Ypsilanti — State legislators and members of the Washtenaw County Commission submitted a letter to the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents calling on the Board to investigate the EMU administration after a complaint was filed by the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights due to the administration lying on a Freedom of Information Request submitted by the Carpenters.
“It’s concerning that a public University, or any public body, would respond to a Freedom of Information Act request in anything less than a completely transparent and truthful manner. Not only did EMU’s mistruth cost citizens of knowing what is going on at this public institution, but it also could cost the University precious dollars in civil fines, punitive damages, and other costs. Worse, it risks EMU’s reputation by eroding trust in the
administration and the institution itself,” a portion of the letter reads.
The elected officials ultimately called on the Board to investigate the circumstances behind the complaint and urged the Board to ensure EMU does not lie to the Carpenters about new student construction or to anyone requesting public information:
“We urge the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents to thoroughly investigate the circumstances behind this complaint and pledge to respond to all future FOIA requests truthfully and quickly to regain the trust that is now under question. We further urge the University and this board to pay close attention to the student housing project that was the subject of the FOIA to ensure it is safely and ethically built. These commitments
will show the student body, Michigan taxpayers, and all stakeholders that the current leadership of EMU is committed to the values of honesty, transparency, and accountability to those who fund, attend and rely on the University.”
The letter was signed by State Senators Jeff Irwin and Sue Shink, State Representatives Felicia Brabec, Jimmie Wilson Jr, Reggie Miller, Carrie Rheingans, Jason Morgan, Ranjeev Puri, Kevin Coleman, Kelly Breen and Jennifer Conlin. Also signing on were the following Washtenaw County Commissioners Annie Sommerville, Yousef Rabhi, Katie Scott and Andy LaBarre.