The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair Peter Kuriloff or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, 898-6943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday, April 16, 1997
Another concern is the process by which policy is ultimately formulated. Recently, the task force report was set aside by the provost who then requested each of the deans to propose an intellectual property policy on copyright, software and courseware. Professor Porter stated a task force in the mid-1980's created software policy that called for a five-year review of the policy. That review has not occurred and communications to the administration about it have not been returned. He said policy assigning copyright to the University must be negotiated. Professor Gorman stated it is important for the Faculty Senate to monitor the evolution of the University copyright policy to insure faculty interests are protected.
Provost Chodorow said the process broke down after the work of the task force was completed implying that members of the task force came to him with doubts outside those they expressed in the committee. SEC members strongly objected to such behavior, noting that dissent should expressed internally through a minority report, and strongly urging the Provost to request such side-bar communications from committee or task force members in the future.
The provost then had a discussion with the deans which lead him to approach the problem in a new way. According to him, the issues are discipline based and are moving differently; technology is moving rapidly. It is not a question of needing expert advice but a question of understanding different modes in different fields. He asked the deans to take this matter up in concert with their faculty. He stated that most copy righted properties are not worth much to individuals but is a great cost to the University. The University gives the product away and then outsiders sell it back to us at great cost. He asked, What is it we are paying faculty to do if the University can't get paid for any of their product? The provost agreed that parts of the policy are sound and that the Faculty Senate and disciplines should play a role in the current process. Professor Porter noted that the task force did address some of the issues raised by the provost. He drew attention to the task force policy on transfer of royalties to the University, pointing out that all royalties do not have to be signed away.
Among concerns raised by SEC members were: potential problems if there were different policies in each of the schools ; difficulty reaching agreement on a University-wide policy; high publishers' costs to junior faculty and publishers' insistence on obtaining the copyright; the classroom expression of a faculty member may become the property of the University; the new approach to a policy seems to come from a business point of view; a review of the incentive system for creating new knowledge should occur; concern that faculty who create a multi-media course will be replaced by the product they produce. Faculty Chair, Peter Kuriloff, noted that the real issue here is how much of a share in the intellectual property of faculty members the University wants and deserves verses how much the faculty want and deserve. He suggested this issue was of grave concern to the entire community and that it might perhaps be best dealt with through negotiations between a Faculty Senate Blue Ribbon committee and the administration, after the issues have been clarifed through the current round of discussions with deans and their faculties.
Discussion turned to plans under consideration to move the Faculty Club. It was pointed out that the current Faculty Club is underutilized, has a high annual deficit, and $2 million in repairs are needed for the buiding. SEC members felt it was important to have a Faculty Club that was well managed, had easy delivery access, had a friendly attractive environment, sufficient meeting rooms and good food. SEC was urged to attend the annual Faculty Club Membership meeting Tuesday, May 6 at 4:00 p.m.
Volume 43 Number 32
April 29, 1997
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