Professor returns UO documents

January 29, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Register Guard
January 29th, 2015

University of Oregon Professor Bill ­Harbaugh has handed over 22,000 pages of uncensored UO presidential documents, and UO interim President Scott Coltrane says he’ll take steps to tighten document handling and increase the UO’s public ­records transparency.

“The president’s office is fully committed to making sure that we don’t leak documents, that we don’t let private records out — but also be committed to public access, where appropriate, to those documents,” Coltrane told the University Senate on Wednesday.

The UO announced Jan. 20 that the trove of presidential papers, released by a library archivist, had fallen into a then-unnamed professor’s hands — setting off a furor of speculation and controversy on campus and across the state.

Harbaugh, an economics professor and publisher of the uomatters.com watchdog blog, confirmed on Wednesday that he is the mysterious professor.

Harbaugh got the documents on Dec. 3 after he sent an email to the Knight Library asking to see the UO presidential archives — and an unnamed employee provided a copy of the digital files, he said.

The university learned about the release after Harbaugh posted a memo by then-UO general counsel Randy Geller on his blog, which follows — and often lampoons — the administration’s every move.

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