sharon Green on Thursday, the day before their quarterly meeting on Friday.

Board members voted not to renew Dunn's contract despite letters of support from the school's faculty and staff.

Curris said the gathering was purely a social event, but said they discussed a number of university business while at the meeting.

"I recall discussing the events of the day, this was right after the committee hearing that went over all the finances. There was discussion on the impact on tuition, there was even discussion of the recommendation that WKMS be studied to be sold. There was discussion of the upcoming meeting the next day, but it was all in context of people talking over a glass of wine. I guess it was an hour or so," Curris said.

Curris said the members did not discuss the president's contract, but said, "there was discussion on the next day's report of the ad-hoc contract committee."

Curris said he doesn't believe the social gathering violated Kentucky Open Meetings law and said it was not unusual for a majority of board members to attend a social gathering. Some board members were not invited to the social event, which included Phil Schooley, Jeremiah Johnson and Jack Rose, Curris said.

Rose, who voted to extend Dunn's contract, resigned his post following Friday's vote and said he was concerned he missed something and said, "I hope it's not something inappropriate, and that's all I'm going to say."

Kentucky's statute requires government appointed boards like Murray State's Board of Regents to issue a public notice and agenda 24 hours before any public meeting.

The definition of meeting including" regular or special, informational or casual gatherings held in anticipation of or in conjunction with a regular or special meeting."

One exemption to the statute includes discussion between individual members where the purpose is to educate themselves on specific issues.

The board voted 7 to 4 against extending Dunn's contract, which expires June 30, 2014.

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Information from: WKMS-FM, http://www.wkms.org

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