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Regent: Suspension unlikely for social media rule

Published on -1/16/2014, 10:22 AM

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Board of Regents is unlikely to suspend a new policy that allows state university administrators to discipline or even fire employees who they believe have improperly used social media, the board chairman said.

The board on Wednesday received a resolution signed by the faculty senate presidents of each state university asking that the policy be suspended while a group studies its implications.

The policy was approved in December after a University of Kansas professor posted strong criticism of the National Rifle Association on his Twitter page.

Opponents say the policy is too vague and restricts university employees' free speech rights.

Amid the criticism, the regents decided to form a group of university representatives to review the policy. The group is expected to make its recommendations by April.

"I do not anticipate that the board will suspend the policy," Board Chairman Fred Logan said, adding that the board had passed the policy "in good faith."

Sheryl Lidzy, an associate professor at Emporia State University, presented the resolution to the board on behalf of the Council of Faculty Senate Presidents.

"A suspension of this policy would allow for a more proactive focus on timely concerns, and minimize related distractions," the resolution stated.

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