Washburn’s New Communication Policy Draws Fire

A newspaper report suggests that faculty members at Washburn University must now alert the school’s administration before they talk to public officials or members of the media.

Academic affairs vice president Randy Pembrook said the policy developed earlier this month was intended only for the university’s deans, and as a way to keep track of their statements or presentations on subjects related to the university.

The policy makes no indication that it’s limited to deans. The newspaper said other actions have suggested the rule is intended for the entire university.

The policy is drawing criticism on free-speech grounds.

Pembrook insists the rule is only intended to help administrators know what officials are testifying about on issues important to the school.