Salaries books removed from library, not to be destroyed

By Gus Bode

Rumors surfaced that Chancellor Rita Cheng ordered Morris Library to shred books which contain campus salary information when the SIU Legal Counsel advised they be taken off public shelves. David Carlson, dean of Morris Library, said this wasn’t true.

The books, which state the salaries of employees at the university, also included the salaries of graduate assistants and were removed from shelves Sept. 28 and put in the special collections office at the library. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, information about students such as their transcripts and salaries cannot be made public unless the student gives written permission. The

Legal Counsel advised the books, which date back to the ‘70s, be removed from public use.


Carlson said he and library workers discussed shredding the books, not Cheng. He said at first he thought they would be locked in a closet and never used again, so he didn’t see the point to keep them.

“We were in the process of considering this, so we were looking at various options,” Carlson said.

He said there was no way of removing the graduate students’ information from the books because they were all intermingled with the faculty and staff, so they’ve been moved to special collections in Morris Library. Carlson said the books would be available for checkout under restricted guidelines.

Judy Simpson, senior library specialist in library affiars, said the Legal Counsel is working on guidelines for restrictive access to the books, but she doesn’t know when they will be ready yet.

“They have not given us a time estimate yet, but we’re very anxious,” she said.

Rod Sievers, university spokesman, said he thinks the reason the books had not been removed earlier was because it had not been brought to the Legal Counsel’s attention that they included graduate students’ information.

Faculty and staff salary information is still available at the Human Resources Office and here at