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Archive for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Regents committee will look at proposed revisions to controversial social media policy

April 15, 2014

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— Members of the Kansas Board of Regents this week will have their first discussion on proposed changes to their controversial social media policy.

The regents' Governance Committee will review the revised policy during an 8:45 a.m. meeting on Wednesday.

In December, the regents approved a policy that allows university CEOs to fire employees for social media posts that conflict with the university's best interests or ability to provide services.

The regents passed the policy after an anti-NRA tweet by KU journalism professor David Guth sparked a national uproar and prompted some Kansas lawmakers to call for Guth to be fired.

But the social media policy produced a backlash among higher education employees and students who said it was too broadly written and would infringe on free speech rights.

The regents then appointed an advisory work group to consider revisions to the policy. The group has recommended a social media policy that seeks only to advise faculty and staff on the responsible use of social media.

The full Board of Regents will likely take up the work group's recommendation in a couple of months.

In other business this week, the regents will:

• Receive a report on national rankings by the CEOs of KU, Kansas State and Wichita State.

• Consider adopting a resolution to authorize the issuance of $47.8 million in bonds to finance the cost of two residence halls to replace KU's McCollum Residence Hall.

Under the proposal, the 10-story McCollum, which was opened in 1965, will be torn down after the two five-story resident halls are completed in August 2015.

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