Archive for Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Letter to the editor: Free speech at KU

Lawrence Journal-World opinion section

Lawrence Journal-World opinion section

April 19, 2016

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To the editor:

The Kansas University administration is working hard to acquire the power to put any faculty member on indefinite “leave without pay” for any reason they can dream up, at any time. Their unending stream of blatant and subtle provisions in their Code of Faculty Conduct rewrites now before the Senate would simply gut what’s left of free speech and academic freedom at KU.

The top employment attorney in the state has accordingly advised the faculty not to agree to the administration’s proposed changes and stay under the existing code if the offending provisions are retained.

This topic will be debated over the next two Thursday afternoons in public Senate meetings from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in 203 Green Hall. If this issue concerns you, we ask you to please consider reading more about the subject on the Kansas AAUP Facebook page and joining the few, determined AAUP members in speaking out before yet more irreparable damage is done to this institution we know and love.

Comments

Bob Smith 1 year, 8 months ago

"...The top employment attorney in the state has accordingly advised the faculty not to agree to the administration’s proposed changes and stay under the existing code if the offending provisions are .." Citation, please?

Ron Barrett-Gonzalez 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Bob, You can read the gory details on the FB page. The "go to" attorney for many educators in Kansas (certainly the KSAAUP) is Mr. Alan Rupe of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith. He has won a ton of accolades including being named by The Best Lawyers In America as “Kansas Lawyer of the Year in Labor and Employment Law.” http://www.lewisbrisbois.com/attorneys/rupe_alan-l

He has handled cases within the KU adjudicatory system (at the Faculty Right Board level), all the way up through the US District Court (where he's currently spearheading the fabled Klaassen case). So he's very familiar with academia in Kansas, KU in particular and has a successful record at many levels. More than a month ago, a group of AAUP Senators met with him and presented him with the Administration's rewrites of the Code. He gave point by point details explaining pro's and con's of each little section but his overarching advice to all of us at the meeting: "Stay under the 1971 Code as long as you can."

Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

The solution is simple. Get rid of the administrators who are pushing this nonsense. All it takes is a vote of no confidence to start the process. The major problem is the timidity of the faculty. They are the ones that provide the one essential service to a University. The administration shold be accountable to the faculty, and not vice versa.

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