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…

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 I see why she asks: The Kansas Board of Regents has rescinded faculty and staff’s right to free speech, just…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…

These Senators Want to Kill Your Children

45 U.S. Senators think that massacres like the ones at Sandy Hook and Aurora and Tuscon are acceptable collateral damage.  They support mentally unstable people’s “rights” to have access to firearms.  In sum, if you would prefer to live in a country in which children have a better chance of growing up, in which adults…

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…

Vanity, Thy Name Is Lawsuit

As you may have heard, the Edwin Mellen Press is suing librarian Dale Askey and his employer, McMaster University, for damages in excess of $4 million. Why?  The suit alleges that Askey is guilty of libel for calling Edwin Mellen Press “a vanity press” and suggesting that it lacks “academic credibility.”  There are several problems…

Well, at least she published a sort-of correction

As you probably already know, Forbes‘ Susan Adams contributed to the professors-don’t-really-work myth in naming “University Professor” the “Least Stressful Job of 2013” (Forbes, 3 Jan. 2013).  After learning that this is utter nonsense, Ms. Adams did at least have the decency to publish an “addendum,” in which she acknowledges that the survey on which…

Ignorance Is Not a Virtue

The critic who touts his ignorance as a virtue should not have a job as a critic.  Any “news” publication that employs such a person in this capacity is shirking its responsibility to provide well-informed discourse. So, then.  Why would Time magazine or the New York Times employ Joel Stein? In his “Adults Should Read…