UPDATE: Kansas regents adopt revised social media policy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents has revised a policy allowing state universities to discipline or fire faculty and staff for improper use of social media.

The changes approved Wednesday include new statements that academic freedom and free-speech rights still will be protected.

The board retained language defining improper use of social media as messages that incite violence, disclose private student or health care information or are contrary to the best interests of the university.

The regents acted after months of criticism of the policy they adopted in December in response to a University of Kansas professor's tweet denouncing the National Rifle Association. It permits each university's top administrator to discipline, suspend or fire staff who used social media improperly.

Previous story:

The Kansas Board of Regents is taking up proposed revisions in a social media policy for faculty and staff at public universities.

The board adopted the policy in December in response to a University of Kansas professor's tweets criticizing the National Rifle Association after a gunman killed 12 people at the Washington Navy yard.

The policy established disciplinary actions that university officials could take for improper use of social media. Critics said it would stifle academic freedom and chill the exchange of ideas on campuses.

On Wednesday, the regents are to review recommendations from their Governance Committee outlining acceptable social media activity. The proposed revisions would allow removal of employees for comments that are not otherwise protected by the First Amendment.

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