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Archive for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Distinguished professors to host panels on social media and academic freedom

April 16, 2014

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Distinguished professors from Kansas universities will host panel discussions on academic freedom and social media at the Kansas Union on Sunday, April 27.

The panels feature faculty who have been active in the discussion around the Kansas Board of Regents social media policy. They include: Kansas State University distinguished professor Phil Nel, a vocal critic of the regents policy; Richard Levy, a Kansas University distinguished professor of law who has provided legal analysis for the group reviewing the policy; Charles Epp, a KU professor of public affairs and administration, and co-chair of the social media policy work group; and KU Provost Jeff Vitter.

The social media policy, which allows university CEOs to suspend or fire employees for "improper" social media posts, was passed by the regents in December after an anti-NRA tweet by KU journalism professor David Guth sparked a national uproar and prompted calls from some Kansas lawmakers for Guth to be fired.

The regents created a work group of faculty and staff at state universities in January in response to widespread criticism that the policy restrained free speech and academic freedom.

The event, titled "Academic Freedom and Responsibility in the Era of Social Media," will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Alderson Auditorium on the 27th. It is sponsored by the Join Council of Kansas Distinguished Professors, made up of endowed faculty from KU and the KU Medical Center, K-State, and Wichita State University.

The event is free and open to the public.

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