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Message from mccaugheym@appstate.edu

Colleagues, I am wondering if you can point me to any known policies or best practices related to a university's posting to the world wide web the syllabi created by professions (traditionally seen as the professor's intellectual property). While the syllabi can be requested as part of a Public Records Act request or FOIA request, it's not clear to me that this automatically means a university employer can--or should--post/distribute professors' syllabi across the web _without the professor's ok_. I personally think they shouldn't because there are more reasons for keeping a paper file of such things than there are for distributing them as widely as across the Web. If someone knows of prior cases, complains, or consequences around this that I could point to, I'm writing up a brief report/position paper on this. If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to share it once it's finished. Thank you in advance, Prof. Martha McCaughey Dept of Sociology Chapell Wilson 205 B Appalachian State University Boone, NC 28608 tel: 828-262-6391 My homepage: http://www.appstate.edu/~mccaugheym ********** Visit the EDUCAUSE Policy website at http://www.educause.edu/policy.

Comments

Professor, I think you raise a good question and I look forward to seeing the responses. Historically I would assume that most faculty valued the recognition that interest in their syllabi might bring, but as the world, and higher education with it, has become more commercialized the concern over intellectual property, if not even a claim to originality, may be taking precedence. I am unaware of any particular policies in this area, however, including in institutional IP policies, so let's see if others have more to add. Best, Tracy
Hmmh. Our state mandates that syllabi be posted on a public website. It's part of transparency/accountability, which the state has gotten all fired-up about of late, especially as it relates to the productivity of higher ed facultyŠ -- Georgia Harper Scholarly Communications Advisor University of Texas at Austin Libraries 512.495.4653 (w); 512.971.4325 (cell) gharper@austin.utexas.edu On 2/1/12 4:05 PM, "Tracy Mitrano" wrote: >Professor, I think you raise a good question and I look forward to seeing >the responses. > >Historically I would assume that most faculty valued the recognition that >interest in their syllabi might bring, but as the world, and higher >education with it, has become more commercialized the concern over >intellectual property, if not even a claim to originality, may be taking >precedence. I am unaware of any particular policies in this area, >however, including in institutional IP policies, so let's see if others >have more to add. > >Best, Tracy > > >
The University of Wisconsin is currently being sued over its refusal to turn over syllabi in response to an Open Records (Wisconsin's version of FOIA) request by a group that wishes to use those syllabi to "evaluate the content of the associated courses in connection with a national evaluation of schools of education.” http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/138133693.html Ruth Ginzberg, CISSP, CTPS Sr. I.T. Procurement Specialist University of Wisconsin System rginzberg@uwsa.edu 608-890-3961 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tracy Mitrano" To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 4:05:28 PM Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Professor, I think you raise a good question and I look forward to seeing the responses. Historically I would assume that most faculty valued the recognition that interest in their syllabi might bring, but as the world, and higher education with it, has become more commercialized the concern over intellectual property, if not even a claim to originality, may be taking precedence. I am unaware of any particular policies in this area, however, including in institutional IP policies, so let's see if others have more to add. Best, Tracy
It would be argued from an employers' view point as shared IP rights for the syllabi -developed as part of the organization's core business and its on going process for services provided to its student community. At a public Institution, it could be argued that it is public information. On a macro viewpoint- with the changing environment where the definitions of IP and Privacy are being challenged and re-written, we do need to take a step back and re-think about syllabi going public. In today's world we have knowingly or unknowingly given away most of our IP and Privacy rights to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and the other business analytics + social media sites. Harvard and others are now opening up to FREE online and certification courses.. I too have benefited from it. Time will tell how Academia responds to and/or tries to change the new trends. I believe the 'Common Good' and open source shall prevail! On the other hand, I respect that Professors have a right to safe guard their competitive edge and to limit syllibi access. my comments are strictly personal and do not reflect my institution's stand! Anna Chhabria Tracy Mitrano wrote: > Professor, I think you raise a good question and I look forward to seeing the responses. > > Historically I would assume that most faculty valued the recognition that interest in their syllabi might bring, but as the world, and higher education with it, has become more commercialized the concern over intellectual property, if not even a claim to originality, may be taking precedence. I am unaware of any particular policies in this area, however, including in institutional IP policies, so let's see if others have more to add. > > Best, Tracy > > >
There are a lot of variables here starting with just how much the syllabus is a creative work and how much it is a pretty standard laundry list of content topics mixed with the requisite administrivia. In some disciplines the former seem to dominate; in other disciplines, the latter. Then there are questions of instructor status within the institution: full academic senate member or work-for-hire part-timer. I know more than a few in this second category (and a non-trivial number in the first) that host some or all of their materials outside the direct control of the institution at which it is used. A fascinating topic indeed. The University of California policy on ownership of course materials can be found at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/copyright/systemwide/pocmdi.html -- sdf Stephen D. Franklin -- franklin@uci.edu -- 949-824-5154 http://www.oit.uci.edu/indiv/franklin/ Mobile: 949-891-2733 > It would be argued from an employers' view point as shared IP rights > for the syllabi -developed as part of the organization's core business > and its on going process for services provided to its student > community. At a public Institution, it could be argued that it is > public information. > > On a macro viewpoint- with the changing environment where the > definitions of IP and Privacy are being challenged and re-written, we > do need to take a step back and re-think about syllabi going public. > > In today's world we have knowingly or unknowingly given away most of > our IP and Privacy rights to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and > the other business analytics + social media sites. > > Harvard and others are now opening up to FREE online and certification > courses.. I too have benefited from it. > > Time will tell how Academia responds to and/or tries to change the new > trends. I believe the 'Common Good' and open source shall prevail! > > On the other hand, I respect that Professors have a right to safe guard > their competitive edge and to limit syllibi access. > > my comments are strictly personal and do not reflect my institution's > stand! > > Anna Chhabria > > > Tracy Mitrano wrote: >> Professor, I think you raise a good question and I look forward to >> seeing the responses. >> >> Historically I would assume that most faculty valued the recognition >> that interest in their syllabi might bring, but as the world, and >> higher education with it, has become more commercialized the concern >> over intellectual property, if not even a claim to originality, may be >> taking precedence. I am unaware of any particular policies in this > area, however, including in institutional IP policies, so let's see if >> others have more to add. >> >> Best, Tracy >> >> >>
Message from filipiak@mac.com

Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT 389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description only conveys so much information. Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective students sign non-disclosure agreements? My $0.02, Brian Filipiak (Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University
Message from janet.nepkie@oneonta.edu

Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT 389, >all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed as >possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description only >conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
Interesting. One would hope that a faculty member who creates a syllabus would retain at least some ownership rights so that if the faculty member were to leave one institution and go on to teach at another institution (or serve as a visiting scholar, or serve as an adjunct at multiple institutions at once, etc., etc.) the faculty member would be able to continue using the syllabi he or she had previously developed. I don't think you'd want the institution claiming IP rights to faculty syllabi. (Can you imagine Professor X having to pay royalties to Institution A in order to continue using a syllabus s/he'd developed there after moving to Institution B?) The very nature of syllabi seems to be changing. Decades ago when I was a young faculty member and the Internet was novelty, syllabus exchanges were common; faculty often eagerly traded syllabi looking for new ideas, learning about what and how their colleagues at other institutions were teaching, etc., etc. Since then the syllabus seems to have taken on more the nature of a contract, with students even having sued institutions for alleged failure to follow what they believed was promised in a syllabus. This seems to follow the current trend to regard students more as customers rather than as apprentice scholars. I suppose if you regard a syllabus as something like a contract, it makes sense to make it subject to FOIA requests similar to other contracts at public institutions. I think there is a danger that well funded non-academic organizations with various political agendas could demand syllabi via FOIA requests and then target departments or individual faculty (particularly untenured faculty) with public smear campaigns, harrassment, demands that particular faculty members be fired or that public funding of the institution be cut if syllabi did not meet with the approval of the activist organization. Could untenured faculty or entire departments come to fear teaching evolution or heliocentrism? That would not be good. I think we need to be wary of academic freedom issues lurking under the surface here. How and in what ways should institutions protect scholars from political pressure by various interest groups? Ruth Ginzberg, CISSP, CTPS Sr. I.T. Procurement Specialist University of Wisconsin System rginzberg@uwsa.edu 608-890-3961 ----- Original Message ----- From: "Janet Nepkie" To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 8:09:50 PM Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT 389, >all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed as >possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description only >conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
You seem to be under the impression that faculty authors own what they create. But as Elizabeth Townsend Gard noted in her article on "Legal and Policy Responses to the Disappearing 'Teacher Exception,' or Copyright Ownership in the 21st Century University" (at http://academiccopyright.typepad.com/townsend.pdf), the new norm is that "Universities decide what they want to own and what they give back to the scholar/teacher-creator." This is especially true at state institutions. So if you look at the ownership statements of the Univ. of Virginia (https://policy.itc.virginia.edu/policy/policydisplay?id=RES-001) or the recently amended policy at the University of Michigan ((http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/copyright/601.28%20%281%29.pdf) you will see that all products of employed faculty, both administrative (such as syllabi) and scholarly (articles and books), belong to the University, though the policies do cede back to the faculty many rights of ownership. The best answer, then, is to check the copyright ownership policy of your institution and see what rights, if any, your employer may give to you, and what rights it retains for itself. Peter B. Hirtle, FSAA Senior Policy Advisor Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services Cornell University Library 2B53 Kroch Library                              Ithaca, NY  14853 peter.hirtle@cornell.edu t.  607.255-4033 f.  607.255-9524 http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436 Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142 -----Original Message----- From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 2:10 AM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >only conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
Message from janet.nepkie@oneonta.edu

Peter, I am always pleased to see your name in any listserv discussion. Your know of copyright, especially with regard to academia, is most welcome. I was unfamiliar with the article by Elizabeth Townsend Gard and shall read it carefully. Although I'm not surprised that the Univ. of Virginia may have restrictive policies as to copyright ownership, many other state universities seem to have recognized that their faculty may wish to own the work they create, and that this situation may be good for the university. Here is a quick listing of some policies that seem to suggestion this idea. Since there may be some formatting problems with this quick cut and paste, I've also included these examples in the attachment. I'd be interested to hear from others on this subject. Thanks Janet University of California http://www.ucop.edu/ott/faculty/crworks.html#who Copyright ownership resides with the originator of the work if it is: Scholarly/Aesthetic Work, which is a work originated by a Designated Academic Appointee as a result of independent academic effort, unless the work is also a deliverable under Sponsored Work or Contracted Facilities Work (see below), or there are other special overriding ownership provisions in place. Personal Work, which is a work developed by a University employee outside the scope of their University employment and without University resources. University of Missouri http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/aa/faculty/faqs-IPcoursematerials When a faculty member prepares a syllabus for a course - who owns the material? When a syllabus is developed, and it does not fall within one of the categories of Univerity-owned works set out in section 100.030.A.2 of the Collected Rules, the syllabus is owned by the author. The course belongs to the faculty member who developed it. As a general rule, the course syllabus, lecutre notes, class handouts, lab manuals, and digital presentations are the intellectual property of the instructor who created them, unless they fall within one of the categories of section 100.030.A.2. Section 100.030.A.2. of the Collected Rules provides that the University owns the copyright in these categories of works: € Works that are commissioned for University use by the University € Works that are created by employees if the production of the materials is a specific responsibility of the position for which the employee is hired € Sponsored works, or works resulting from grants (but not if the production of the copyrighted work is ancillary to the purpose of the grant) created with the use of substantial University resources Works State University of New York Policies of the Board of Trustees Title J §2. Copyright Policy. Generally the members of the staff of the University shall retain all rights to copyright and publish written works produced by them. However, in cases where persons are employed or directed within the scope of their employment to produce specific work subject to copyright the University shall have the right to publish such work without copyright or to copyright it in its own name. The copyright will also be subject to any contractual arrangements by the University for work in the course of which the writing was done. Staff members will be expected not to allow the privilege to write and retain the right to their work to interfere with their University duties. In those cases where an author desires the help of University facilities, arrangements should be made through the administrative staff of the author¹s institution in advance with respect to the assistance which may be appropriately given and the equity of the University in the finished work. Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/2/12 3:35 AM, "Peter B. Hirtle" wrote: >You seem to be under the impression that faculty authors own what they >create. But as Elizabeth Townsend Gard noted in her article on "Legal >and Policy Responses to the Disappearing 'Teacher Exception,' or >Copyright Ownership in the 21st Century University" (at >http://academiccopyright.typepad.com/townsend.pdf), the new norm is that >"Universities decide what they want to own and what they give back to the >scholar/teacher-creator." This is especially true at state institutions. >So if you look at the ownership statements of the Univ. of Virginia >(https://policy.itc.virginia.edu/policy/policydisplay?id=RES-001) or the >recently amended policy at the University of Michigan >((http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/copyright/601.28%20%281%29.pdf) >you will see that all products of employed faculty, both administrative >(such as syllabi) and scholarly (articles and books), belong to the >University, though the policies do cede back to the faculty many rights >of ownership. > >The best answer, then, is to check the copyright ownership policy of your >institution and see what rights, if any, your employer may give to you, >and what rights it retains for itself. > >Peter B. Hirtle, FSAA >Senior Policy Advisor >Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services >Cornell University Library >2B53 Kroch Library >Ithaca, NY 14853 >peter.hirtle@cornell.edu >t. 607.255-4033 >f. 607.255-9524 >http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436 >Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. >Libraries, Archives, and Museums: >http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142 > > > >-----Original Message----- >From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv >[mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, >Janet >Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 2:10 AM >To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU >Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online > >Brian, >Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an >important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by >faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right >to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works >of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a >copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that >the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. > >Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students >of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for >assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be >used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part >of a paper or book the professor may author. >Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several >pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one >standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a >professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of >authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, >perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. > >I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. >Thank you, >Janet > > > >Dr. J. Nepkie >SUNY Distinguished Service Professor >Professor of Music and Music Industry >Fine Arts 145 >State University College >Oneonta, NY 13820 >tele: (607) 436 3425 >fax: 607 436 2718 >nepkiej@oneonta.edu > > > > > >On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: > >>Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >>Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >>they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >>389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >>as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >>only conveys so much information. >> >>Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >>student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >>and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >>students sign non-disclosure agreements? >> >>My $0.02, >> >>Brian Filipiak >>(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University >> >> >>
Janet, as the article I cited mentions, practices in this area are fluid. Elizabeth detected a desire on the part of universities to claim some ownership over faculty work in order to commercialize it; I am seeing in updated policies a desire to claim ownership in order to be able to preserve and distribute that content, often as complements to open access mandates. The Michigan policy, for example, gives the university the explicit right to "preserve, archive, and host SCHOLARLY WORKS in its institutional repositories, such as Deep Blue." These state schools are taking the position that because writing scholarly works is one of the requirements of employment, the university has ownership (technically "authorship") of those works. If anything, the argument for university ownership of syllabi is even stronger since the university's expectations with regard to teaching responsibilities in employment are even greater. But as I said, practices are fluid, which is why I think it may be hard to find any general statement of policies or best practices. I know that when I served on a faculty committee several years ago investigating copyright ownership at Cornell, there was no consensus even within the University. Most of the colleges believed that syllabi would belong to the faculty under our current policy, but one college asserted that syllabi were part of the administrative works that belonged to the university. The legalistic solution would be to check on your own university's policy with regards to university ownership. The better solution would be to get everyone to agree that free access around the world to syllabi would be one of the best ways to advance the university's mission with regard to teaching and learning. Some things shouldn't be protected by copyright. An aside: the nature of the involvement of the university with the faculty in teaching is a background issue in the Georgia State University ereserves case. The publishers are claiming that faculty when teaching are employees of the university and that the university is therefore responsible for all of their actions as teachers. A decision in favor of the publishers would strengthen the argument that universities are the authors of syllabi, and may call into question the legitimacy of the policies that try to reassign copyright in syllabi to faculty. Peter B. Hirtle, FSAA Senior Policy Advisor Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services Cornell University Library 2B53 Kroch Library                              Ithaca, NY  14853 peter.hirtle@cornell.edu t.  607.255-4033 f.  607.255-9524 http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436 Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums: http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142
Ownership of faculty-created work will indeed vary from institution to institution. At Wayne State this is a contractual issue, and the AAUP contract and University statute states:

Generally, the members of the University faculty and staff shall retain all rights to copyright in published works which they have authored as a part of their traditional scholarly pursuits. However, in cases where persons are employed or directed within the scope of their employment to produce specific works subject to copyright, the University shall have the right to publish such works without copyright, or to copyright it in its own name. (Statute 2.41.04)

To the best of my knowledge, the latter case has either never occurred or has not been an issue.
On the other hand, there is a difference between whether something is copyrighted in the author's name and whether that same something is 'public'. That's a much more interesting question, and I'm noting that there is no clear answer in this discussion.

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

From: "Peter B. Hirtle" <pbh6@CORNELL.EDU>
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:35:53 AM
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

You seem to be under the impression that faculty authors own what they create.  But as Elizabeth Townsend Gard noted in her article on "Legal and Policy Responses to the Disappearing 'Teacher Exception,' or Copyright Ownership in the 21st Century University" (at http://academiccopyright.typepad.com/townsend.pdf), the new norm is that "Universities decide what they want to own and what they give back to the scholar/teacher-creator." This is especially true at state institutions.  So if you look at the ownership statements of the Univ. of Virginia (https://policy.itc.virginia.edu/policy/policydisplay?id=RES-001) or the recently amended policy at the University of Michigan ((http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/copyright/601.28%20%281%29.pdf) you will see that all products of employed faculty, both administrative (such as syllabi) and scholarly (articles and books), belong to the University, though the policies do cede back to the faculty many rights of ownership.

The best answer, then, is to check the copyright ownership policy of your institution and see what rights, if any, your employer may give to you, and what rights it retains for itself.

Peter B. Hirtle, FSAA
Senior Policy Advisor
Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services
Cornell University Library
2B53 Kroch Library                             
Ithaca, NY  14853
peter.hirtle@cornell.edu
t.  607.255-4033
f.  607.255-9524
http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436
Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums:
http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142



-----Original Message-----
From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 2:10 AM
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

Brian,
Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create.  I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so.

Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment.  A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author.
Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents.  As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights.

I look forward to hearing from others on this topic.
Thank you,
Janet



Dr. J. Nepkie
SUNY Distinguished Service Professor
Professor of Music and Music Industry
Fine Arts 145
State University College
Oneonta, NY 13820
tele: (607) 436 3425
fax:   607 436 2718
nepkiej@oneonta.edu





On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" <filipiak@MAC.COM> wrote:

>Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students.
>Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so
>they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT
>389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed
>as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description
>only conveys so much information.
>
>Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any
>student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents
>and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective
>students sign non-disclosure agreements?
>
>My $0.02,
>
>Brian Filipiak
>(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University
>
>
>
I’m wondering if all the cases mean the same thing by “syllabus.” I’m thinking of the basic distinction between materials that may be called course approval documents, that may include a “syllabus” outlining the kinds of topics, readings, activities, student work and so forth. This “meta-document” then sets the requirements and parameters for the particular way individual faculty may offer the course. Such a document would surely seem to be appropriate for public viewing, at least at a public university. That second, individual faculty member-prepared document (what the conversation is, I believe, about) could have widely differing amounts of intellectual property in it. In online course management systems, I can well imagine that some faculty prepare only a bare bones item called a ‘syllabus,’ with pieces of the traditional paper syllabi scattered throughout the course management site.  For example, my last paper syllabus included detailed descriptions of the assignments—not something I did early on in teaching, and not something I would do now if I were still teaching.
 
The copyright discussion, it seems, pertains to all the course materials prepared by the faculty member, but the FOIA/public posting discussion may benefit from a narrower, more precise definition.
 
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online
 
Ownership of faculty-created work will indeed vary from institution to institution. At Wayne State this is a contractual issue, and the AAUP contract and University statute states:
 
Generally, the members of the University faculty and staff shall retain all rights to copyright in published works which they have authored as a part of their traditional scholarly pursuits. However, in cases where persons are employed or directed within the scope of their employment to produce specific works subject to copyright, the University shall have the right to publish such works without copyright, or to copyright it in its own name. (Statute 2.41.04)

To the best of my knowledge, the latter case has either never occurred or has not been an issue.
On the other hand, there is a difference between whether something is copyrighted in the author's name and whether that same something is 'public'. That's a much more interesting question, and I'm noting that there is no clear answer in this discussion.

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

From: "Peter B. Hirtle" <pbh6@CORNELL.EDU>
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:35:53 AM
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

You seem to be under the impression that faculty authors own what they create.  But as Elizabeth Townsend Gard noted in her article on "Legal and Policy Responses to the Disappearing 'Teacher Exception,' or Copyright Ownership in the 21st Century University" (at http://academiccopyright.typepad.com/townsend.pdf), the new norm is that "Universities decide what they want to own and what they give back to the scholar/teacher-creator." This is especially true at state institutions.  So if you look at the ownership statements of the Univ. of Virginia (https://policy.itc.virginia.edu/policy/policydisplay?id=RES-001) or the recently amended policy at the University of Michigan ((http://www.lib.umich.edu/files/services/copyright/601.28%20%281%29.pdf) you will see that all products of employed faculty, both administrative (such as syllabi) and scholarly (articles and books), belong to the University, though the policies do cede back to the faculty many rights of ownership.

The best answer, then, is to check the copyright ownership policy of your institution and see what rights, if any, your employer may give to you, and what rights it retains for itself.

Peter B. Hirtle, FSAA
Senior Policy Advisor
Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services
Cornell University Library
2B53 Kroch Library                             
Ithaca, NY  14853
peter.hirtle@cornell.edu
t.  607.255-4033
f.  607.255-9524
http://vivo.cornell.edu/individual/vivo/individual23436
Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums:
http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14142



-----Original Message-----
From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 2:10 AM
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

Brian,
Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create.  I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so.

Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment.  A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author.
Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents.  As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights.

I look forward to hearing from others on this topic.
Thank you,
Janet



Dr. J. Nepkie
SUNY Distinguished Service Professor
Professor of Music and Music Industry
Fine Arts 145
State University College
Oneonta, NY 13820
tele: (607) 436 3425
fax:   607 436 2718
nepkiej@oneonta.edu





On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" <filipiak@MAC.COM> wrote:

>Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students.
>Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so
>they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT
>389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed
>as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description
>only conveys so much information.
>
>Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any
>student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents
>and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective
>students sign non-disclosure agreements?
>
>My $0.02,
>
>Brian Filipiak
>(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University
>
>
>
And not to forget that the licensing rights to third party content in the syllabus are different when making 25 copies to go in the bookstore for purchase at cost by students enrolled in the class or posting it online open-access. My experience is that it's often the case for syllabi to contain third party content such as individual journal articles or book content which would exceed fair use. At my institution, our reprographics department is most commonly used by faculty for rights clearance and reproduction, which they do based on estimated headcount for the course. If the instructor didn't advise in advance the material is to be openly distributed we could run into a real jam. Jan ____________ JAN D. CARMIKLE, J.D. Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services UC Davis InnovationAccess Tel: 530-754-7636 Fax: 530-754-7620 jdcarmikle@ucdavis.edu copyright@ucdavis.edu www.research.ucdavis.edu/copyright   Please consider the environment before printing this email. CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This message and any attachments may contain confidential and/or privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. The unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this e-mail, or any information it contains, is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the email from your computer. Thank you. -----Original Message----- From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:10 PM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >only conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
Wow! A syllabus must be a completely different animal than back when I was in school. We usually got a two page schedule of topics covered in each class session, chapters assigned, quiz schedule, office hours, grading standards and a list of required and optional texts and reference docs. But no inclusion of intellectual content for the course. I found an example syllabus on line at: http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab-4.htm that conforms more or less to my recollections from 30 years ago. Is a document of that scope really something that an instructor thinks is intellectual property worthy of protection? My wife is an academic advisor and is frequently reviewing course syllabi from other schools to determine if their course meets our prerequisite requirements for higher courses here. Summaries, topics, text titles and chapter assignments meet that need, helping to place transfer students into courses that do not unnecessarily repeat their previous studies or leave them unprepared for their current classes. Maybe if instructors are loading up their syllabi with protected intellectual content, that information should be separated out from the "syllabus" category and presented under some other title - lab manual, course notes, discussion material, textbook. Bob Bayn (435)797-2396 IT Security Team http://it.usu.edu/security/htm/dont-be-fooled Office of Information Technology, Utah State University ________________________________________ From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Jan D Carmikle [jdcarmikle@UCDAVIS.EDU] Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:38 AM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online And not to forget that the licensing rights to third party content in the syllabus are different when making 25 copies to go in the bookstore for purchase at cost by students enrolled in the class or posting it online open-access. My experience is that it's often the case for syllabi to contain third party content such as individual journal articles or book content which would exceed fair use. At my institution, our reprographics department is most commonly used by faculty for rights clearance and reproduction, which they do based on estimated headcount for the course. If the instructor didn't advise in advance the material is to be openly distributed we could run into a real jam. Jan ____________ JAN D. CARMIKLE, J.D. Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services UC Davis InnovationAccess Tel: 530-754-7636 Fax: 530-754-7620 jdcarmikle@ucdavis.edu copyright@ucdavis.edu www.research.ucdavis.edu/copyright  Please consider the environment before printing this email. CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This message and any attachments may contain confidential and/or privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. The unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this e-mail, or any information it contains, is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the email from your computer. Thank you. -----Original Message----- From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:10 PM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >only conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
I agree with Bob on IP and syllabi. Coming from a research background, I too note with sadness the increased commercialization of academia, but I have yet to see anything in a syllabus that I would consider IP. Coursepacks are a different story, but one would hope that a syllabus for most courses only needs updating to incorporate recent events / discoveries, while the basics should be the same. Not sure that I would fight someone to protect a syllabus because I just updated the section on stem cell research to include two recent papers that throw an interesting light onto ethical aspects of that research area. The subject matter in the papers is likely protected already, me including them in a syllabus is not something I would consider protected property. -----Original Message----- From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Bob Bayn Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 12:14 PM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Wow! A syllabus must be a completely different animal than back when I was in school. We usually got a two page schedule of topics covered in each class session, chapters assigned, quiz schedule, office hours, grading standards and a list of required and optional texts and reference docs. But no inclusion of intellectual content for the course. I found an example syllabus on line at: http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab-4.htm that conforms more or less to my recollections from 30 years ago. Is a document of that scope really something that an instructor thinks is intellectual property worthy of protection? My wife is an academic advisor and is frequently reviewing course syllabi from other schools to determine if their course meets our prerequisite requirements for higher courses here. Summaries, topics, text titles and chapter assignments meet that need, helping to place transfer students into courses that do not unnecessarily repeat their previous studies or leave them unprepared for their current classes. Maybe if instructors are loading up their syllabi with protected intellectual content, that information should be separated out from the "syllabus" category and presented under some other title - lab manual, course notes, discussion material, textbook. Bob Bayn (435)797-2396 IT Security Team http://it.usu.edu/security/htm/dont-be-fooled Office of Information Technology, Utah State University ________________________________________ From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Jan D Carmikle [jdcarmikle@UCDAVIS.EDU] Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:38 AM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online And not to forget that the licensing rights to third party content in the syllabus are different when making 25 copies to go in the bookstore for purchase at cost by students enrolled in the class or posting it online open-access. My experience is that it's often the case for syllabi to contain third party content such as individual journal articles or book content which would exceed fair use. At my institution, our reprographics department is most commonly used by faculty for rights clearance and reproduction, which they do based on estimated headcount for the course. If the instructor didn't advise in advance the material is to be openly distributed we could run into a real jam. Jan ____________ JAN D. CARMIKLE, J.D. Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services UC Davis InnovationAccess Tel: 530-754-7636 Fax: 530-754-7620 jdcarmikle@ucdavis.edu copyright@ucdavis.edu www.research.ucdavis.edu/copyright P Please consider the environment before printing this email. CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This message and any attachments may contain confidential and/or privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. The unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this e-mail, or any information it contains, is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the email from your computer. Thank you. -----Original Message----- From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:10 PM To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online Brian, Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author. Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. Thank you, Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: >Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >only conveys so much information. > >Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >students sign non-disclosure agreements? > >My $0.02, > >Brian Filipiak >(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University > > >
Message from janet.nepkie@oneonta.edu

Although there have been some interesting differences of opinion about copyright ownership in this recent discussion, one idea on which we all seem to have reached agreement is that there is no standard format or definition for a modern "syllabus." Here is the definition offered by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education: Syllabus A syllabus describes how a course will be taught, including the planned sequence of content, materials, activities, and assignments. A syllabus typically will also include a description of grading and attendance policies for the course. Janet Dr. J. Nepkie SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Professor of Music and Music Industry Fine Arts 145 State University College Oneonta, NY 13820 tele: (607) 436 3425 fax: 607 436 2718 nepkiej@oneonta.edu On 2/2/12 12:52 PM, "Lorenz, Eva" wrote: >I agree with Bob on IP and syllabi. Coming from a research background, I >too note with sadness the increased commercialization of academia, but I >have yet to see anything in a syllabus that I would consider IP. >Coursepacks are a different story, but one would hope that a syllabus for >most courses only needs updating to incorporate recent events / >discoveries, while the basics should be the same. Not sure that I would >fight someone to protect a syllabus because I just updated the section on >stem cell research to include two recent papers that throw an interesting >light onto ethical aspects of that research area. The subject matter in >the papers is likely protected already, me including them in a syllabus >is not something I would consider protected property. > >-----Original Message----- >From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv >[mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Bob Bayn >Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 12:14 PM >To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU >Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online > >Wow! A syllabus must be a completely different animal than back when I >was in school. We usually got a two page schedule of topics covered in >each class session, chapters assigned, quiz schedule, office hours, >grading standards and a list of required and optional texts and reference >docs. But no inclusion of intellectual content for the course. > >I found an example syllabus on line at: >http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab-4.htm >that conforms more or less to my recollections from 30 years ago. Is a >document of that scope really something that an instructor thinks is >intellectual property worthy of protection? > >My wife is an academic advisor and is frequently reviewing course syllabi >from other schools to determine if their course meets our prerequisite >requirements for higher courses here. Summaries, topics, text titles and >chapter assignments meet that need, helping to place transfer students >into courses that do not unnecessarily repeat their previous studies or >leave them unprepared for their current classes. > >Maybe if instructors are loading up their syllabi with protected >intellectual content, that information should be separated out from the >"syllabus" category and presented under some other title - lab manual, >course notes, discussion material, textbook. > >Bob Bayn (435)797-2396 IT Security Team > http://it.usu.edu/security/htm/dont-be-fooled >Office of Information Technology, Utah State University > > > >________________________________________ >From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv >[POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Jan D Carmikle >[jdcarmikle@UCDAVIS.EDU] >Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:38 AM >To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU >Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online > >And not to forget that the licensing rights to third party content in the >syllabus are different when making 25 copies to go in the bookstore for >purchase at cost by students enrolled in the class or posting it online >open-access. My experience is that it's often the case for syllabi to >contain third party content such as individual journal articles or book >content which would exceed fair use. At my institution, our >reprographics department is most commonly used by faculty for rights >clearance and reproduction, which they do based on estimated headcount >for the course. If the instructor didn't advise in advance the material >is to be openly distributed we could run into a real jam. > >Jan > >____________ >JAN D. CARMIKLE, J.D. >Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services UC >Davis InnovationAccess >Tel: 530-754-7636 >Fax: 530-754-7620 >jdcarmikle@ucdavis.edu >copyright@ucdavis.edu >www.research.ucdavis.edu/copyright > >P Please consider the environment before printing this email. > >CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This message and any attachments may contain >confidential and/or privileged material for the sole use of the intended >recipient. The unauthorized use, disclosure or copying of this e-mail, or >any information it contains, is prohibited. If you received this in >error, please contact the sender and delete the email from your computer. >Thank you. > >-----Original Message----- >From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv >[mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, >Janet >Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:10 PM >To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU >Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online > >Brian, >Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an >important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by >faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right >to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works >of my copyrights, including syllabi I create. I may choose to give a >copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that >the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so. > >Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students >of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for >assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be >used as part of institutional assessment. A syllabus can be used as part >of a paper or book the professor may author. >Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several >pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one >standard of copyright to such different types of documents. As a >professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of >authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, >perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights. > >I look forward to hearing from others on this topic. >Thank you, >Janet > > > >Dr. J. Nepkie >SUNY Distinguished Service Professor >Professor of Music and Music Industry >Fine Arts 145 >State University College >Oneonta, NY 13820 >tele: (607) 436 3425 >fax: 607 436 2718 >nepkiej@oneonta.edu > > > > > >On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" wrote: > >>Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students. >>Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so >>they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT >>389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed >>as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description >>only conveys so much information. >> >>Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any >>student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents >>and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective >>students sign non-disclosure agreements? >> >>My $0.02, >> >>Brian Filipiak >>(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University >> >> >>
One might also argue that a traditional syllabus (a simple week by week description of topics to be covered i.e. how a course will be taught - and facts about grading) is non-copyrightable subject matter as a system of building a particular course or simply a method of operation combined with other factual matter - a professor's creative expression of it, however, may be copyrightable (e.g. with embedded links, maps, graphic timelines , perhaps audio/video etc)  http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ31.pdf  



I'll agree with Bob here. I teach a regular grad or undergrad course at Wayne every semester, and my 'syllabus' is never more than two pages long, listing contact info, textbook names, grading requirements, legally-required stuff about disabilities and plagiarism and such, followed by a (rough) course schedule. That's one of the reasons I wondered about 'intellectual property' as an issue. We may be talking about apples and (golden) oranges here.

Geoff

Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
http://blogs.wayne.edu/proftech/
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

From: "Bob Bayn" <bob.bayn@USU.EDU>
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2012 12:13:53 PM
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

Wow!  A syllabus must be a completely different animal than back when I was in school.  We usually got a two page schedule of topics covered in each class session, chapters assigned, quiz schedule, office hours, grading standards and a list of required and optional texts and reference docs.  But no inclusion of intellectual content for the course.

I found an example syllabus on line at:
http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab-4.htm
that conforms more or less to my recollections from 30 years ago.  Is a document of that scope really something that an instructor thinks is intellectual property worthy of protection?

My wife is an academic advisor and is frequently reviewing course syllabi from other schools to determine if their course meets our prerequisite requirements for higher courses here.  Summaries, topics, text titles and chapter assignments meet that need, helping to place transfer students into courses that do not unnecessarily repeat their previous studies or leave them unprepared for their current classes.

Maybe if instructors are loading up their syllabi with protected intellectual content, that information should be separated out from the "syllabus" category and presented under some other title - lab manual, course notes, discussion material, textbook.

Bob Bayn          (435)797-2396            IT Security Team
       http://it.usu.edu/security/htm/dont-be-fooled
Office of Information Technology, Utah State University



________________________________________
From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Jan D Carmikle [jdcarmikle@UCDAVIS.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:38 AM
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

And not to forget that the licensing rights to third party content in the syllabus are different when making 25 copies to go in the bookstore for purchase at cost by students enrolled in the class or posting it online open-access.  My experience is that it's often the case for syllabi to contain third party content such as individual journal articles or book content which would exceed fair use.  At my institution, our reprographics department is most commonly used by faculty for rights clearance and reproduction, which they do based on estimated headcount for the course.  If the instructor didn't advise in advance the material is to be openly distributed we could run into a real jam.

Jan

____________
JAN D. CARMIKLE, J.D.
Senior Intellectual Property Officer, Technology Transfer Services
UC Davis InnovationAccess
Tel: 530-754-7636
Fax: 530-754-7620
jdcarmikle@ucdavis.edu
copyright@ucdavis.edu
www.research.ucdavis.edu/copyright

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-----Original Message-----
From: EDUCAUSE Policy Discussion Listserv [mailto:POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Nepkie, Janet
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:10 PM
To: POLICY-DISCUSSION@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [POLICY-DISCUSSION] Professors' Syllabi Going Online

Brian,
Your comment that syllabi are meant for students is certainly an important reminder of the purpose of many of the documents authored by faculty. If I am the faculty author, however, I believe I have the right to determine who may copy, perform, distribute and make derivative works of my copyrights, including syllabi I create.  I may choose to give a copy of a syllabus I have authored to my students, but I do not feel that the syllabus is "public" information simply because I have done so.

Syllabi are actually used for many purposes other than to inform students of the schedule and requirements of a course. A syllabus can be used for assessment of the professor who authored the syllabus. A syllabus can be used as part of institutional assessment.  A syllabus can be used as part of a paper or book the professor may author.
Syllabi can vary in format from a simple list of assignments to several pages of a complex course plan, so it can be difficult to apply one standard of copyright to such different types of documents.  As a professor, I believe that if my syllabus is my original work of authorship, I own it unless I have made an agreement with some one else, perhaps my employer, that stipulates other ownership or rights.

I look forward to hearing from others on this topic.
Thank you,
Janet



Dr. J. Nepkie
SUNY Distinguished Service Professor
Professor of Music and Music Industry
Fine Arts 145
State University College
Oneonta, NY 13820
tele: (607) 436 3425
fax:   607 436 2718
nepkiej@oneonta.edu





On 2/1/12 8:03 PM, "Brian Filipiak" <filipiak@MAC.COM> wrote:

>Stepping back for a moment, consider who the syllabus is for. Students.
>Why not have that information in the hands of students in advance, so
>they can make an informed decision on whether to take LIT 354 or LIT
>389, all other things being equal? Certainly they should be as informed
>as possible heading into a course - and a course catalog description
>only conveys so much information.
>
>Related to that: Once a syllabus is in the hands of a student - any
>student - it should be considered "public" information, for all intents
>and purposes. Unless, of course, you make your students or prospective
>students sign non-disclosure agreements?
>
>My $0.02,
>
>Brian Filipiak
>(Formerly with) Eastern Michigan University
>
>
>
Message from mccaugheym@appstate.edu

Indeed, my question was about best practices and policies. And I should add for the record that I did not say that Appalachian State (a campus in the UNC system, of which I am proud to call myself an employee) posted my syllabi without my consent. App State did not do this. I'm quite proud to be on a campus with a strong tradition of governance shared with faculty. I've been thinking about faculty providing copies of our books and articles to promotion and tenure/faculty review committees, and some colleges' collecting single copies of such work (often for celebratory display cases in a Dean's office). Scanning and posting digital versions of these on an open-access website, however, could create a real conflict between the public record or 'university property' those works are considered to be and the publishing company that thinks it owns the copyright. If a faculty member in the English Department found her unpublished poems published online by her University employer, and could therefore then not publish them, I would think the University could find itself in a stressful situation. (Perhaps this is an example of "the collision between public information and proprietary content" Robert Hoon describes.) At the very least, such open publishing practices would do well to include the proper open-access caveats. I have responded to several of you individually, but let me say here thank you for a very enriching discussion of this issue. Thank you- Martha McCaughey
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