34 J.L. & Educ. 389 (2005)
A Real Home Field Advantage: Access to Public University Foundation Records

handle is hein.journals/jle34 and id is 399 raw text is: A Real Home Field Advantage: Access to
Public University Foundation Records
SCOTT REINARDY* and CHARLES N. DAVIS**
ABSTRACT
Private, non-profit university foundations have grown into
multi-million-dollar entities with very little public scrutiny. The
foundations' private status in many states allows them to con-
duct university business without accountability to the tax-pay-
ing public that supports the institutions. In recent years, how-
ever, several state courts have opened the records of university
foundations. This paper analyzes the public records status of
university foundations, concluding that courts in most states
would find such foundations public agencies for purposes of
freedom of information laws.
I. INTRODUCTION
Jim Walden served as head football coach at Iowa State University
from 1987 to 1994. During his eight-year reign as head coach, his teams
won 33.5 percent of its games, and Walden earned $111,197 a year.
Walden resigned under pressure from disgruntled alumni, donors and
ISU administrators in 1994, but he continues to receive annual payments
of $529,400 per year from a deferred compensation contract payable
over 20 years. The non-profit, private Iowa State University Foundation
is responsible for paying Walden.'
The public and press learned of Walden's deferred compensation
arrangement after the fact, and only because a 1999-2000 independent
*Scott Reinardy is a journalism doctoral student at the University of Missouri and a news
editor at the Columbia Missourian newspaper. He has a master's degree in journalism from the
University of Missouri.
**Charles N. Davis serves as Executive Director of the Freedom of Information Center at
the University of Missouri School of Journalism and is an associate professor and chair of the
News-Editorial Department.
1. Liz Allen, ISU Foundation audit includes Walden 'spay, Ames Tribune At (Mar. 6, 2001).

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