- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A University of Kansas business teacher does not warrant academic protection to keep his emails private, according to a state faculty organization.

The Kansas Conference of the American Association of University Professors said in a brief in the lawsuit of Art Hall v. the University of Kansas that Hall isn’t a faculty member entitled to academic protection, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (https://bit.ly/1NhrETa).

“There are some ranks of administrators who hold no academic status, are neither tenured nor tenure-track faculty, and have neither been nor are ever expected to be vetted by academic peers,” the Kansas AAUP’s brief says. “… It is abundantly clear that he (Hall) is an administrator and not a rank-and-file faculty member.”

Hall, a lecturer and director of the Center for Applied Economics in the University of Kansas School of Business, previously was chief economist for the Public Sector Group of Koch Industries Inc.

A University of Kansas student organization, Students for a Sustainable Future, filed an open records request for Hall’s email correspondence. But Hall sued to temporarily block the university from releasing the records. The case is set for trial in November.

Hall has argued that releasing his emails would violate his right to academic freedom because Students for a Sustainable Future is politically motivated and wants to “silence” his speech. He has also argued his emails aren’t subject to the open records act because he’s not a university employee. The center he directs is “self-funded” by donations through the KU Endowment.

The KU School of Business, however, does not consider Hall an administrator, said Austin Falley, spokesman for the business school. Falley said Hall’s appointment is “predominantly” a teaching appointment, and he also runs the research center.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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