Faculty Senate Meeting
January 12, 2001
Minutes of the November 10, 2000 meeting were approved.
President Sadler noted several items of information and/or consideration for future Executive Committee and Senate discussion.
The Board of Trustees has approved a substantial tuition increase that will raise full-time tuition to $21,456 per year. This is a 7.0% increase. For FY02 tuition, mandatory fees, room and board will be $28,783 for full-time resident undergraduate students.
All Senators are invited to participate in the faculty meeting associated with the NCA accreditation visit on January 22 from 3:30 4:30 pm.
The Provost has asked the Senate to offer suggestions on modification of the current approval process for the Evans Professorship. Senators with ideas related to this matter should contact President Sadler.
With support and input from trustee Clara Villarose, Debora Barton has established the Multicultural Affairs Committee. The proposed committee has strong faculty participation.
The University Planning Advisory Council is underway. The UPACs first task will be to define the nature of their work, and the ways that this group will connect with other University governing bodies such as the Senate.
Sarah Nelson requests that the EC consider whether the Senate should name a member to SPARC. This is a faculty advisory group consisting of Principal Investigators. Senators should contact President Sadler with ideas.
The primary agenda item for this Senate meeting is consideration of the Intellectual Property policy.
John Coombe presented the policy development history and general outline for the policy.
The current draft is the result of the past years work by the committee, with consultation from Intellectual Property lawyers, faculty and administrators. It was the focus of the recent general faculty meeting, and has been discussed in executive committee, by the Senate and by the Faculty and Educational Affairs Committee of the BOT. It is slated for final consideration at the upcoming BOT meeting.
The subject of Intellectual Property (IP) is both a personal matter for creators and a complex legal matter. It is a matter of some urgency for the University given the ways in which technology is affecting development and dissemination of IP.
The Universitys goal is a fair and balanced policy that addresses Who owns what? and How it will be exploited?
The committee used some of Harvards previous work in this area as a starting point. The proposed DU policy might be characterized as more liberal than Harvards policy. That is it is more open and collaborative and less business oriented. This policy favors the creator more than do some University policies. It also recognizes the Universitys legitimate rights and interests.
There are for key things that make the policy compatible with the DU environment
The lynchpin of the policy is the concept of substantial assistance from the University in the creation of the Work. The policy is presumptive on the side of creator ownership except when substantial assistance has been provided.
The policy strongly urges all concerned to formulate contract agreement before creation of a Work. The University expects a high level of agreement between interested parties as these agreements are negotiated.
This policy focuses on IP only, that is, on the expressions of ideas, not on the ownership of the ideas themselves.
The existing patent policy continues.
The key points of the policy are as follows:
The definition of a Work
All University community members are covered
The due process element uses the IP Committee as both an administrative and an appellate body
Creators retain sole ownership, except in situations where substantial assistance is rendered
Substantial discussion ensued, largely centered on the definition of substantial assistance.
Senators questioned whether routine and ordinary use of University technologies, such as use of Blackboard, internet access and web-site creation would be considered substantial assistance. Language in the policy pertaining to linking to DU sites indicates that this would be the case. John Coombe agreed that the policy as written identified use of internet technology as substantial assistance and that this was the intent of the committee. He emphasized the opportunity for negotiated agreements.
Senators noted several examples where faculty may use material prior to its publication to enhance teaching, and raised concerns about placing their IP at risk by doing so. Similarly, some noted that the Universitys stated objective of integrating Blackboard into teaching may be thwarted if faculty members are concerned about compromising their IP.
Following this discussion, John Coombe agreed to revisit this issue.
Senators raised concerns about the DUXL exemption from the policy and wondered about the impact on Departmental agreements with DUXL. John Coombe again emphasized the need for prior agreement. Some noted a deeper question related to maintenance of the Universitys academic reputation, which is seen as emanating from the quality and work of the faculty. Creation of opportunities to move DU IP into a work for hire arena through DUXL are seen as compromising that reputation.
Senators raised many questions regarding the work for hire language which on the face gives the impression of undermining the intent of the policy.
Senators raised questions about the impact of power differentials on the ability to negotiate fair agreements.
John Coombe reiterated that this is a good faith effort to develop a fair policy that brings some logical order to the current chaos. He agreed to work with President Sadler and an ad hoc committee of the Executive Committee to again seek to address these ongoing concerns.
Senator Barrett moved: Faculty Senate endorses the Intellectual Property policy as drafted 19 December 2000 and modified by V-C Coombe pursuant to comments by members of the Executive Committee, with the proviso that V-C Coombe on the basis of today's discussion in the Senate will make further modifications, to be monitored by a small ad hoc committee to be appointed by the President in one further meeting with the Vice-Chancellor. V-C Coombe agreed to modify the document to reflect today's discussion, and to present the revisions at a meeting with Pres. Sadler's ad hoc committee. The motion approved on a voice vote but with continuing strong opposition.
As time had expired, Senators were strongly encouraged to communicate additional concerns and specific proposed language to President Sadler.
Meeting was adjourned at 1:40 pm.
Respectfully Submitted 1/28/01
Cathryn C. Potter
Secretary, Faculty Senate