Inside this issue:
- Faculty Rights – Distance Learning and Copyright.
- What is the Meaning of Article 24.1?
- Faculty Spotlight
Faculty Rights – Distance Learning and Copyright
The Chapter has received numerous inquiries regarding distance learning and how it affects Faculty here at UC. The UC AAUP Executive Council decided it would be prudent to provide faculty with a synopsis of a few critical issues surrounding Distance Learning and our position to them.
First, the Chapter views changes of this nature, such as length of term, as curriculum and workload issues—both of which entail significant faculty governance rights before any changes could be implemented. As with all other curricular matters, the faculty should have primary responsibility for determining the policies and practices of the institution regarding distance education. The rules governing distance education and its technologies should be approved by vote of the faculty within a unit, officially adopted, and published and distributed to all concerned.
Further changes made to your workload must be negotiated and faculty have the right to decline proposed changes. If a faculty member agrees to provide the class online, they will require adequate time to prepare such materials and to become sufficiently familiar with the technologies of instruction prior to delivery of the course. Depending on the teacher’s training or experience, significant release time from teaching during an academic term prior to the offering of the new course will normally be required.
A faculty member engaged in distance education is entitled to academic freedom as a teacher, researcher, and citizen in full accordance with the provisions of the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, jointly developed by the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American Colleges and Universities) and the American Association of University Professors and endorsed by more than 200 educational and professional organizations.
The other significant issue pertains to copyright law and how it applies to faculty here at UC. The Chapter’s position is that the majority of traditional faculty work belongs to the faculty and doesn’t fit as work-for-hire. Traditional faculty work includes course descriptions, syllabi, lecture notes and other materials generated for use by students, on-line courses, tests, computer programs, grant proposals, and university governance materials.
Copyright ownership is an academic freedom issue in many cases. Scholarly work is not work-for-hire because “the faculty member rather than the institution determines the subject matter, the intellectual approach and direction, and the conclusions.” AAUP Policy Documents & Reports (11th ed. 2015). “Were the institution to own the copyright in such works, under a work-made-for-hire theory, it would have the power, [to control it] and indeed to censor and forbid dissemination of the work altogether. Such powers, so deeply inconsistent with fundamental principles of academic freedom, cannot rest with the institution.” Id.
This standard protects both the institution as well as the faculty member: the institution has no control over the copyrighted works of a faculty member and therefore is not responsible for their ideas.
Professors have the unusual responsibility, as part of their employment, to be creative and independent outside of class in their intellectual scholarly life. Thus, the position of a professor requires an “employee” who researches and writes not to promote a particular viewpoint of the employer, but one who engages in an independent search for truth and knowledge. This model does not fit into the work-for-hire framework.
AAUP policy holds that for faculty work to be work-for-hire, it requires use of extraordinary resources; use of traditional resources “such as office space, supplies, library facilities, ordinary access to computer and networks, and money,” are not sufficient to make faculty work into work-for-hire. See, AAUP Policy Documents & Reports (11th ed. 2015).
The Chapter looks forward to working with the Administration to negotiate formal policies on distance learning and copyright to clearly delineate the rights and responsibilities for faculty as we move to providing more online classes,
UC AAUP Executive Council
Ronald Jones, President
Connie Kendall Theado, Vice President
Phoebe Reeves, Secretary
Steve Mockabee, Treasurer
Heather Maloney, At-Large Member
Sarai Hedges, At-Large Member
Cassie Fetters, At-Large Member
Chris Campagna, Associates Council Chair
Sean Hafer, Associates Council Vice Chair
John McNay, Chair, Political Action Committee
Amber Peplow, Chair, Budget & Compensation Advisory Committee
Emily Houh, Chair, Contract Compliance and Education
Alli Hammond, Chapter Representative, Ohio Conference AAUP
What Is the Meaning of Article 24.1?
Since implementation of the new 2019 – 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University and the AAUP, several questions and concerns have been raised about modified language in Section 24.1 of Article 24 – Faculty Professional Development. In previous CBAs, in Section 24.1, “the AAUP and the University encourage(d) Faculty participation in (development) activities….”, with some development activities listed in general terms. The University proposed changing “encourage” to “require”, but that was rejected by the AAUP. Instead, the AAUP proposed using the word “expected”, and separating activities to align with specific responsibilities in Teaching, Scholarship and Service. The AAUP’s suggestions for Section 24.1 were subsequently included in the final version of Article 24.
The first thing to note is that Article 24.1 is titled: “The Role of the University in Professional Development of Faculty.” Article 24.1 does not impose any new or specific obligations on the work of Faculty Members. Faculty Members have always been expected to participate in developmental activities during the span of their careers in order to keep current and to improve their skills. Their specific work obligations are detailed in their letters of appointment and in the Workload and RPT documents of their respective academic units, not in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Rather, the intent of Section 24.1 is to relate the support given by the University for Faculty Professional Development to the varied roles of specific Faculty Members.
Different Faculty Members have different degrees of responsibility in Teaching, Scholarship and Service. Teaching and Scholarship typically account for the bulk of a Faculty Member’s responsibilities, but in varying proportions. Only a few Faculty Members have service as a primary responsibility. Article 24.1 provides guidelines for “expectations”, not requirements. A Faculty Member whose primary responsibility is Teaching would be expected to pursue development activities related to teaching, and the University would generally be expected to support that type of development activity, with development funds if needed. For someone whose primary responsibility is Research, the general expectation would be for them to pursue development activities in research and for the University to support those pursuits, with development funds if needed. Since many Faculty Members have significant responsibilities in both Teaching and Scholarship, it would be reasonable for there to be some proportionate developmental activities, and University support, in both categories over a career.
The modified language in Article 24.1 clarifies the relationship between the role of the Administration in support of Faculty Development and the already established expectations of Faculty professionalism. It should not be interpreted as establishing any new requirements for Faculty Members, nor any new timelines for accomplishing professional expectations.
Dave Rubin, 2019 AAUP Chief Negotiator
Stefan Fiol, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, CCM
What do you do here at UC and what’s one thing you really love about it?
I am an ethnomusicologist, which is a fancy way of saying that I study music as an essential aspect of being human and being in connection with others. I really love that my field is an inter-discipline, one that allows me to continually learn and understand music in relation to almost limitless perspectives. This year one of my classes will be doing ethnographic projects with MYCincinnati, a community non-profit youth orchestra program in Price Hill, while another class is doing collaborative songwriting with people with dementia in partnership with UC’s Memory Disorders Center at the Gardner Neuroscience Institute.
What’s something about your work you wish people knew more about?
I wish people understood that ethnomusicology is not simply the study of ‘Other’ musics from other places, but a general approach to studying any music in relationship to those who make, listen to, and experience it. My scholarship is concentrated in the Indian Himalayas, which may sound exotic, but I try to make this music feel familiar because it is connected to the social structures, geographical conditions, and human emotions that shape all other musical systems in the world.
What are your hopes for your students in the future?
My hope for my students is that they do not settle for existing categories and ways of thinking, but use their skills and desires to imagine new research and career pathways for themselves.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would attempt to be a jazz pianist. I’m glad the question included the word “attempt.”
What music’s on your playlist right now?
Celine Dion, Narvel Felts, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thelonius Monk, Vijay Iyer, Vilayat Khan (mostly because I’m teaching about these artists in the coming week!)
Who is a real-world hero to you?
The Dalai Lama