Distinguished Professors from KSU, KU, KUMC, WSU: Open Letter to the Kansas Board of Regents

15 April 2014 Dear Kansas Board of Regents, We write to offer strong support for the joint working group’s revision of the Kansas Board of Regents’ social media policy.  The revised policy is laudable in several ways. First, it recognizes the unique and fundamental duty of public universities to contribute to the discovery, creation, and

Kansas Board of Regents Wins Muzzle Award; Revised Social Media Policy Wins Praise

The reviews are in, and they’re good. The Social Media Policy Workgroup‘s revision to the Kansas Board of Regents’ social media policy has won near-unanimous praise. People are saying things like: “reasonable” – Chuck Epp, co-chairman of the Workgroup and Professor of Public Affairs, University of Kansas (he is summarizing the response thus far). “entirely appropriate” – Susan

Five on the Hour: Freedom of Speech

This is an open letter to our colleagues at the Regents universities in Kansas (Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas, University of Kansas Medial Center, Wichita State University), but anyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so! Dear Colleagues, As the Kansas

Enlightenment vs. Ignorance

Freedom of Speech is under attack in “public” higher education, from the Kansas Board of Regents deeming any speech a fireable offense, to the South Carolina Legislature cutting funds from the College of Charleston (in retaliation for recommending Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home as a summer read). Offering a more subtle version of the South Carolina model,

What Can’t You Say in Kansas? An Experiment in Civil Disobedience

Governor Appointed Regents who set KU’s administrative policy seem to think that avoiding bad press on Twitter is more important than preserving academic freedom – graffiti, University of Kansas If you’re an employee of a university overseen by the Kansas Board of Regents, all speech expressed through social media (Facebook, Twitter, blog, any website) can

Kansas Board of Regents, Freedom of Speech, and Bad Faith

When the Kansas Board of Regents announced its new social media policy on December 18, I thought it must have made a mistake. After all, this Board of Regents had seemed an ally of higher education in Kansas. Unlike previous Boards, this one had – for instance – been asking the Kansas Legislature to fund the state

Higher Education is Not a Reality TV Show; or, How A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” Differs from the Kansas Board of Regents

On Facebook, a friend recently asked me how the recent controversy over the Kansas Board of Regents’ new social media policy differs from A&E’s suspending of Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty reality TV show. I see why she asks: The Kansas Board of Regents has rescinded faculty and staff’s right to free speech, just

Kansas Board of Regents Revokes Right to Freedom of Speech

As faculty grade their last student papers and exams before leaving town for the Christmas holidays, the Kansas Board of Regents quietly – and unanimously – voted to revoke their academic freedom and basic right to freedom of speech.  As the Lawrence Journal-World reports this evening, “The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved a policy that would

The Edwin Mellen Effect

  It’s Opposites Day at The Chronicle of Higher Education. The headline reads, “Edwin Mellen Press Drops Lawsuit Against University Librarian.” The article reports that Edwin Mellen Press has withdrawn the suit against McMaster University and Dale Askey, BUT Edwin Mellen Press is still suing Dale Askey.  Beyond the fact that the Chronicle should have let its readers know

The People’s Library

“Nazis destroyed books to ‘purify’ German culture. Bigots do it in the name of God, or Allah. What’s Bloomberg’s excuse? ‘Hygiene’?” – Salman Rushdie, via his Twitter account, 16 Nov. 2011 “If corporations are people, tents are definitely speech.” – Ben Chappell, prof. of American Studies, University of Kansas (via Eric Michael Johnson [@ericmjohnson on Twitter],