U. of Wis. chancellor to release some e-mails sought by state GOP

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MADISON, Wis. — The chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says she will release some of a history professor’s e-mails that were requested by the Republican Party of Wisconsin, but she's withholding others to protect “academic freedom.”

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Chancellor Biddy Martin responded on April 1 to a request for e-mails involving professor William Cronon, who had written about the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The council is an industry-funded nonprofit that has urged Republicans to introduce laws limiting collective bargaining in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

The request has sparked a debate about whether such requests are a legitimate use of the Wisconsin public-records law or an effort to intimidate a professor.

Martin says she has to balance the public's right to know with the freedom scholars need in their search for knowledge.

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