SMU Faculty Opposes Limiting Release of Bush Documents

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DALLAS -- The Faculty Senate of Southern Methodist University wants President Bush to rescind his order allowing former presidents to keep White House documents secret forever.

SMU is in exclusive talks with the presidential library site selection committee. But the faculty group opposes the president's executive order.

Bush issued an early nearly two months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying he was protecting national security.

Wednesday's resolution by the Faculty Senate will be presented to SMU President Gerald Turner to use in negotiating with the library site selection committee.

The SMU Senate Faculty also approved a resolution outlining their issues and concerns about Bush's presidential library, museum and institute, a partisan think tank that would report to the Bush Foundation - not SMU.

SMU vice president for external affairs and development Brad Cheves says Turner would consider the resolutions carefully. Cheves says he does not know if Turner would ask Bush to rescind the order.

All of SMU's nearly two dozen history professors recently signed the letter noting that the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians also oppose that executive order. The order also is the subject of a pending lawsuit.