OU Board of Regents receives Black Hole Award as 'organization that has most thwarted the free flow of information'

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The OU Board of Regents meets in Oklahoma City May 16. Freedom of Information Oklahoma gave the board the Black Hole Award at a ceremony on Wednesday. 

An Oklahoma organization advocating for free information awarded the OU Board of Regents a prize recognizing “an individual, agency or organization that has most thwarted the free flow of information” at a ceremony this week.

Freedom of Information Oklahoma, an organization that supports individuals and organizations who provide the public with open records, gave the board its 2019 Black Hole Award, according to a press release.

At a ceremony on Wednesday, Freedom of Information Oklahoma gave multiple individuals and organizations awards based on their ability to provide information to the public and uphold the First Amendment, according to the press release.

Andy Moore, Freedom of Information Oklahoma executive director, said the Black Hole Award went to the board due to lack of transparency surrounding the presidential search that selected former OU President James Gallogly and the selection of interim OU President Joseph Harroz.

Harroz was selected in a six-hour regents' meeting in May, which was held almost entirely in executive session.

Going forward, Moore said he and Freedom of Information Oklahoma hope the Board of Regents uses this award to make a change with its transparency.

“The organization hopes that the Black Hole Award can be a catalyst to encourage the recipient to make changes moving forward, and we would be happy to recognize them for any changes made,” Moore said.

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