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YSU earns top rank from state for transparency

YOUNGSTOWN — For the second consecutive year, Youngstown State University received the top rating — four stars — in the Ohio Auditor of State’s rating system for open and transparent government.

The Star rating system, introduced in 2019, measures the success of public institutions across Ohio in fulfilling public records requests under the state’s Sunshine Law, including the Ohio Public Records Act and the Ohio Open Meetings Act.

“We take seriously our role in ensuring that YSU is a transparent, open institution in compliance with all state regulations,” said Holly Jacobs, YSU general counsel. “We believe that openness leads to a better-informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy, and, ultimately, to a more effective and successful institution.”

Jacobs said the YSU Office of General Counsel, which oversees public records requests at the university, received 100 such inquiries last year alone for a wide range of public records, from employment information and athletics contracts to purchasing records and vendor agreements. Jacobs said that number does not include records requested directly to other departments and offices, and she emphasized that all departments across campus collaborate to make sure requests are filled.

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