The administration of the University of Utah deserves high marks for its enlightened display of candor this week.

We're referring to the disclosure of the six-month investigation of grade altering, nepotism, personnel mismanagement and financial improprieties at the school's department of economics.When any organization has problems, there's always a temptation to try to hide them out of a desire to protect reputations and maintain an overall good image.

But such impulses are misguided, and the University of Utah served its own best interests by not only resisting them but voluntarily letting the press and the public know about the problems at the department of economics.

Candor, like honesty, is always the best policy. It's virtually impossible to hide a scandal for very long; eventually, someone will talk. By admitting it has problems, any group increases its credibility when it claims accomplishments. And it avoids the suspicions and exaggerated rumors that usually go with attempts at a cover-up.

The next time others get in trouble, they would do well to remember this week's refreshing exercise in candor by the University of Utah. Keep in mind, too, this axiom of the journalism profession: If there are problems you don't want to see in the newspaper, don't let them happen.