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Faculty Senate discusses hot topics

Faculty Senate discusses hot topics

Rocky Robinson

David Cordle (left), provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, and Alfredo Montalvo, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and crime and delinquency studies, listen to discuss hiring locally in last Tuesdays faculty senate meeting. Cordle told the senate that living locally should be a major factor in determining new hires.

The social media policy was a hot button issue at yesterday’s faculty senate meeting. Special guest Max McCoy, associate professor of journalism and adviser of The Bulletin, explained the damaging effects of the social media policy.

“This is not just having an effect on faculty members and staff, but students,” McCoy said. “I think this diminishes free exchange and the value of ideas in a university setting.”

Sheryl Lidzy, associate professor of communication and Faculty Senate president, spoke out about her meeting with the Kansas Board of Directors concerning amendments to the social media policy.

“I beseeched them to reconsider their position and asked them to suspend the social media policy until the work group has completed their effort,” Lidzy said.

Each KBOR member received similar claims from different representative bodies from around the state, including the University of Kansas and Kansas State University faculty senates. Lidzy presented feedback from KBOR, who said there was “no proof that the policy infringes on freedom of speech or inflicts with the essential principals of academic freedom.”

“You (Lidzy) sugarcoated that,” said Rob Catlett, director of the Center for Economic Education and professor of economics. “I was there and two of the regents even said they were offended that we had passed those resolutions and they took it out on Sheryl (Lidzy) in what I would consider was an abusive fashion.”

Along with the social media policy, the senate also discussed the “rumors” that all new faculties are required to live in the Emporia area.

“It is not just a rumor,” said David Cordle, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “We have asked the deans within their colleges to work with the folks that are on search committees to do everything they can to hire people that are going to be living locally.”

Cordle continued to explain that it is not a policy but the university should make it a priority that faculty members live locally, an issue that was brought to the vice presidents by President Michael Shonrock.

“The concern that Michael keeps getting, especially concerned with administrative folks, is what is wrong with Emporia,” Cordle said. “He hears it to some extent among the faculty but it is more of an issue among the community because that is more visible to them.”

The meeting closed with the discussion of teacher’s intellectual property rights on their summer courses but no final action was taken. Lidzy said their next meeting would have a continuation of the social media policy.

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