The KBOR (Kansas Board of Regents) has proposed revisions of its social media policy. I am troubled by some phrases that persist from older versions of the policy.
“Improper use of social media” means making a communication through social media that:What I find troubling, specifically, is the broadness of phrases like: the best interests of the university; discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers; the regular operation of the university; close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary; the university’s ability to efficiently provide services.
when made pursuant to (i.e. in furtherance of) the employee’s official duties, is contrary to the best interests of the university;
subject to the balancing analysis required by the following paragraph, impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers, has a detrimental impact on close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary, impedes the performance of the speaker’s official duties, interferes with the regular operation of the university, or otherwise adversely affects the university’s ability to efficiently provide services.
If a tweet or blog post did not meet with the agreement of my colleagues, that could damage "harmony among co-workers," for example. Does this language imply that I owe a chair or a dean or a chancellor or provost "personal loyalty"? Some of this verbiage is directly out of case law that applies to Police Depts. and other kinds of govt. bodies that are different from Research Institutions, one would hope.