At least one professor really wanted to promote this upcoming appearance, but the administration said they can’t use their social media to promote political policy changes.

The Gazette reports:

University of Iowa tells faculty not to promote Greta Thunberg visit via UI social media

In the news that teenage globe-trotting climate activist Greta Thunberg — fresh off her viral admonishment last week before the United Nations — is participating today in an Iowa City protest, a University of Iowa environmental sciences professor saw opportunity.

“If we haven’t already, I’d like to suggest we put Greta’s visit up on (Civil and Environmental Engineering) Facebook,” UI professor Michelle Scherer suggested Thursday to colleagues in the UI College of Engineering, according to emails provided to The Gazette.

Scherer, a civil and environmental engineering professor who serves as associate director of a National Science Foundation Sustainable Water Development Graduate Program, suggested the UI also share information about the Swedish teen’s Iowa visit via its College of Engineering and IIHR — Hydroscience & Engineering outlets.

But a college communications and marketing team member shot down that suggestion, citing the university’s “political activity” guidelines and policy.

“We cannot use our channels to publicize or promote policy change,” replied Jason Kosovski, director of marketing and communications in the Engineering College. “We are always free to publicize our research, even if it has policy impacts, but Greta’s visit does not fit under the umbrella of university research.”

He stressed faculty and staff not use college, center, or department channels to promote Thunberg’s visit.


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