Suing a University to Provide Information on Course Materials

In Dynamic Student Services v. State System of Higher Education, 548 Pa. 347, 697 A.2d 239 (1997), Dynamic Student Services (DSS), a dealer in used textbooks, requested Millersville University to supply registration and approved course material information so that it might anticipate future student needs. Millersville supplied the registration data to DSS, but refused to provide information on course materials because the school did not compile such information. DSS filed suit to obtain the information pursuant to the Law. The Supreme Court concluded that, although state universities were state agencies subject to the Law's disclosure requirements, the university was not required, under the Law, to produce information concerning required textbooks and course materials (Dynamic Student Services). The Court found that the university had no part in the ordering or selling of textbooks and neither solicited, compiled, nor retained information on course materials. Id. Ultimately, the Court concluded that despite the fact that the non-profit organization that operated the university bookstore was required to work closely with university in order to carry out its stated purposes, it did not lose its status as an independent entity for purposes of the disclosure requirements of the Law. Id.