Just because the members of the Kansas Board of Regents approved a new social media policy “in good faith,” doesn’t mean they got the policy right — or that they shouldn’t suspend the policy until they can fully consider its impact on state universities.
Despite pleas from faculty groups at the state’s six universities, the chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents indicated Wednesday that the regents “unanimously approved this policy and did so in good faith” and that he had no plans to suspend it. Faculty members are concerned that the policy, which gives university CEO’s broad authority to discipline or fire employees for engaging in improper social media communication, will have a negative effect on universities’ ability to retain and hire top faculty members.
The regents have agreed to appoint a group to review the policy but plans to leave the policy in place during that review, which is scheduled to be completed by April.
From a practical standpoint, it seems unlikely that university leaders will use the policy as a basis to discipline or dismiss any employees until after the review is complete. Nonetheless, it’s disappointing that the regents are unwilling to admit that this policy was hastily conceived and passed and should be put on hold while they gather the input they should have solicited in the first place.