UW Won’t Appeal Court Ruling; Says HR Reports Preceded Nichols’ Firing
The University of Wyoming will not appeal the court ruling granting public access to redacted documents stemming from the UW Board of Trustees' decision last year to not renew the contract of former President Laurie Nichols.
In a statement Friday, the trustees disclosed that staff members made two separate reports regarding Nichols to the university's human resources department. The trustees say they were made aware of those reports in early 2019.
"We retained an employment matters firm to do preliminary interviews and inquiry. The firm reported that the resulting inquiry identified multiple individual accounts or perspectives of a similar and consistent nature," the trustees said, without detailing the nature of the HR reports.
"Members of the university community who came forward were promised that UW would attempt to maintain confidentiality if at all possible -- another factor in our choice not to elaborate on the circumstances of the conclusion of Nichols' presidency, and to keep the relevant documentation private," the statement continues.
A group of news organizations last year sued for the release of records related to the trustees' decision to not renew Nichols' contract. Earlier this month, District Judge Tori Kricken ruled that most of the records in question would be released with some redactions.
The university had relied on attorney-client privilege as its initial justification to withhold the records.
The records themselves remain under a protective order until Tuesday morning, according to an employee of the Albany County District Court.
This developing story will be updated.