New Words, Same Tune: Kansas Board of Regents’ Revisions Fall Short

The Kansas Board of Regents’ revised social media policy grants academic freedom with one hand, and takes it away with the other. It adds the language of the work group’s model policy, but refuses the work group’s intent. It retains nearly all of the Board’s original language that drew such criticism — grounds for dismissal still include making statements “contrary to the best interests of the university,” or that “impair discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers,” and so on. But now, the policy begins by affirming principles of academic freedom.

Freedom of Speech and Higher Education

Participating in today’s “Five On the Hour: Stand for Freedom of Speech,” I’m posting the statements I prepared for my two classes. In practice, I ended up improvising. During my first class (English 725: African American Children’s Literature), I realized that I should have started with the connection to the class and then moved out

Kansas Board of Regents Fails Again? UPDATED, 2:30 pm

Based on Lawrence Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild’s tweets (see below), the Kansas Board of Regents are rejecting the social media work group’s thoughtful revisions to the Board of Regents’ failed social media policy.  If I understand Mr. Rothschild correctly, they’re going to tack on some language affirming academic freedom to a policy that eviscerates academic freedom.

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

Kansas, the banana republic

It’s an anti-free speech manifesto that sounds like a pronouncement from the government of a banana republic. The Board of Regents truly should back up, take a deep breath, and decide on something that meets the needs of its great universities. This first try was ghastly, pure and simple, and should be stricken down immediately.

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