UPDATE: Kansas Regents sticking with social media policy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas Board of Regents leaders say they do not plan to back away from the board's social media policy, which has been criticized for allowing administrators to fire or discipline employees for their social media postings.

During the board's meeting Wednesday, chairman Fred Logan says he disagrees that the policy restricts staff and faculty from openly expressing their opinions.

The policy was adopted last year following controversial tweets by a University of Kansas journalism faculty member after a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the regents are considering making some changes to explicitly say that the board respects First Amendment rights of staff, without dropping provisions that allow for removal if comments are detrimental to the institution.

Previous story:

More than 80 distinguished professors have endorsed a new proposed social media policy for Kansas universities.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the professors, from several universities, sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Regents saying the proposed policy "exemplifies the role of scholarship for public intellectuals in a democracy."

The new policy was proposed by a work group formed by the regents. It proposed a strictly advisory social media policy for university faculty and staff.

That would replace a policy that allows university administrators to discipline or fire employees who they believe have improperly used social media.

Opponents said the policy was too broad and restrained free speech.

The regents passed the current policy in December after a University of Kansas professor posted an anti-NRA tweet on Twitter.

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