Former Senator and Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel donated his records and files to the University of Nebraska-Omaha after he left the Senate in 2008. You would think five years would have been enough time for the university to properly archive those records, but no, they haven’t. At least that’s the excuse they gave to TWS reporter Daniel Halper. According to university officials, the agreement they signed with Hagel prevents them from opening his records to the public until an archivist is finished sorting them out. Unfortunately, that will take more than two years. Halper wasn’t even able to look at the agreement.
The agreement, the dean insists, signed between the university and former senator precludes anyone from looking at the archives until they are complete. But, when pressed, the dean admits he has not seen the agreement since it was signed in 2008.
I ask to see the agreement. Shorb seems to consider it. But then it occurs to him that this, too, might violate the agreement.
Regardless, he agrees to look back at the agreement, and I leave to track down the highest university administrator I can find. B.J. Reed, the senior vice chancellor of academic and student affairs, is friendly, like the other Nebraskans. He’s also completely unhelpful.
Reed defers to Shorb’s judgment, but with one notable concession: He agrees I should be able to see the document the university signed with Hagel when accepting the archive.
I return to the library to look for Shorb. I’m anxious to see this supposed agreement.
But he’s not in his office, and his secretary doesn’t seem keen on having me wait on the couch across from her desk. She insists I go to the café on the far side of the library.
Read the whole thing. Hagel could easily solve this problem by informing the university that they have his permission to open his files up to the public. If he doesn’t do so, what is he trying to hide?