The Committee for Harmony, Loyalty, and Discipline

The Kansas Board of Regents’ new social media policy will require vigilant enforcement.  How will we determine when speech is “contrary to the best interests of the employer”?  How will we recognize speech that “impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers”?  How can we prevent speech that has a “detrimental impact on close working relationships”?  Given…

Impairing Discipline and Harmony; or, This Morning’s Twitter-chat with the Kansas Board of Regents

The Kansas Board of Regents’ Twitter account and I had a somewhat predictable conversation this morning. For any who find might it interesting, I include it below. The short version: The Kansas Board of Regents insists that academic freedom is now protected; however, sections 3.ii and 3.iv (see p. 32 of agenda) continue to contradict that…

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.

Fighting for Freedom of Speech: The First Amendment Under Attack

Good afternoon.  Thanks for coming.  Thanks to Susan Kemper for organizing this, and to KU for hosting. I’m @philnel on Twitter. The Board of Regents is @ksregents. And the hashtag for this conference is #FreeSpeechKS. If you Tweet, feel free to tag us. In case there are any Regents unable to attend, I will periodically…

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…

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…