Kansas aptly illustrates the adjective "chilling"

I wonder, were I a professor in the Kansas public university system, if I could get fired for publishing this. Slate recently posted an article about a proposed policy change wherein faculty (of any rank) could be fired for improper use of social media. Here is the Slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/…

And here is the text of the policy change:

<i>The chief executive officer of a state university has the authority to suspend, dismiss or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media. "Social media" means any facility for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. "Improper use of social media" means making a communication through social media that: i. directly incites violence or other immediate breach of the peace; ii. when made pursuant to (i.e. in furtherance of) the employee's official duties, is contrary to the best interests of the University; iii. discloses without authority any confidential student information, protected health care information, personnel records, personal financial information, or confidential research data; or iv. 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. In determining whether the employee's communication constitutes an improper use of social media under paragraph (iv), the chief executive officer shall balance the interest of the university in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees against the employee's right as a citizen to speak on matters of public concern, and may consider the employee's position within the university and whether the employee used or publicized the university name, brands, website, official title or school/department/college or otherwise created the appearance of the communication being endorsed, approved or connected to the university in a manner that discredits the university. The chief executive officer may also consider whether the communication was made during the employee's working hours or the communication was transmitted utilizing university systems or equipment. This policy on improper use of social media shall apply prospectively from its date of adoption by the Kansas Board of Regents. </i>

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I think I cannot state emphatically enough how bad of an idea this is. Unless of course there is next to no value placed on investigation and learning and more placed on a piece of fake sheepskin with a fancy seal on it.

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