Since the Kentucky Community and Technical College System is in the business of teaching and learning, perhaps it should offer a refresher course for top administrators on the letter and spirit of Kentucky's open records and meetings laws.
Twice in the last few months, KCTCS has clearly violated the spirit of the laws while staying narrowly within their legal limits.
In November, the board met in an unannounced meeting and selected then-Chancellor Jay Box as the new system president.
Last week, KCTCS general counsel Campbell Cantrill played a coy game about releasing Box's contract.
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Cantrill insisted on waiting the three days allowable under the law and then mailing the contract to Herald-Leader reporter Linda Blackford, although typically agencies send them quickly and electronically in response to an open records request.
With no explanation, KCTCS changed course and did release the contract electronically on Monday.
It is impossible to know what drives this strange culture of secrecy; whatever it is, Box and the KCTCS board should move quickly to eradicate it.
KCTCS is a public institution that receives public funds to carry out a mission defined by the General Assembly when it created the system.
Regardless of what administrators at the Versailles office have come to believe, and the board appears to have accepted, KCTCS is accountable, finally and only, to the people of Kentucky.
Hiding behind the letter of the law to keep its actions out of public sight will inevitably diminish public and legislative confidence.
The board should also look long and hard at executive compensation.
The system, with 16 colleges, each with its own president, now pays Box $345,000 a year plus a $24,000 annual car allowance.
In addition, past president Michael McCall, who was the highest-paid community college administrator in the nation based on his total compensation plan, will receive $328,325 for a year as president emeritus.
That brings the salaries for just those two positions to over $673,000.
Under McCall, the salaries of the top five administrators within the president's cabinet — including then-Chancellor Box — amounted to $900,000 a year. All this while faculty salaries have stalled and tuition increased.
In addition to insisting on a policy of transparency, the board should take a long careful look at whether the administrative costs at KCTCS are appropriate and necessary.