Unfettered Academic Speech: Not in Kansas Anymore

New prohibitions in that state, and a high-profile clash in Colorado, raise fears for academic freedom

Unfettered Academic Speech: Not In Kansas Anymore 1

U. of Kansas

The Kansas board's chairman has said the regents felt a need for a social-media policy after the controversy over an anti-NRA tweet posted by a journalism professor at the U. of Kansas. Above, the university's Stauffer-Flint Hall, which houses the journalism program.

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close Unfettered Academic Speech: Not In Kansas Anymore 1

U. of Kansas

The Kansas board's chairman has said the regents felt a need for a social-media policy after the controversy over an anti-NRA tweet posted by a journalism professor at the U. of Kansas. Above, the university's Stauffer-Flint Hall, which houses the journalism program.

Having witnessed social media's potential to carry professors' statements far and wide, higher-education officials in Colorado and Kansas recently have moved to limit what messages take such a journey. They have argued that they are simply trying to protect their institutions, but their actions have raised the question of whether risk-averse definitions of academic freedom really offer much freedom at all.

The broadest, and most striking, effort to limit social media came at the hands