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On Tuesday, January 26, AAG sent a letter to the Chancellor of the University of Kansas, asking him not to act on the recent Kansas Board of Regents’ decision to allow the suspension and termination of university employees, including tenured faculty, without formally declaring a financial emergency.

Chancellor Girod recognized our letter and thoughtfully acknowledged that AAG’s feedback would be incorporated as they chart a path forward in the days ahead.

We see the Kansas Board of Regents policy decision as a troubling signal and a potential threat for universities across the country as ongoing budget austerity measures and the crisis of COVID-19 converge. These circumstances leave vulnerable academic tenure as a whole, but especially the tenure of geography departments and professors. We will closely monitor this trend, and we call on our members to alert us to similar issues emerging on their campuses.

To support the University of Kansas faculty, please consider adding your name to the sign-on letter calling for a transparent process and shared governance for budget decisions in light of the current crisis.