Innovation Campus governing board to go a year between public meetings


Matthew Kelly

The Suites, phase two of the Flats, will open next school year on Innovation Campus.

Wichita State Innovation Alliance, the nonprofit organization that manages public-private partnerships on Innovation Campus, hasn’t held a meeting since Sept. 21, 2018. WSIA’s January and April meetings were cancelled, meaning the board will not meet again until Sept. 20 — a full year after their last public meeting.

The WSIA page on the university website still lists late WSU President John Bardo as chair of the WSIA board of directors. Bardo handpicked all board members.

WSIA meeting scheduling is handled by the WSU President’s Office. Deputy Chief of Staff Anna Lanier said the yearlong meeting drought doesn’t pose a threat to transparency.

“WSIA meets annually and additional meetings are held throughout the year as necessary,” Lanier wrote in an email. “Notice of all meetings are posted. WSIA complies with all Kansas Open Meetings Act requirements.”

In the past, WSIA has come under scrutiny for sub-leasing property acquired from WSU to third parties without a public discussion, vote, or competitive bidding process.

Lanier said board members follow proper protocol and do not discuss WSIA business outside of public meetings.

“(T)he Board does not meet by email,” Lanier wrote.