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Most Kansas universities won't use new dismissal policy

Only KU plans to develop framework
University of Kansas
Posted at 11:53 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 12:53:15-05

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas is the only one of six public universities in the state that will consider using a new policy that makes it easier to fire, suspend or dismiss employees, including tenured faculty.

The Kansas Board of Regents approved the temporary policy last week, citing financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reduced state funding and declining enrollments. The regents gave the schools 45 days to develop frameworks for implementing the policy, which would be in effect through 2022.

University of Kansas Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said in a video message Tuesday that the school will develop a framework but she hopes it would never be used.

"As provost, I'm not yet inclined to say we will need the tool they provided, and I am ready to do the work necessary to avoid it, but I'm also not yet able to say we won't need the tool," she said.

The other five public universities have issued statements indicating they will not implement the policy, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

More than 750 Kansas faculty and staff members have officially objected to the policy, in part because of concern that losing tenure protection would harm scholarship and damage morale.