Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
The Kansas Board of Regents recently passed a new Social Media Policy at the Dec. 18-19 meeting. If you have not yet read the policy, I urge you to do so.
This new policy has garnered national attention for Kansas higher education and has resulted in numerous negative editorials in national higher education circles. As presently written, many members of the K-State family feel the policy seriously curtails both academic freedom and free speech.
As president of Kansas State University, I strongly believe we must do all we can to preserve both academic freedom and the ability of our faculty, staff, and students to respectfully express themselves through the many forms of communication available in today’s world. One of the fundamental founding principles of higher education in our country is the ability for faculty to speak out on controversial issues without fear of retribution. This principle must be preserved.
When the Kansas Board of Regents voted this policy into place, they made it clear we need to continue a broad-based conversation on social media with all constituent groups. It is my intention to work closely with KU Chancellor Gray-Little and the other presidents in collaboration with the Kansas Board of Regents on modification of the policy to one that is acceptable to all in the Kansas higher education community. This will require continued dialog among the different constituent groups and a willingness by all parties to be patient as everyone has an opportunity to present alternative views.
Through all of this, it will be important for us to remember that the Board of Regents is part of the Kansas higher education family. Disagreements are part of almost any family, but at the end of the day we always find ways to resolve our differences.
I want to thank the many of you who reached out to me via email, Facebook, and Twitter over the last few days. I appreciate your passion and confidence that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution for all parties. As always, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>I welcome your views and opinions on this new social media policy via email, or feel free to send comments directly to the Kansas Board of Regents.
I hope that each of you have some time for relaxation and reflection over the holidays!