BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge has upheld a judge's ruling that requires the LSU university system to turn over names of three dozen candidates considered during its presidential search.

LSU has refused to release the names while the issue is pending in the courts.

A closed-door search led to the hiring of F. King Alexander, who started work in June.

The Advocate and The Times-Picayune filed lawsuits seeking access to the name of presidential candidates, and a state district judge ruled the documents were public records and must be released.

LSU board members have defended the process, saying it was designed so sitting chancellors and presidents can be considered without worrying about their current positions.