Last week, lawyers from the A&M System asked the CPI to take down from the group's Web site "proprietary documents" related to the centers that contained profit estimates and a strategic plan titled "Redefining the Biomedical Enterprise." The CPI complied.Some may wonder what kind of proprietary information would be in the documents about a taxpayer-funded public institution. Especially since we've been assured that there are no deals with any companies. Doesn't the public have a right to know what the strategic plan is for their tax dollars?
Rod Davis, a spokesman for the A&M System, said the concerns that the system had were related only to the documents containing the proprietary information and said no pressure was put on Bell-Pedersen to step down.
"To have that posted would have been breaking the law, so our general counsel sent a letter to the CPI asking them to take it down," Davis said. "When advised, they took it down."
Universities have a lot of legal requirements for confidentiality under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA ensures that academic records can only be disclosed with a student's consent, event to his parents. So, even if they think they're the most unintentionally entertaining things they've ever read, the faculty aren't allowed to post a student's reports on the internet where his parents might see them and cut him off.