Kansas State President says university can’t expel student but can redefine policy

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State University President Richard Myers responded Wednesday morning to requests that the student who posted a racist message on social media would be expelled, according to his message to students.

Myers said expelling the student would be a violation of law, but in response, the university released action steps to help change racial and social injustice issues on campus, according to a news release.

These proposed steps take into account the reality that, as a governmental entity, we must operate within the law. There have been many calls for us to expel a student who posted racist messages on social media, and while these messages are disrespectful and abhorrent, we cannot violate the law.

Richard Myers, President of Kansas State University

The action steps are split between student-related action steps and faculty-staff related action steps, including initiatives like:

  • Creating a student Ombudsperson office to help advocate for students
  • Increasing efforts to raise retention and graduation rates of students of color with annual measurable goals.
  • Improving the process of receiving discrimination complaints.
  • Developing a policy on social media usage for students that balances institutional values and free speech. 

“What we can do is use these incidents as a catalyst to more crisply define the way we will work to stop hate at K-State and combat racism on our campuses,” Myers said.

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