CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ A judge in Laramie has ordered the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees to identify the finalists for university president after they get those names from a search committee.
The trustees say they might appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming Tribune Eagle and The Associated Press sued the trustees last fall after they closed their search for a successor to Tom Buchanan, who plans to step down at the end of this summer.
UW trustees say a closed search encourages more applicants, but the media outlets say it violates Wyoming's open records law.
Albany County District Judge Jeffrey Donnell sided with the media on Wednesday.
Media attorney Bruce Moats praised the decision. Trustees President Dave Bostrom says trustees will assess how it affects the search process.
The University of Wyoming sent out this statement:
Dave Bostrom, president of the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, has issued the following statement in response to today's Albany County District Court ruling on the UW presidential search process:
"We're disappointed with the District Court ruling that the university must release records identifying the finalists for the job of University of Wyoming president. We believe the university presented a compelling case that identifying finalists would cause substantial injury to the public interest by significantly reducing the pool of candidates. For that reason, and because of the ruling's broad implications, the university will consider an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court. In the meantime, we're assessing the impact of the ruling on the current presidential search."