For Class: April 14: Faculty and freedom of communication?

Topic for class discussion: how much “free speech” is there for faculty when dealing with electronic communication?  How much should be disclosed on MySpace, Facebook, other social networking sites, or by blogs.  For example, take the following article on faculty “office door” communication:

Pardon Me, but Your Door Is Terribly Offensive

“Getting one’s own office can be a rite of passage right up there with defending a dissertation or receiving tenure — and many professors’ lairs are reflections of their own attitudes and beliefs. Usually, it takes just a quick glance at the door, as anyone who’s taken a stroll down the hall of an academic building can attest: What a professor finds amusing, outrageous or just plain interesting is there for all to see…”

Kay’s question for class: Do these same (yet controversial) issues arise in electronic communication?  Is a quote at the end of an e-mail from a faculty, subject to criticism?  How about his or her Facebook page?  Where do you stand on “freedom of speech” versus “hostile environment for students”?  How much is too much to disclose on a website?  Does your opinion change if we were to shift the framework from faculty to students?  Does it matter if it’s done on “University computers” or “University networks”?  Write for a few minutes, then we’ll discuss as a group.  :)KMP


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