FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 9, 2021
KBOR Chair Harrison-Lee and KU Chancellor Girod issue statements on recent remarks by KU Student Body President
(Topeka, Kan.) – Kansas Board of Regents Chair Cheryl Harrison-Lee issued the following statement on the recent social media post by the University of Kansas Student Body President:
U.S. citizens strive daily to make a more perfect union. Often times we fall short. Nonetheless, we are proud to be Americans and despite its imperfections we are proud to call America home.
The sentiments shared by KU’s Student Body President this past weekend on social media do not align with the Regents’ beliefs or the type of productive dialogue we hope to encourage on our university campuses.
The Board remains committed to protecting the rights of students to freely verbalize their convictions. Earlier this year, all nine Regents signed a Free Expression Statement, reaffirming this commitment and stated that we “cannot use our desire for civility and respect as a basis to silence expression.”
The Regents will continue to encourage civil discourse, while upholding the First Amendment rights of students, even when we vigorously disagree with their views.
University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod also issued a statement on the social media posts:
Recently our university’s student body president shared a social media post that many Jayhawks – myself included – found to be disappointing and concerning. I would like to share a few thoughts on this.
First, the opinions in the student’s post are protected by the First Amendment. In addition, KU is committed to its role as a marketplace of ideas – including ideas that some individuals find offensive.
At the same time, I understand and appreciate why many individuals have found the content of the student’s post offensive. I strongly disagree with the sentiment of her retweet, and I want to make clear that she does not speak for the university on this or any other matter.
The Regents’ Free Expression Statement may be found on the Board’s website.
About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, high school equivalency, and career and technical education programs. Private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions are authorized by the Kansas Board of Regents to operate in Kansas.
Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.