SMU faculty senate condemns Bush secrecy policy on POTUS papers





Southern Methodist University's faculty senate went on record Wednesday as opposing an executive order that could limit access to presidential records – a concern since the George W. Bush Presidential Library is probably headed to SMU.

The senate voted to endorse a letter signed by SMU's history department, which states its opposition to an order that President Bush signed in 2001. The order allows current and former presidents, starting with President Ronald Reagan, and their heirs to keep White House records sealed indefinitely without any particular reason or justification.

"We do believe that all material in all presidential libraries, including the Bush Library, should be open to full access," reads the letter, published recently in the SMU student newspaper, the Daily Campus.

Rhonda Blair, president of the faculty senate, said the 35 or so senators at Wednesday's meeting voted overwhelmingly in favor of endorsing the letter.

In its resolution, the senate also calls on SMU President Gerald Turner to ask Mr. Bush to rescind his executive order, Dr. Blair said.

"That was a very progressive thing for [the senate] to do," said Tom Knock, a faculty senator and a presidential historian.


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