1023 Open Meeting Policy

Section 1000: Campus Policy

Effective: January 4, 2011
Revised: December 2016
Review Date: Janary 2019
Responsible Party: Chancellor

Preamble

It is the policy of Montana State University – Northern (MSUN) that meetings of the constituent membership of official university committees and boards as defined in policy 1022 Public Participation Policy and/or those listed in section 300 of the Campus Policy and Procedures shall be open to the public. MSUN recognizes that opportunity for the public to observe the actions and deliberations of public agencies is important to a free society. MSUNalso recognizes that the right of privacy, constitutionally guaranteed to the citizens of Montana, is fundamental to the well-being of both the individual and society.

 

Statement of Policy

All meetings of the constituent membership of official MSU-Northern committees and boards shall be open to the public, except when the discussions or deliberations of these committees or boards relate to a matter of individual privacy and the demands of individual privacy clearly exceed the merits of public disclosure.

The presumption in favor of openness shall be overcome whenever the closure of a meeting is necessary to preserve the privacy interest of any person who is the subject of such meeting or of any other person whose privacy interests will be infringed by public conduct of the meeting, and the demands of individual privacy clearly exceed the merit of public disclosure.

Prior to closing a meeting which would otherwise be open to the public under this policy, the presiding officer shall first determine that the discussion relates to a matter of individual privacy, and the demands of the individual privacy clearly exceed the merits of public disclosure.

The individual to whom the privacy interest relates may waive his or her right of privacy and, upon so doing, the meeting shall thereupon be open. However, if more than one individual’s privacy interests will be infringed by a public meeting, the presiding officer shall consider each such individual privacy interest separately before reaching a decision whether or not to close the meeting. If any individual’s privacy interest would be infringed by conduct of an open meeting, and the protection of such interest clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure, the presiding officer shall close the meeting (or, whenever practical, that portion of the meeting which relates to that individual whose privacy interest would be infringed) unless that individual waives his or her right to privacy.

 

Minutes of Meetings – Public Inspection

Appropriate minutes of all meetings required to be open by MSUN Open Meeting Policy shall be kept and shall, subject to the obligation to protect the right of individual privacy, be available for inspection by the public. Such minutes shall include:

  • Date, time, and place of meeting
  • List of members in attendance
  • Substance of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided
  • At the request of any member, a record by individual members of any votes taken