November 20, 2022

MSS Statement regarding the events at Emporia State University

The Midwest Sociological Society and its members have long supported the broader mission of higher education, including the practices of shared governance, administrative transparency, and faculty rights.  We recognize the key role played by faculty in fulfilling this mission, and the importance of tenure which enables them to do so.  We also recognize the need for a just and transparent procedure for faculty evaluation and retention.

The Board of the Midwest Sociological Society firmly condemns recent actions taken by the Kansas Board of Regents against the faculty at Emporia State University.  While political interference with the mission of higher education is not unique, the cynical extension of a “temporary” action to remove financial exigency as a determination for faculty tenure and retention is unwarranted.  The dismissal of tenured faculty, who have served the university and its mission, is especially egregious.

We call on the Kansas Board of Regents and the administration at Emporia to adhere to the principled practices of higher education. Reinstatement of the Emporia faculty and a return to shared governance, administrative transparency and faculty rights can be the only just outcome.