If you were inclined to pen a complaint for the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board, it might cover these items:

No Recorded Vote to Close
The minutes fail to record a motion and vote to close the meeting. Rather, on Nov. 18, they record a diktat by the chairman that “the meeting is closed.”

Mandatory Citation
The minutes fail to give a specific statutory citation for each closed session topic.

Apparently the topics were “UMCP to move from the ACC to the Big Ten” and something indecipherable, an “ICA review for Towson State University.” A topic must be meaningful, not jargon or boilerplate, in order to satisfy the Open Meetings Act.

Reason for barring public from Discussion of Each Topic
The minutes fail to identify the reason for closing the session for either topic.

People Attending
The minutes fail to identify who was present, specifically. The boilerplate “other USM office and institutional staff” does not fulfill the statutory requirement. And were one or more officials from the Big Ten also participants?

Actions Taken
The minutes fail to identify what actions, if any, was taken at the Sunday meeting. We assume from news reports and the university officials’ statements that one action was to agree to meet secretly again on Monday morning. Apparently the followup was set up via email shortly after non-“adjournment” of the Sunday meeting.

Adjournment Motion and Vote (an action) Not Recorded
The minutes fail to note when the Sunday meeting was adjourned. However, it had to be adjourned, because:

Closed Sessions cannot be “continued.”
On Monday, “The regents continued the discussion from November 18 on the details of the Big Ten proposal to UMCP to join the league.” Unfortunately, this requires separate meeting notice; convening in open session; and a properly handled vote to close the session to the public.

Failure to Notify Public of Location
We note that the Monday meeting was held away from the location of a previously scheduled regent committee meeting, which gives the appearance of deliberately seeking to avoid the press and the public. After all, by Sunday night, word had leaked out about the Big Ten discussion.

Votes Must Be Recorded
Merely saying “thirteen regents endorsed the UMCP application to the Big Ten; one regent did not en-dorse the application” does not provide the legally necessary information on the motion and vote, in-cluding who voted and how. See 7 OMCB 237.

Minutes are Minutes
We note that minutes are minutes, not matter what they are called, and they are required to present certain minimum information for the public. Calling minutes “meeting notes” does not excuse any public body from its statutory obligations to provide accurate, informative minutes.

The interested reader is directed to several OMCB Opinions on the web:

We point without hesitation to the MDTA and 8 OMCB 46 on the subject of “emergency” meetings held without sufficient public notice, that is, the Sunday confab; and a meeting “convened in closed session” – a legal impossibility.

“Minutes to disclose how each member votes when a recorded vote is required.”

We also point to Chestertown and 5 OMCB 184 on the subject of “continued” closed sessions, that is, Monday’s secretive gathering and vote. Which makes Monday’s meeting an illegal closed session, be-cause it is not possible to legally “continue” a secret meeting to a secret future time and place.