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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Social Media

I am writing here only as an individual faculty member and private citizen here, not in my capacity as President-Elect of the University Senate, nor as a member of the Faculty Senate or University Senate Executive committees. All opinions expressed here are personal opinions and do not represent the views of any of these organizations, nor of the University of Kansas itself. Many faculty members do, in fact, share my opinions, but I am not speaking for any of them in this particular instance.

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:
[...]

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.
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.

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.

5 comments:

Vance Maverick said...

What brings this up freshly? Looks like it was discussed in December....is there a vote?

Jonathan said...

They rejected a fac / staff woking group recommendation. It is the hot button issue again.

Jonathan said...

Working

Jonathan said...

I have attended hours of meetings about this from Thursday to Tuesday.

profacero said...

Fight on. Here they were trying to get some standard questions on loyalty into job interviews, by the way -- they really want to quash any voicing of opinion of any kind and they believe they have the right; they think these are corporations and they are the owners, it is beyond ridiculous.