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Trustees here this week enacted two changes aimed at accomodating township zonings increased workload.

Liberty approved the hire of Amanda Cramer, of Oxford, as full-time code enforcement officer at $17 per hour effective May 27 and contingent upon successful completion of a background check, physical and drug testing.

Cramer, who was one of 19 to apply for the position, earned a bachelors degree of urban planning from University of Cincinnati.

Under supervision of the director of planning and zoning and the senior planner, the code enforcement officer conducts field inspections of new and existing construction and properties to ensure compliance with the townships zoning resolution and property maintenance code.

Liberty Twp. employed a code enforcement officer from December 2009 to November 2010, but that employee left to become the director of planning and zoning for a city in northeast Ohio, according to township officials.

The township decided not to replace him immediately and redistributed his workload to both Jonathan West, Liberty Twp.s director of planning and zoning, and Andrew Meyer, its senior planner, according to Caroline McKinney, the townships spokeswoman.

With the economy picking back up and our permit activity increasing along with the significant projects in Liberty Township requiring more staff resources, the workload is such that we need a third full-time person in the planning and zoning department to assist us, McKinney said.

Township trustees also voted May 20 to make earlier the submittal deadline for Liberty Twp. Zoning Commission cases for the remainder of the year. For each zoning case, the township had required submittal three Fridays before each commission meeting to allow for public notice two Thursdays in advance of each meeting. That now moves to four Fridays in advance.

We requested the change because of the number of cases and the cases always coming in on the Friday deadline, said Jonathan West, the townships director of planning and zoning. We wanted the extra week to review, receive revisions and coordinate with other agencies as needed.

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Liberty Twp. hires code enforcement officer

hide captionThe Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication wants the Kansas Board of Regents to reverse the social media policy it finalized earlier this month.

The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication wants the Kansas Board of Regents to reverse the social media policy it finalized earlier this month.

The clash between academic freedom and state oversight in Kansas last week continues, as the state Board of Regents revised its policy on what faculty and staff at the state’s colleges and universities can post on social media.

Following harsh criticism of a policy adopted last year that severely restricted social media postings by faculty, the Board added language that is supportive of free speech and academic freedom. But it still allows administrators to suspend and fire faculty members or staffers for social media posts that are “contrary to the best interests of the employer.”

Critics say the policy remains among the most restrictive in the nation and that despite the changes it is a severe restriction on free speech for educators.

“The exercise of free speech is now potentially a firing offense at colleges and universities in Kansas,” the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication writes in a statement.

The Board of Regents first adopted its social media policy last year, in response to a tweet made by an associate journalism professor at the University of Kansas.

The tweet by David Guth criticized the National Rifle Association in relation to the September 2013 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Guth tweeted: “blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters.”

The policy adopted in December was denounced from many sides, with many critics saying it gave administrators too much latitude to fire or discipline employees for what they said on social media.

Among the groups speaking out was The American Association of University Professors which argued that some portions of the policy could lead to professors being fired simply for disagreeing with university policies or their colleagues online.

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Educators Not Satisfied With Revised Kansas Social Media Policy

T-EBU IP Course 14: Tax Havens and the Offshore… Mihai-Bogdan Afrsinei, PhD Candidate
Tax Havens and the Offshore Megatrend in the Context of Financial Globalization T-EBU Lecturer Mihai-Bogdan Afrsinei, PhD Candidate (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania) ….Tax…


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T-EBU IP Course 14: Tax Havens and the Offshore… Mihai-Bogdan Afrsinei, PhD Candidate – Video

2014 Liberty High School Graduation
Live broadcast of the 2014 Liberty High School graduation ceremony. (Liberty University Vines Center)

By: Ryan Edwards

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2014 Liberty High School Graduation – Video

May 232014

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 8:55p.m. Updated 9 hours ago

From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Basic to their agenda are the tools of indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization.

Once they gain power, as leftists have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

Back in 1964, it was Mario Savio, a campus leftist, who led the free speech movement at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, a movement that played a vital role in placing American universities center stage in the flow of political ideas, no matter how controversial, unpatriotic and vulgar.

The free speech movement gave birth to the hippie movement of the ’60s and ’70s. The longhair, unkempt hippies of that era have grown up and now often find themselves being college professors, deans, provosts and presidents. Their intolerance of free speech and other ideas has become policy and practice on many college campuses.

Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, updates us on the campus attack on free speech and different ideas in his article titled Obama Unleashes the Left: How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left (

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the nation’s most accomplished women, graciously withdrew as Rutgers University’s commencement speaker after two months of campus protests about her role in the Iraq War. Some students and professors said, War criminals shouldn’t be honored. One wonders whether these students would similarly protest Hillary Clinton, who, as senator, voted for the invasion of Iraq.

Brandeis University officials were intimidated into rescinding their invitation to Somali writer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school’s core values. Brandeis decided that allowing her to speak would be hurtful to Muslim students. I take it that Brandeis students and officials would see criticism of deadly Islamist terrorist gang Boko Haram’s kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls, some of whom have been sold off as brides, as unacceptable and violative of the university’s core values.

Earlier this year, faculty and students held a meeting at Vassar College to discuss a particularly bitter internal battle over the school’s movement to boycott Israel. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue would not be guided by cardboard notions of civility. That professor might share the vision of Adolf Hitler’s brown-shirted thugs of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party in their effort to crush dissent.

Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation.

Americas budding tyrants

May 222014

Condoleeze Rice, Robert Bigeneau and Christine Lagarde all withdrew from giving the commencement speech at three highly regarded universities. Student protests led to their decision not to appear on campus. These are three highly respected people who have given their views across America and the world.

What a setback to have free speech universities cave in to a few protesters that didn’t approve of something these speakers said or did in the past. Free speech created a civil rights revolution, it ended the Vietnam War and it is the one thing more than any other factor that determines real democracy. God help us if we only want views that preserve the status quo.

A democracy encourages diverse views and a genuine exchange of ideas. These speakers who felt they had to withdraw so the protests did not distract from the honoring of students are truly acting at a high ethical level, but how embarrassing to the university and all Americans who value speech that opposes their thinking.

The best way to stop creative change and encourage conformity is to limit new ideas and limit free speech zones. We have enough problems with surveillance in this country without adding to the problem by driving away smart, accomplished people from free expression of thought. What a step backwards. Keep in mind, there was a time when many universities did not want Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at their institutions of higher learning. Enough said.

Darrel Collins,

La Crescent

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Colleges and free speech

Archaeologists working on two small Caribbean islands have found artifacts intentionally buried beneath two 18th-century plantation houses. They appear to have been placed there for their spiritual power, protecting the inhabitants against harm, said John Chenoweth, a professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, in an interview with Live Science. The discoveries were made recently in the …

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Spiritual Power? 18th-Century Artifacts Unearthed in Caribbean

Kits with lifesaving aids such as ring buoys and youth life jackets will appear at 10 public beaches along Lake Michigan in an effort to prevent drowning due to dangerous currents, officials announced Monday.

Michigan Sea Grant said the kits will be installed this summer. Additional support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to put similar equipment on beaches in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania during the next two years.

A database assembled by Michigan Sea Grant and the National Weather Service shows 138 swimmers drowned in the Great Lakes in the past 12 years including 69 in Michigan in incidents blamed at least in part on rip currents.

Michigans Great Lakes coasts, and the shore of Lake Michigan in particular, have become the epicenter of drowning-related deaths in the Great Lakes region, said Elizabeth LaPorte, Michigan Sea Grants communications and education services director.

Dangerous currents occur throughout the Great Lakes and are common along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Rip currents are strong, narrow currents that move away from the shore. Trying to swim against a rip current can quickly lead to exhaustion.

Many Great Lakes beaches dont have trained lifeguards on duty. Each of the beach safety kits will contain a ring buoy, a throw bag and U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for youths. Cards encouraging people to closely watch children at the beach also will be distributed.

We want people to enjoy the Great Lakes and to be safe at the beach, and this outreach effort will help raise awareness, said Michigan Sea Grant Director Jim Diana, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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Beaches along Great Lakes to get lifesaving aids

Dogs arent usually associated with clean beaches.

But new research has recognized border collies for their ability to chase off gulls that foul beach water and sand with their droppings.

The experiment was launched two years ago by researchers at Central Michigan University who were asked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to find new ways to control a surging population of gulls that gather on the shores of the Great Lakes.

Not only do the birds swoop down to snatch sandwiches from picnickers and annoy beach-goers, they also poop right where people swim. That makes them a major source of E. coli, bacteria health officials test for as an indicator of pathogens that can make swimmers sick. When elevated levels are detected, authorities post warnings or close beaches.

Elizabeth Alm, a microbiologist at Central Michigan University who led the research, said a review of the literature on the subject found a variety of bird-exclusion techniques using wires, strobe lights, lasers and pyrotechnics — but few that would be suitable for a public beach.

Enter the border collie.

She and other researchers at the university were familiar with the breeds reputation for intelligence, agility and hard work. So they decided to audition them. Could they use their keen herding abilities and intense gazes toscare off the offending gulls and lower bacteria levels at the beach?

To find out, the researchers leased two trained border collies that had previously been used by the U.S. Air Force to keep geese off runways.

During the summers of 2012 and 2013, scientists assigned each dog to patrol a stretch of public beach on Lake Michigan, leaving two other nearby sections of beach dog-free as a control.

The researchers counted gulls and measured bacteria levels to conclude that border collies were highly effective at warding off gulls from beaches. Samples showed the beaches patrolled by a border collie had significantly lower counts of bacteria than those without dogs.

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Scientists enlist border collies to chase off beach-polluting gulls

Fifty years ago this fall, the Free Speech Movement was born at the University of California-Berkeley. Rebelling against strict rules barring political speech on campus, thousands of students began a series of protests. In December 1964, after more than 700 students were arrested during an occupation of the administration building, there was a turning point. The UC Berkeley Academic Senate lopsidedly endorsed the argument that students speech rights should be no different on or off campus.

There would be years more squabbling about what was allowed at Berkeley. But gradually the concept of campus as a place where vigorous debate and dissent was not just accepted but championed took hold at American universities.

Now we are witnessing a growing phenomenon in which campus protests are used to try to prevent debate. Across the nation, commencement speakers have been uninvited or have backed away from their commitments after facing intense criticism from groups of students and some professors.

The most notable example came at Rutgers, where former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was deemed non grata over the Bush administrations use of torture and its launching of the Iraq War.

This reduces the debate over national security to a cartoon. Hillary Clinton was among the Senate Democrats who backed the war. And President Barack Obama may have banned enhanced interrogations, but hes ramped up a drone killing program that has sparked international anger. Is assassination less morally objectionable than torture?

But Rutgers students dont have to worry about any such complexity. Theyve got their villain.

The villain at Haverford College was former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, whom students said should not be allowed to speak until he apologized (yet again) for how he responded to a campus Occupy protest in 2011 and supported reparations for those protesters. Birgeneau declined their demands but chose not speak.

Thankfully, another speaker at Haverfords weekend ceremonies pointed out the arrogance of the students. They should have encouraged him to come and engage in a genuine discussion, not to come, tail between his legs, to respond to an indictment that a self-chosen jury had reached without hearing counterarguments, said former Princeton President William G. Bowen.

Fifty years ago, this goal of genuine discussion was what led Berkeley students to demand the right to freely discuss racial discrimination, the growing U.S. involvement in Vietnam and more. Now their figurative grandchildren have a different point of view: Every controversial question has only one answer. You have absolutely nothing to learn from people whose opinions you dislike, is the formulation offered by Yale Law School professor Stephen E. Carter.

This is not progress.

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Sad anniversary for Free Speech Movement

Citizen Participation – Suspension of UCity Firefighters also Free Speech issue
The the May 12, 2014 University City Council Meeting, this citizen spoke about her concern that while she didn't support the firefighters' endorsed candidate…

By: University City Voices

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Citizen Participation – Suspension of UCity Firefighters also Free Speech issue – Video

Wearing a newly bestowed nursing pin beneath a black robe, Dallas Rose Lawry told her fellow CSU Channel Islands graduates Saturday that she would be relying on them in the future.

The Class of 2014s Spanish majors will help her bridge the language-divide with many patients, said Lawry, the student speaker at the Camarillo universitys morning graduation ceremony. Her fellow business and political science majors will be the driving force behind healthcares future, while the biotechnologists will advance medicine.

At CSU Channel Islands, we have been taught to help each other and thrive off of our differences, said Lawry, 21, a Ventura native who plans to become an oncology nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner.

More than 1,600 Channel Islands students received degrees this year. Of those, about 1,225 participated in commencement Saturday on the south lawn of the campus. They were divided among morning and afternoon ceremonies, based on their majors.

The lingering heat wave was addressed with water bottles tucked under every graduates chair and permission given to unzip their black robes. By the end of the mornings two-hour program, faces were flushed and many robes were completely off.

We definitely had to take the heat into account during preparations, said Nancy Gill, spokeswoman for the university.

The 9 a.m. ceremony included the first graduates of satellite programs in Santa Barbara, including the first graduating nursing class from a partnership between CSU Channel Islands and Cottage Health System. The afternoon session began at 3 p.m.

The universitys focus on international studies was a celebrated theme this year, Gill said.

Sneha Venkatraman, a masters degree student from Mumbai, India, sang the national anthems roller-coaster melody and the schools alma mater. Spanish majors Edwin Mancilla of Santa Paula and Melynda Atkins of Newbury Park gave welcome speeches in Spanish and French a tradition of languages reflecting the worldly personality of Californias youngest university, Gill said.

Photo by Carmen Smyth, Ventura County Star

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CSU Channel Islands graduates plan to be force of future [Photo gallery]

UNCASVILLE, Conn. Tina Charles made herself right at home in her first game back in Connecticut.

Cappie Pondexter scored 17 points and Charles added nine points and nine rebounds to help the Liberty rout the Sun 75-54 on Friday night in the opener for both teams.

Charles played for two national championship teams at the University of Connecticut and spent her first four WNBA seasons with the Sun.

It was a great collective win, Charles said. You dont see it a lot where you have a game where all 11 players can play.

Charles told the Sun this winter that she wanted to return home to her native New York, so they traded her on draft night in return for second-year center Kelsey Bone, forward Alyssa Thomas, the fourth-overall pick in the draft, and the Libertys 2015 first-round pick.

Its kind of eerie, Charles said. Youre used to being in the home locker (room). Im not used to being in the (Mohegan Sun) hotel. Little things like that. Its something to get used to.

Rookie Anna Cruz had 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals for the Liberty, and DeLisa Milton-Jones added 10 points and six rebounds.

Former Stanford star Chiney Ogwumike, the first overall pick in the April draft, had 13 points and five rebounds for the Sun. Alex Bentley, with 10 points, was the only other Connecticut player in double figures. The Liberty shot 43.9 percent to only 30 percent for the Sun.

The Liberty looked far more cohesive than Connecticut, which has seven new players on its 12-man roster. It had just 12 assists on 70 shots.

We came out and laid an egg, Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. No doubt about it. We didnt have a good showing tonight, and I know theyre disappointed about it.

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Liberty eclipse Sun in season opener

Advancing Toward Multiple Sclerosis Therapies Using Stem Cells
For more info about the California stem cell agency's MS research funding, visit our fact sheet: Dr. Tom Lane of the University of Utah (formerly a CIRM grantee at UC…

By: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

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Advancing Toward Multiple Sclerosis Therapies Using Stem Cells – Video

First Amendment Lawsuit Filed Against UGA
Attorney Page Pate discusses the merits of a constitutional challenge to the University of Georgia's free speech policies with Brenda Wood on 11Alive News.

By: Page Pate

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First Amendment Lawsuit Filed Against UGA – Video

May 162014

The New Libertarianism: Anarcho-Capitalism. By J. Michael Oliver, CreateSpace, 2013. 188 pp.

J. Michael Oliver tells us that this remarkable book began as an academic thesis written in 1972 and submitted the next year for a graduate degree at the University of South Carolina. The book is much more than an academic thesis, though; it is a distinguished addition to libertarian thought.

Olivers principal contribution arises from his reaction to two intellectual movements. Like many in the 1960s and 70s, he was attracted to the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. Together with several others in the Objectivist movement, though, Oliver disagreed with the political conclusions that Rand and her inner circle drew from her philosophy. Some students of the philosophy concluded that Rand and the orthodox Objectivists had failed to develop a political theory that followed from the more basic principles of Objectivism. It was at that time that Rands advocacy of limited government began to come under attack from a growing number of deviant objectivists. The libertarian-objectivists … declared that government, limited or otherwise, is without justification, and that the only social system consistent with mans nature is a non-state, market society, or anarcho-capitalism.

To claim that Rand misconceived the implications of her own philosophy is a daring thesis, but Oliver makes a good case for it. After a succinct account of Objectivist metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of volition, Oliver turns to ethics. Here one feature stands to the fore. Objectivist ethics, as the name suggests, holds that the requirements for human flourishing are objective matters of fact: Objectivists deny that there is any justification for the belief that ethics and values are beyond the realm of fact and reason. Man is, after all, a living being with a particular identity and particular requirements for his life. It is not the case that any actions will sustain his life; only those actions which are consonant with mans well-being will sustain him. Man cannot choose his values at random without reference to himself and still hope to live. This concept applies to an individual man as well as a human society (composed of individuals). Objective values follow from mans identity.

If there are objective requirements for your survival, that is going to be a matter of considerable interest to you; but is that the sum and substance of ethics? This is not the place to examine this question, but, at any rate, one of the arguments Rand used to support her egoist ethics does not succeed. Rand stated the argument in this way: Try to imagine an immortal, indestructible robot, an entity which moves and acts, but cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be damaged, injured, or destroyed. Such an entity would not be able to have any values; it would have nothing to gain or lose; it could not regard anything as for it or against it, as serving or threatening its value, as fulfilling or frustrating its interests. It could have no interests and no goals.

Why is the indestructible robot unable to have values? The answer, according to Rand, is that because the robot cannot be destroyed or damaged, nothing can matter to it. But why does the robots invulnerability imply that nothing matters to it? The answer is that because the purpose of values is to promote ones own survival, indestructibility removes the point of values. If nothing can kill or injure it, it doesnt need to do anything to prevent being killed or injured.

But this isnt an argument at all for ethical egoism: Rands conclusion follows only if one already accepts that the purpose of values is to secure ones own survival. Suppose the robot is altruistic: why would its own invulnerability prevent it from valuing the welfare of others? After all, even Rand doesnt claim that altruism is impossible: she just thinks it is mistaken.

But this is by the way. Much more important for our purposes are the political conclusions Oliver draws from Objectivist ethics. He begins with something Rand herself accepted. Man is a being of choice. Those essential actions, both physical and cognitive, which he must undertake to maintain his being are subject to his volition. Since his life depends upon his capacity to choose, it follows that his life requires the freedom to choose. … Given that life is the standard of value, it is right that man be free to exercise his choice. The principle of rights as understood by the new libertarians is merely a statement of the fact that if man is to maintain life on the level which his nature permits, then men (in human society) must refrain from violating one anothers freedom.

To protect these rights, Rand thought it necessary to have a limited government, and here is where Oliver diverges from his philosophical mentor. A regime of rights, along the lines Rand sets out, does not at all require an agency, however limited, holding a monopoly on the permissible use of force. Such an agency of necessity violates the very rights Rand advocated. Government, being a coercive monopoly, must prohibit its citizens through the threat of force, from engaging the services of any alternative institution …

Government then necessarily violates rights; and furthermore, a limited government cannot for long remain limited. The new libertarian concludes that the internal checks and balances on governmental power and the alleged mechanisms for the defense of minorities are … flimsy constructs. … Genuine competition, whether from another coercive agency of from a non-coercive business, can serve as the only real limit on State power, and it does so precisely by depriving government of its status as a government. Logically, then, if government exists, it is unlimited and self-determining.

Originally posted here:
Anarcho-Capitalists Against Ayn Rand

University Hospital, Boston

IT OUGHT TO be raining, thought Luke Abramson. It ought to be gray and miserable, with a lousy cold rain pelting down.

Instead, the hospital room was bright, with mid-December sunshine slanting through the windows. In the bed lay eight-year-old Angela, Lukes granddaughter, frail and wasting, her eyes closed, her thinned blond hair spread across the pillow. Angelas parents, Lukes only daughter and his son-in-law, stood on the other side of the bed, together with Angelas attending physician. Luke stood alone.

Hed been playing tennis in the universitys indoor court when the phone call from the hospital came. Or, rather, doggedly going through the motions of playing tennis. Nearly seventy-five, even doubles was getting beyond him. Although the younger men tried to take it easy on him, more than once Luke had gloomily suggested they start playing triples.

And then came the phone call. Angie was terminal. He had rushed to the hospital, bundling his bulky parka over his tennis shorts and T-shirt.

Then theres nothing? Lukes daughter, Lenore, couldnt finish the sentence. Her voice choked in sobs.

Norrie, Luke called to her silently, dont cry. Ill help you. I can cure Angie, I know I can. But he couldnt speak the words aloud. He watched Lenore sobbing quietly, her heart breaking.

And Luke remembered all the other times when his daughter had come to him in tears, her deep brown eyes brimming, her dear little form racked with sobs. Ill fix it, Norrie, he had always told her. Ill make it all better for you. Even when his wife died after all those painful years of battling cancer, Lenore came to her father for comfort, for protection against the terrible wrongs that life had thrown at them.

Now Lenore stood with her husband, who wrapped an arm protectively around her slim, trembling shoulders. Del towered over little Lenore, a tall, athletic figure standing firmly beside his diminutive, grief-stricken wife. Hes being strong for her, Luke knew. But he could see the agony, the bitterness in his clenched jaw and bleak eyes.

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Transhuman by Ben Bova | 9780765332936 | Hardcover …

Following months of criticism, the Kansas Board of Regents revised its social media policy on Wednesday, but that didn’t satisfy detractors who said it still represented a blow against academic free speech.

Fred Logan, the board’s chair, said the new policy will “shore up academic freedom by creating more specific guidelines,” reports Peggy Lowe of member station KCUR.

“In many respects, the work that has been done has really focused on lifting up academic freedom as a core principal for the Kansas Board of Regents,” Logan said.

The board made it clear it will not tolerate social media posts that incite violence or disclose confidential student or health care information. More broadly, it decided that messages that could do harm to the university are “contrary to the best interests of the employer.”

The whole debate was triggered by an incident last fall. Following the killing of 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in September, David Guth, a University of Kansas journalism professor, sent out a tweet saying, “#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

Guth eventually apologized but was put on administrative leave and is currently on sabbatical.

Last December, the board adopted a policy that established disciplinary action for improper use of social media. It was widely panned by professors and free-speech advocates who said it was unnecessarily punitive and would limit exchanges of ideas.

They aren’t much more pleased by the revised language. “Adding a lot of language to the social media policy about how the Board of Regents values First Amendment rights and ‘strongly supports academic freedom’ … won’t warm up the chilling effect of the wording about giving university administrators the authority to use ‘progressive discipline measures’ including suspension, dismissal and termination,” the Wichita Eagle editorialized.

It’s not the specific language but the rules allowing for professors to be fired over social media posts that are the problem, argues Stephen Wolgast, a professor of journalism and digital media at Kansas State University.

“What concerns me is the policy that a professor or staff member could be fired if a social media post is construed as keeping a university from operating efficiently,” he wrote in an editorial for the Kansas City Star. “Who will judge the loyalty of my Facebook post?”

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Kansas University Board Revises Its Free Speech Guidelines

Liberty University Grad Stories: Melissa Dozeman '14

By: Liberty University

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Liberty University Grad Stories: Melissa Dozeman ’14 – Video

Several high-profile commencement speakers have withdrawn or been ‘disinvited’ because of protests. Free-speech advocates worry that today’s students only want speech they like.

The decisions by both International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde and Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, to withdraw as planned commencement speakers are only the latest in a rash of controversies this commencement season.

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Other planned speakers, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, womens rights advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, have all either been disinvited from speaking or withdrew in the face of significant student protest.

The phenomenon isnt new; its become such a rite of passage in the spring that some free-speech advocates have started calling the spring disinvitation season. But its a trend that some believe is growing, and that many observers worry is shifting college campuses away from being a free marketplace of ideas.

Its incredibly disappointing that commencement speakers get cancelled because of the controversial nature of their remarks, says Ken Paulson, president of Vanderbilt Universitys First Amendment Center and dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. We need more people to come in and raise hell on college campuses and provide challenging ideas and concepts.

By booking someone to speak at your commencement, youre not issuing a blanket endorsement of who they are or what they do, he adds. Given the amount of boring commencement speakers weve all heard, youd think it would be refreshing to hear someone provocative.

Ms. Lagarde, the IMF chief, was scheduled to speak at Smith College until a petition began circulating among students criticizing the IMF as a primary culprit in the failed developmental policies implanted in some of the worlds poorest countries and demanding that Lagarde be reconsidered as the commencement speaker.

Share those pearls of wisdom, send us your best graduation advice!

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Protesting commencement speakers: What happened to free speech on campus? (+video)

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