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If this policy by the Kansas Board of Regents is allowed to stand, Kansas should lose its accreditation, since it will no longer be a university

This is appalling. Bill Black describes the Regent's new rules:

  1. The Regents’ rule allows the CEO to terminate tenured faculty upon their arrest for a felony.  There is no requirement for a conviction and no provision for reinstatement if not convicted.
  2. Truth is no defense.  The comment that tenured faculty makes can be accurate and the faculty member can still be fired by the university’s CEO.
  3. Lack of ill intent is no defense.  The faculty member can make an accurate statement of fact or well-founded statement of opinion for exemplary purposes and can still be fired.
  4. There are no meaningful “standards” so the statement by the faculty member could unknowingly subject him/her to dismissal because the faculty member did not know that the CEO was a global climate change denier (or partisan) and believes that those with the opposite view pose a grave threat.  The concepts are so vague and subjective (“harmony” and “efficiency”) that a faculty member’s only sure means of safety is to say nothing.
  5. The rule creates different levels of (not very) protected speech.  The same statement by a professor in a traditional physically published journal – if not posted online (recall that most print publishers also make one’s article available on line) — enjoys greater protection that any comment published “online.”


This is Third World stuff. If the "Big Man" doesn't like what one of the villagers says, the villager has to STFU, or a lot worse.

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

takes over in Missouri, then the same thing could happen at UMKC, and shortly thereafter we could probably say goodbye to the leading MMT Center in the US. Missouri is a dangerous place for them to be.

Submitted by flora on

Prof. Black is right in his assessment of the policy.

I think 2 things lead to the Kansas regents social media policy.

1. Kansas universities and regents' fear of even more budgets cuts from an ultra conservative Kansas GOP legislature. The lege has already cut the state universities' budgets by large double-digit percents. More cuts are threatened.

2. I think many Kansas legislators' ether fear the NRA or support ALEC or both. The NRA is a prominent member of ALEC. Many Kansas legislators are also members.

In early September, Colorado had its first recall election ever over new gun control laws.
"WASHINGTON -- The first recall election in Colorado's history on Tuesday marked a stunning victory for the National Rifle Association and gun rights activists, with the ouster of two Democrats -- Senate President John Morse (Colorado Springs) and state Sen. Angela Giron (Pueblo). The two lawmakers were the target of separate recall fights over their support for stricter gun laws earlier this year."

In late September, KU suspended a professor over an anti-NRA tweet after the NRA and the Kansas lege caught wind of the tweet and started what looked like an outrage campaign against the prof and KU.
"LAWRENCE, Kan. -- LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The chancellor of the University of Kansas announced Thursday that a journalism professor suspended over a tweet that angrily targeted the National Rifle Association after the Navy Yard shootings will not return to his classroom in 2013.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little issued a press release stating that David Guth, who was placed on administrative leave Sept. 20, would not teach the rest of this semester but would be assigned to other duties."

Correlation isn't causation. But I think the Kansas legislators' saw what happened in Colorado and decided to get right with the NRA.

My opinion : the regents are attempting to appease the lege in order to avoid more budget cuts, but that's unlikely to prevent more cuts. And (in my opinion) the Kansas lege is attempting to appease the NRA and/or ALEC to avoid being target by those organizations at election time. That doesn't guaranty legislators will be re-elected if Kansan's get tired of what they're doing.