FA News (9/5/17): Vision and programs

Welcome to a special Labor Day Plus One edition of the FA newsletter. Three announcements, then some more substantial items.

  • President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program threatens many on our campus. This NEA webpage suggests some ways to respond, and links to resources on DACA for educators.
  • The NEA is collecting funds to be distributed to members who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. To find out more, click here.
  • It’s time for elections for department reps to the Departmental Representative Council (DRC), the FA’s most important representative body. If you are interested in serving, get in touch with FA Vice President Aldo Migone.

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FA News: 8/18/2017

Dear colleagues,
 
My attempt to clarify the status of syllabi was itself unclear about what is meant by “electronic posting.”
 
Syllabi naturally must be distributed to students. A copy must also be shared with your Chair/Director. The contract does not say in what format syllabi are to be shared. 
You may distribute syllabi to students in hard copy, electronically on D2L, or both. I, like many faculty, do both, and nothing in the CBA is meant to prevent that. 
The controversy about electronic posting centered on the administration’s past practice of requiring public posting of all syllabi online, in venues where it was possible for anyone, not just students, to access and download the syllabi. It is this sort of posting that the CBA is meant to address. 
 
Indeed, the whole point is that a syllabus you create is your intellectual property as a faculty member (unless the university specifically paid you extra to produce it). So you may share it with anyone you please, in any format you please—so long as you also share it with your students and your supervisor in some form. 
 
The new contractual language limits what the administration can do with your syllabus, not what you can do with it. 
 
I apologize for the confusion, and thank two colleagues for promptly pointing it out. 
 
Dave J
 
[My earlier message is posted below in all its original, glorious ambiguity.]
—–
 
Dear colleagues, 
 
As we prepare for the new semester (not to mention the eclipse), it is also syllabus season, and the annual reminders about syllabus policy are making the rounds. Here are some comments from the FA perspective. 
 
Syllabi are an important part of our teaching work, and it is precisely because so many faculty put a great deal of effort into providing quality syllabi that the Faculty Association has worked to protect faculty’s interest in syllabi as intellectual property. The 
new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement, a.k.a. contract) clarifies that syllabi are the intellectual property of faculty, save under certain rare conditions, as when development of a syllabus was directly funded by a university grant. 

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