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Kansas Regents Will Reconsider Controversial Social-Media Policy

The Kansas Board of Regents on Tuesday announced that it planned to reconsider a controversial social-media policy it adopted about two weeks ago that has angered many faculty leaders.

The policy, approved by the board on December 18, gives chief executives of the state’s public colleges the authority to fire faculty members and employees for online statements that are deemed to be improper.

The board’s chairman, Fred Logan, said at the time of the policy’s adoption that it had been inspired by the uproar over a University of Kansas journalism professor who was placed on leave after posting a controversial tweet about the National Rifle Association. The professor has since returned to work, but only on administrative duties.

The board’s decision to adopt the policy then ignited a controversy of its own. The American Association of University Professors called the policy “a gross violation of the fundamental principles of academic freedom.”

The board said in a news release that, because of those concerns, Mr. Logan had asked the board’s chairman “to work with the university presidents and chancellor to form a work group of representatives from each state-university campus to review the policy.”

Mr. Logan asked that the group’s recommendations for changing the policy be presented by April.

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