Posts tagged with Kansas Board Of Regents

Group concludes state universities are falling behind in Title IX investigations, need more money for staff

A year ago — inspired in part by one state university filing a court brief against another in a Title IX-related lawsuit — the Kansas Board of Regents ordered a work group to create more uniformity in the way schools address Title IX.

The work group, made of Title IX officers from the University of Kansas and the five other state universities, presented its report to the board this month, during the board’s regular meeting in Topeka.

A key conclusion from the Title IX work group report: All of Kansas’ state universities have seen a “sharp increase” in Title IX complaints but, because they lack adequate staff, are failing to consistently complete formal investigations in the 60-day time frame recommended by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The report also included a recommendation for addressing that problem: Schools should assess a fee for “student safety efforts,” revenue from which could help pay for additional Title IX staff, student bystander education and awareness efforts.

It remains to be seen whether university students will pay an additional fee for this purpose. The board took no action on the matter last week. The Title IX work group also asked to continue meeting quarterly and have a once-a-year audience with the board to discuss Title IX compliance and challenges.

Board chair Zoe Newton, of Sedan, an attorney, said — without citing a specific case — she has been concerned about “the non-uniform nature” of due process for respondents in universities’ quasi-judicial proceedings.

“I hope that going forward the working group will start to take a look at some of those due process issues,” Newton said.

In response KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, who presented the report, reiterated the overarching purpose of Title IX. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

“One of the points of this is to provide equal access to educational opportunities, and that is true for everyone that is involved in this process,” Gray-Little said. “We take that very seriously.”

While changes to Title IX compliance and enforcement under the Trump administration are anticipated, the work group report noted, right now there’s no clear timeline or understanding of what changes might happen.

One thing the Title IX work group report did not specifically address is the inconsistency that sparked the group in the first place: jurisdiction, i.e., whether under Title IX a university can investigate and discipline a student for actions that occurred off campus.

That’s been a key issue in Title IX lawsuits against both KU and Kansas State University — KU has been sued because it did discipline a student for off-campus actions, and K-State has been sued because it didn’t. For a previous post about the KU case (and K-State’s opposing brief), click here. For more about the lawsuit against K-State, click here and here.


— 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.

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Should KU be required to actively advertise that it’s a concealed carry campus? University Senate execs discuss

I should start by saying that this suggestion, brought forward by some University Senate Executive Committee members, failed to gain endorsement by the full committee. But it did elicit debate during Tuesday’s committee meeting and is on the agenda to be discussed by full University Senate next week.

How far should the University of Kansas go to spread the word that concealed carry is allowed on its campus, starting July 1? And how differently should this law be treated from other laws?

The proposed resolution demanded that the KU administration inform current and potential students, faculty and staff of the law’s provisions, in the following forms:

• Official emails to students (and legal guardians for those under 18), faculty and staff describing the law and legislative actions that are underway or pending.

• Notifications on all public doorways.

• Emails and fliers to prospective students and their families “highlighting the presence of guns in dorms.”

• Notifications by all campus tour guides hosting prospective students and their families.

• Notifications to all international students and employees that federal law bars them from carrying guns.

• Notification in all offers of employment, and university job ads.

• Notifications on KU’s home page, ku.edu, “at least half as large as the largest sports banner that has been posted.”

• Weekly ads in The University Daily Kansan near page 1 and measuring at least 3-by-3 inches.

Those who argued for the resolution said it would help prevent KU from trying to hide the fact that guns are allowed on campus from prospective students, parents and faculty hires. People shouldn't learn about it only after moving to campus, they said.

Committee members against it argued that the resolution was overreaching, its demands too specific. Student body vice-president Gabby Naylor, who is from Rhode Island, said anyone coming from out-of-state has a responsibility for knowing laws in their new homes.

“I think that that’s your responsibility to understand,” she said. “I don’t think that the school should have to tell you the law.”

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd

In late January, the university website concealedcarry.ku.edu went live. It’s home to a host of information and additional links about the law, KU’s policy and safety recommendations. As of this week, at least, I did not see a direct link to the site on KU’s online homepage. University Senate president Joe Harrington, professor of English, said he was still waiting to hear whether KU planned to add a link to its home and admissions pages. The webpage for KU’s Office of the Provost — which created the concealed carry page — does contain a direct link.

I do know two more places that will definitely contain notification of the law, because Kansas Board of Regents Policy requires it: housing contracts and tickets for certain events. For state universities to set up metal detectors and prohibit guns at athletic or other large ticketed events, tickets must state that concealed guns won’t be allowed in.

University Senate Executive Committee wasn’t the only place people were talking about campus carry this week. It’s also come up:

• At the Regents meeting: Now, faculty senates at five of the six state universities have passed resolutions opposing campus carry, KU Faculty Senate president Pam Keller, clinical professor of law, told the board during its meeting Wednesday in Topeka. She said the sixth, Pittsburg State, is considering a similar resolution.

• At Budig Hall: About 150 people attended a campus carry informational meeting Wednesday, organized by the Office of the Provost. Questions were asked, answers were given — and not necessarily the answers all attendees wanted to hear. (See related story here.)

• At the statehouse: A Kansas House committee narrowly voted not to advance a bill that would have exempted the University of Kansas hospital complex (not the same as an academic campus, but currently affected by the same law) from the upcoming requirement to allow people to carry concealed firearms. (See related story here.)

Clarification: An earlier version of this post said the proposed notification resolution died in University Senate Executive Committee. What actually got voted down was a motion for the committee to endorse the resolution. It'll be heard by the full Senate anyway, sans the endorsement.


— 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.

Reply 4 comments from Bob Smith Bonnie Uffman John Middleton Thesychophant

Some campus reaction to newly announced KU chancellor search committee members, plus historical context

This week, the Kansas Board of Regents announced the names of the people who will serve on the search committee to find the next University of Kansas chancellor — all 25 of them. (Scroll down to see the full list, if you missed my report Wednesday.)

The individuals in this group are important to the process because they’ll be reviewing applications from chancellor hopefuls, and choosing which to send to the Board of Regents as finalists for the job, in total secrecy. Because the Regents opted for the search to be closed, campus visits and public input won’t be part of the process. Thus, as committee chairman David Dillon recently told me, his goal was for the group to be an “expression of the larger university community.”

How did Dillon do at assembling his committee? And, out of curiosity, how does it compare to the chancellor search committee when Bernadette Gray-Little was hired in 2009?

Here’s what a couple of campus stakeholders said.

KU’s University Senate previously issued a statement requesting that the search process be transparent, which did not happen, and also that the search committee include not just faculty, staff and student representatives but specifically faculty, staff and students elected by their peers to university governance, which did happen.

“I'm thrilled that the Regents chose to include three students, two staffers and two rank-and-file faculty members,” said University Senate president and KU professor of English Joe Harrington, who was one of those named to the committee. “It's important that all of those seven folks were elected to represent their respective constituencies in the senates and not handpicked by the Regents or the KU administration. I feel like the campus community will have a voice in the room, and I appreciate the Regents' responding positively to our request.”

However, compared to the number of KU administrators and broader community members, the rank-and-file campus community is still in the minority on the committee — “and educators are a very small minority indeed,” Harrington said.

“Like many, I am concerned about the marketization and privatization of public education that has picked up speed lately, and I'm apprehensive of the drift in higher education towards what Benjamin Ginsberg dubbed the ‘all-administrative university,’” Harrington said. “But I am confident that we will end up with someone who has been actively engaged in teaching and who has done their homework on KU.”

I also reached out to leaders of KU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group, an Office of the Provost initiative. Do they think this committee is equipped to help pick a chancellor who values diversity and inclusion, which has been a stated priority of most if not all KU bodies and units over the past year or longer? (Note: At least four committee members are racial or ethnic minorities.)

Group co-chairwoman Lisa Wolf-Wendel, KU professor of higher education, said diversity within the committee brings different perspectives but that individual members’ “identities” were ultimately less important than their mindsets.

“It’s impossible to have every experience or every identity represented on the committee. And further, it’s not fair to expect people to be representative of everyone from their backgrounds,” Wolf-Wendel said. “Regardless of the identity of the person who’s hired, it’s very important that the chancellor of the University of Kansas has a strong understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion — and the commitment to help achieve those goals.”

Comparing the new group to the list of KU’s last chancellor search committee members to compare, here are a few observations:

• That committee had 17 members, just one of them a student: the student body president at the time. The new committee has 24 members, including three students, all of whom are elected leaders on the Lawrence or KU Medical Center campuses. Add in chairmen and the committees number 18 and 25.

• The 2009 committee had three members designated as representing teaching faculty, though none was part of university governance.

• Each committee included at least one notable politician. This time it’s U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican who started out at Fort Hays State University and went on to receive his undergraduate and later a law degree from KU. In 2009 it was Dick Bond, former Kansas State Senate president and former chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents.

• There’s a larger medical presence. The 2009 committee had two KU School of Medicine representatives: one professor and one dean. The new committee has four, plus KU Hospital president and CEO Bob Page.

• The 2009 committee had 13 men and five women. The new committee has 11 women and 14 men. (Totals include chairmen.)

• Deanell Reece Tacha, retired federal judge and chair of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees, was on the 2009 committee and is on the new one, too.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little leads part of the procession during KU's 144th commencement ceremony Sunday, May 15, 2016, in Memorial Stadium.

Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little leads part of the procession during KU's 144th commencement ceremony Sunday, May 15, 2016, in Memorial Stadium. by Richard Gwin

KU chancellor search committee members

List and titles provided by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Alumni and foundation representatives:

— Lydia Beebe, Senior Of Counsel in the San Francisco office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and KU Endowment Association Trustee

— Greg Ek, First Vice-President and Wichita Branch Manager for Morgan Stanley, and KU Alumni Association National Board member

— Dave Roland, President of NDC Technologies and KU Alumni Association National Board member

— Deanell Reece Tacha, retired federal judge, United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and Chair of the KU Endowment Association Board of Trustees

— Steve Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Midwest Minerals, Inc. and KU Endowment Association Trustee representing KU Athletics

Student representatives:

— Stephonn Alcorn, a senior from Gardner studying finance and the KU-Lawrence student body president

— Gabby Naylor, a senior from Providence, R.I., majoring in accounting and the KU-Lawrence student body vice president

— Christina Hughey, a third-year medical student at the KU School of Medicine, chair of the Student Governing Council for the medical center campus and that body's incoming president-elect

Faculty, administration and staff representatives:

— Ann Brill, Ph.D., Dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at KU

— Tracie Collins, M.D., chair at the KU School of Medicine in Wichita

— Joseph Harrington, Ph.D., professor in the KU department of English and KU University Senate president

— Roy A. Jensen, M.D., William R. Jewell, M.D. Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor, director of the KU Cancer Center, and director of the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute

— Amalia Monroe-Gulick, associate librarian faculty member with KU Libraries, and KU Faculty Senate president-elect

— Robert D. Simari, M.D., executive dean of the KU School of Medicine

— Rodolfo H. Torres, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for the KU's Office of Research and a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

— Brian Moss, Staff Senate president-elect

— Elizabeth Phillips, president of the KU Staff Senate

Lawrence and Kansas community representatives:

— Willie Amison Jr., Ed.D., former elementary school principal and president of Amison Consulting

— Joan Golden, senior vice president of development for U.S. Bank of Lawrence

— Debbie Nordling, State Farm agent and KU Alumni Association Southwest Kansas chapter co-leader

— U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran

— Bob Page, president and CEO for KU Hospital

Board of Regents representatives:

— David Dillon (committee chairman), retired Chairman and CEO of The Kroger Co.

— Regent Ann Brandau-Murguia (committee vice-chairwoman), executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association

— Blake Flanders, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents


— 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.

Reply 1 comment from Ken Lassman

University Senate at KU opposes campus carry in ‘strongest possible terms’; Regents expected to approve policies Wednesday

Elected representatives of faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas are now formally on the record opposing campus carry. KU’s full University Senate this month approved a resolution, first crafted by the University Senate executive committee, stating that the body opposes “in the strongest possible terms” allowing concealed weapons on the KU campus.

State university campuses currently prohibit guns, but Kansas law requires them to allow lawful concealed carry beginning July 1, 2017. KU and the other universities have been prepping for that date by crafting policies for implementing the new concealed carry law. The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to approve draft policies from KU and the other schools on Wednesday.

Understanding that at this point the Board of Regents and individual universities are not in charge of the law but rather drafting policies to comply with a law that others made, the University Senate’s statement directly addresses the state Legislature. It says:

The University Senate of the University of Kansas is composed of the elected representatives of staff, students and faculty at the University and is charged with acting in behalf of the staff, students, and faculty.

Eighty-two percent of the KU staff, students, and faculty who participated in the January 2016 Docking Institute survey expressed opposition to allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Moreover, current research indicates that the net effect of campus carry on the safety of college students, faculty, and staff is likely to be more death, more nonfatal gunshot wounds, and more threats with a firearm that are traumatizing to victims.

Therefore, the University Senate wishes to express its opposition, in the strongest possible terms, to allowing concealed weapons on the University of Kansas campus.

On behalf of our constituencies, we urge the Kansas State Legislature (1.) to respect local control by continuing the exemption to the Personal and Family Protection Act and (2.) to allow our campus communities to choose whether or not weapons are allowed on our KU campuses.

In true academic fashion, faculty members from the six state universities are already discussing possibilities for studying effects of the law — whether they want it to become reality or not.

The Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents is working on a survey to measure university faculty, staff and students’ anxiety about campus carry, according to a report at last month’s Board of Regents meeting. The idea is to establish a baseline by surveying people before implementation and then again after implementation. The group is also checking with other U.S. campuses with similar laws to see what data they collected before and after implementation.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass.

No guns allowed signs are posted on doors leading into Wescoe Hall on the University of Kansas campus on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Jayhawk Boulevard and Strong Hall are reflected in the glass. by Sara Shepherd


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.

Reply 6 comments from Spencer Bird Rfellows Charles L. Bloss, Jr.

KU administration’s weapons policy committee is officially underway; email set up for comments and questions

The Kansas University administration’s Weapons Policy Advisory Committee is officially formed, has a website and is accepting questions and comments through it, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced this week.

The website is weaponspolicy.ku.edu, and the committee’s email address is weaponspolicy@ku.edu. On the site is a brief description of the newly formed committee and its next steps, a timeline, links to other resources including the Personal and Family Protection Act, which is the reason for all of this in the first place, and links to news articles about campus carry (several of which you avid Journal-World readers have probably already seen).

KU’s five-member Weapons Policy Advisory Committee, convened in February, is made up of chairman Jim Pottorff, university general counsel; the Lawrence and KU Medical Center campus police chiefs; University Senate president and KU faculty member Mike Williams; and KU Medical Center Faculty Assembly Chairwoman Patricia Kluding, according to the chancellor’s Monday message to campus.

That committee is supposed to present Gray-Little with a final universitywide plan — covering all KU campuses across the state — by Sept. 1. The Kansas Board of Regents wants all state universities’ plans by October. (Background: Kansas law says that beginning in July 2017, state universities will no longer be allowed to prohibit concealed guns from their campuses. To comply with the law, the Regents approved amendments to their statewide weapons policy in January. Now state universities must develop their own policies to implement the law on their respective campuses.)

Helping KU’s main committee will be two subcommittees, or “campus implementation committees,” which are still being assembled, the chancellor said. One will determine a campus-specific plan for implementing the law at the Lawrence, Edwards (Overland Park) and Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (Yoder) campuses. The other will do the same for KU Medical Center’s three campuses (Kansas City, Wichita and Salina).

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015. by Sara Shepherd

Gray-Little also took questions about guns Tuesday, during an informal general update and Q&A session with students, faculty and staff at KU Medical Center.

Refusing to comply with the law is not an option, she said. Also out of the question is writing a policy prohibiting guns from all buildings, because universities would have to place adequate security measures at every entrance where they wanted to do that.

One estimate showed it would cost in the neighborhood of $30 million a year to secure all KU entrances statewide, Gray-Little said. “So no, we are not able on a wholesale basis to provide gun detectors and guards at our entrances.”

The two subcommittees will be important, Gray-Little said, because there are a lot of differences in KU’s various campuses. For example, guns are widely used for educational purposes at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, but that campus will need to figure out a way to distinguish between those and personal concealed weapons. At the Lawrence campus, there’s a preschool and students living in dorms, which pose different challenges.

Gray-Little said the committees also will watch for evidence of how campus carry has — or has not — affected safety on campuses in states that already allow it. But so far, she said, “we don’t have anything but our judgments and beliefs.”

• KU Medical Center weapons info session: An informational session — similar to the one University Senate held on the KU Lawrence campus in December — is planned for noon to 1 p.m. March 10 in the School of Nursing auditorium at the KU Medical Center. Kluding said faculty assembly leadership is organizing the session, which is open to all KU Medical Center students, faculty and staff.


— 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.

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Sporting events, high-risk facilities mentioned as likely locations for prohibiting guns at KU; fans may have to go through metal detectors at Jayhawk games

The subject of guns on campus, as it usually does these days, came up in Thursday’s Kansas University Senate meeting. A KU-specific policy for implementing the law is still in infancy and nothing has been decided, but some tidbits of Thursday’s discussion may be of interest to the KU community.

For one, the University Senate’s weapons committee will continue to meet with groups across campus, University Senate President Mike Williams said. He said conversations with KU Athletics leaders indicate KU will at least need to put in place adequate security measures to prohibit guns during games at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium. That raises the possibility that fans will have to go through metal detectors at both Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.

Also, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said areas with sensitive materials are likely candidates for security measures. (She did not specify any locations, but faculty have previously cited concerns over science and engineering labs housing combustible substances.)

“There are places at the campus where, because of the materials there, they’d have to be excluded because an accidental discharge of a weapon would be disastrous,” Gray-Little said.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015. by Sara Shepherd

A committee led by KU administration will develop a policy for allowing concealed carry on campus, which will be required by state law beginning in July 2017. Last month, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a policy requiring each state university to develop a campus-specific plan.

In other University Senate news:

• The KU Staff Senate has created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Staff Senate President Chris Wallace reported. “We’ve come to realize our Senate is not real diverse,” he said, adding that the committee’s goal is outreach to underrepresented groups.

• The University Senate elected a new vice president, graduate student and Student Senate representative Brent Lee. Lee will complete the term of Shegufta Huma, who is not enrolled as a student this semester.

— 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.

Reply 3 comments from Sam Crow Cahal Laura Wilson

State senators introduce bill in attempt to permanently exempt universities from concealed carry law

A group of five democratic state senators — including two from Douglas County — is trying to reverse the portion of a law requiring public colleges to allow concealed carry of guns on their campuses starting in July 2017.

Under current law, the personal and family protection act, postsecondary educational institutions are among a handful of entities allowed a four-year exemption before they must allow guns, like other state and municipal buildings have been required to do for the past few years. That exemption runs out in July 2017. (Sidenote: Other entities with the same four-year exemption are medical care facilities, adult care homes, community mental health centers and indigent health care clinics.)

Senate Bill No. 348, introduced Jan. 21, would scratch colleges from the exemption list and, instead, state that the law does not apply at all to postsecondary educational institution buildings, or buildings leased by them. (Another note: Buildings on the grounds of the Kansas state school for the deaf or the Kansas state school for the blind are currently the only place the concealed carry law doesn’t apply, according to the legislation.)

The bill was referred Friday to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. You can track its progress via kslegislature.org.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015. by Sara Shepherd

The bill was introduced by senators Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan; Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita; Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence; Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City; Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City.

Holland said universities should be able to decide whether they want to prohibit guns and not have that decision “forced upon them” by the state.

“Honestly, the schools won’t have enough money to put the proper security machines in place to rectify if they want to keep guns off campus,” he said. “Once again the state has overreached.”

Francisco said she agreed prohibiting weapons should be an institutional decision. She added that since only people 21 and older are allowed by law to carry concealed, practically half the people on college campuses would not be allowed to, which she called inconsistent and “disconcerting.”

I’ve heard a representative may be planning to introduce a related measure in the House. I’ll try to do a follow up report if and when that happens. (See update, below.)

The Kansas Board of Regents and state university administrators — at least at Kansas University — in the meantime aren’t counting on any changes in the law and continue to plan for the arrival of guns on campus beginning in July 2017. The Regents last week passed a statewide policy directing individual schools to create their own, more specific policies, about how the law will be implemented on their respective campuses. Read more about what the Regents policy says here.

So if the law that means guns will come to campus has been around a couple of years already, why are constituents on campus and legislators in Topeka just now speaking out against it?

“When it was four years from now, people could say, ‘Oh I’m going to deal with that later,’” Francisco said. “I think now there are many discussions about how could we actually address this.”

UPDATE (Thursday):

Rep. Barbara Ballard, (D) Lawrence, said she introduced a nearly identical bill in the House Standing Committee on Appropriations last week. She said she’s hopeful that by introducing the bill in committee, it will have a “stronger chance of going somewhere.”

Ballard’s bill, House Bill 2526, also would move postsecondary institutions off the four-year exemption list and onto the list of entities to which the concealed carry law does not apply, she said.

“Concealed carry and education don’t go together,” she said. Ballard added that, under current law, if universities want to prohibit it in any buildings after July 2017 their only option is to put in security measures. “We don’t have that kind of money, and higher ed doesn’t have that kind of money.”

Ballard was inspired by a statewide poll that she said showed 82 percent of Kansans don’t support campus concealed carry, as well as university students and faculty members speaking out against it. When the initial legislation was passed several years ago, 2017 seemed far away, she said. “The closer we get to it then the students on our campus and the students on other campuses start getting involved.”

— 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.

Reply 13 comments from Keith Strawder John Middleton Emily Lange Steve Bunch Bob Smith Angel Gillaspie Bob Summers Sarah Bloxsom Gary Denning Richard Aronoff and 1 others

KU v. K-State court disagreement inspires Board of Regents to propose ‘Notice of Litigation Policy’

If one state university is going to sue another state university, the Kansas Board of Regents at least wants to know about it first. Same goes for when a university plans to file a brief opposing another university in a court case.

That’s the gist of a proposed “Notice of Litigation Policy” the Regents are scheduled to discuss at their monthly meeting Wednesday. According to a Regents memo, it falls under a board goal of addressing inconsistencies in the way state universities handle Title IX investigations and proceedings. (Reminder: Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in education, and it requires universities to investigate and adjudicate cases of sexual harassment, sexual violence and intimate partner violence that create a hostile environment for a student on campus.)

UPDATE: The Board of Regents approved the policy on Wednesday as written with no discussion.

A KU-versus-K-State situation inspired the proposed Regents policy.

It’s the case of Navid Yeasin v. KU. KU expelled Yeasin in 2013 when he tweeted a series of derogatory comments about an ex-girlfriend (also a KU student) after the university ordered him not to contact her. He sued KU in 2014.

KU argued that it acted according to its responsibility to provide a secure learning environment for its students, and that Yeasin’s off-campus actions created a hostile environment on campus for the woman.

Douglas County District Court Judge Robert Fairchild ruled KU did not have jurisdiction to expel Yeasin because there was no evidence that the incidents leading to his expulsion occurred on campus. In September 2015 the Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, because KU’s Student Code didn’t give the university authority to act when the misconduct occurred outside its campus or at university sponsored or supervised events. (Note: After being sued, KU updated the Student Code in November 2014 to clarify that the university does have off-campus jurisdiction in Title IX cases.)

According to the Regents memo, here’s how K-State got involved:

“They were interested in the case primarily because they had made the determination that Title IX did not require the University to investigate and hear student complaints of sexual harassment when the harassing activity did not occur on campus or at a campus sponsored event. Their concern was heightened when the case was appealed to the Court of Appeals, the ruling of which could have impacted all the universities by the Court’s interpretation of Title IX responsibilities. Though the attorneys for both institutions had discussed the situation and attempted to come to terms, they were unsuccessful in reaching a mutual understanding of the law and/or the practical effects of interpreting the law in various ways. Accordingly, Kansas State University filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals taking a position contrary to that of the University of Kansas.”

And the kicker, according to the Regents memo: “Board members became aware of the controversy only when it was reported in the news.”

When it comes to Title IX, “having state universities disagree about the parameters of this federal law was unacceptable,” according to the Regents memo. The proposed notice of litigation policy is envisioned as one step in studying current campus Title IX practices and policies, and ultimately developing a board policy to add uniformity.

— 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.

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

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.

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

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

• 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.

Reply 2 comments from Robert Lutz Godsnewine

Preliminary results are in from statewide student gun survey

In November, students at state universities across Kansas were invited to take an online survey about concealed carry on campus. More than 20,500 students took the survey and — this may surprise many — they appear to be roughly split on some campuses over whether they’re OK with campus concealed carry.

That’s according to Kansas University Student Body President Jessie Pringle, who shared some preliminary results of the survey with the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday. Pringle is chairwoman of the Regents Students’ Advisory Committee.

The Students’ Advisory Committee will prepare a formal executive summary and present that along with complete results from the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, which helped the group prepare the survey, after the first of the year, Pringle said. That report is expected to have more details about sample size and other data.

Here are a few more stats — for all universities — from the preliminary results:

• 55 percent of students want to amend the law so that guns are not allowed on campus; 14 percent want to keep the current law but extend the exemption past 2017 so that universities could continue prohibiting guns; 31 percent want to keep the current law and allow the exemption to expire.

• In general, students were more OK with faculty and staff being allowed to carry concealed on campus than they were with fellow students or visitors carrying guns.

• 19 percent of students said they’d be willing to pay an additional fee to help provide adequate security measures for buildings; 38 percent said they wouldn’t be willing; and 38 percent said it depends on the amount.

• 42 percent said allowing campus concealed carry would make them less likely to attend their university; 42 percent said it would not affect their decision; and 16 percent would be more likely to attend.

• Based on the school-by-school breakdown of responses, KU and KU Medical Center are generally the most against guns on campus, while Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State were generally the most accepting. (For example, only 20 percent of KU students said they support campus concealed carry. Fort Hays had 45 percent supporting, and Pittsburg had 44 percent.)

A similar survey of university faculty and staff is still open.

As of Wednesday morning that survey had garnered 10,000 responses, an overall response rate of 47 percent, according to Lorie Cook-Benjamin, Fort Hays State University associate professor and chairwoman of the Regents Council of Faculty Senate Presidents. That survey went live Dec. 3, and faculty and staff will be able to take it until Jan. 4, Cook-Benjamin said.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015.

No guns signs are posted on a side door of KU's Art and Design Building, as well as other buildings on campus, pictured in May 2015. by Sara Shepherd

— Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.

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