Southeast Missouri State University

Resolution 09-02 - Online Class Ownership

FACULTY SENATE SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION 09-03


Approved by the Faculty Senate
April 15, 2009


RESOLUTION CONCERNING
“ONLINE CLASS OWNERSHIP PROCEDURES” DOCUMENT

WHEREAS: In the Spring of 2009, the University approved and has begun to implement a set of procedures concerning online course ownership, and

WHEREAS: Many of those procedures are a welcomed reinforcement of protection for the intellectual property rights of faculty, but

WHEREAS: There has been some uncertainty about the meaning and significance of some of the provisions in the Document outlining the procedures, and

WHEREAS: The Faculty Senate is interested in clarifying those provisions, so as to improve the Document and help bring about an appropriate balance between the intellectual property rights of faculty and the programmatic need for course availability to students, and

WHEREAS: The customary meaning of “extenuating circumstances” normally includes unforeseen and unplanned changes or departures from the status quo that present a genuine need for an unusual response,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University, in accordance with the intent expressed in the Document of having procedures in place for the University to make use of a faculty member's online class “under extenuating circumstances,” believes that the unavailability of the faculty member to offer the class must be sudden and unexpected, and must occur within two months of the first day of the class in order to be truly an “extenuating circumstance,” and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University finds reasonable the first three circumstances listed in the “Online Class Ownership Procedures” document under which a faculty member's online class may be borrowed: “death or disability;” “being away from the campus that particular semester;” “and leaving the employment of the university,” provided that these circumstances occur suddenly and unexpectedly within two months of the first day of the class, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate finds unclear and potentially unreasonable the fourth listed circumstance: “or a work schedule in which it is impossible for the faculty member to teach the online class in question.” Because faculty teaching schedules are determined by department chairpersons, a scheduling conflict is a self-determined administrative action, unlike the three previously-listed circumstances, and is not an emergency sufficient to warrant the University exercising control over the faculty member's intellectual property, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate hereby goes on record as willing to endorse all of the Document except the fourth circumstance (twice listed in the Document), provided that the unavailability of the faculty member occurs within two months of the first day of class, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate hereby goes on record as explicitly NOT endorsing the Document if it continues to contain the fourth circumstance, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate hereby calls upon the Academic Council, and any other such bodies as the President of the University shall determine to be necessary, to revise the Document by 1) adding a two-month time frame for the faculty member's sudden and unexpected unavailability, and 2) by either striking the fourth circumstance from the Document, or by sufficiently defining that circumstance so that it refers to a truly uncontrollable and unavoidable situation worthy of a permitted encroachment on a faculty member's intellectual property.

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