Kansas university employee gun survey results are in; KU generally more anti-gun than other schools

Image from state university employee gun survey results, Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University.

Most — 70 percent — Kansas state university employees said they’d like to see state law amended so guns won’t be allowed on campus starting in 2017, and 7 percent want to keep the current law but extend universities’ exemption past 2017. Of the other university employees, 19 percent want to allow guns on campus, and 4 percent answered “don’t know.”

That’s according to opinions revealed in a statewide survey of Kansas Board of Regents university employees, which closed last week. It was prepared and administered by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University for the Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents.

Not unlike preliminary results from a similar survey of students statewide, percentage-wise KU’s Lawrence campus was overwhelmingly more anti-gun than any other school in almost every category.

Statewide, the employee response rate was 54 percent. KU had the second-highest response rate with 64.7 percent, behind Fort Hays State University with 67.1 percent.

Following are a few other figures from the employee survey — I’m highlighting employee-specific ones. This is only a sliver of the many survey questions, though. If you’d like to take a look at the entire results for yourself, click here.

• 54 percent of respondents said campus carry would negatively affect how they teach, and 52 percent said it would limit academic freedom. (At KU, 65 percent said guns would negatively affect how they teach, and 64 percent said guns would limit academic freedom.)

• 51 percent said campus carry would make them less likely to work at their respective schools. (At KU, that number was 61 percent, again the highest of any state school.) 42 percent said campus carry wouldn’t affect their decision. Eight percent said campus carry would make them more likely to work at their respective schools.

• Generally — including at sporting venues, offices, lab spaces, classrooms, dorms and open areas –respondents were more OK with employees carrying guns than students and visitors (recall, as I previously reported, the students themselves felt the same way). Specifically, 29 percent of faculty and staff thought faculty and staff should be allowed to carry concealed in faculty offices, but only 14 percent thought students should be allowed to carry in offices. There was even less support for visitors carrying in offices.

Do this and the student survey matter? Most people I’ve heard talk about this don’t think it’s realistic to get the Kansas Legislature to backtrack on this law, though some anti-campus-carry folks have indicated they want to try.

It sounds more likely that survey results could inform how each state university decides how to implement the law on their respective campuses. The Regents are scheduled to approve a statewide policy next week, which will leave it up to each school to determine specifics such as which buildings to install security in to prohibit guns and where on campus to offer secure storage for guns.

• I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.