Academic Senate

Reports from the Standing Committees

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This Month's Issue
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Message from the ASCSU Chair

Reports from Standing Committees

Academic Affairs
Academic Preparation &
   Education Programs
Fiscal & Governmental

Report on SB 1440 (The STAR Act)
Report from the Faculty Trustee
Resolution Summaries

Faculty Affairs Committee

Kevin Baaske (Los Angeles), Chair
The Faculty Affairs Committee (FA) investigates and makes recommendations to the ASCSU on matters of statewide concern related to ARTP, professional development, appointment and review of presidents and systemwide executive officers and academic administrators, as well as issues related to faculty intellectual property, academic freedom and responsibility, the role of faculty in institutional governance, faculty participation in international programs.  While FA normally does not get involved in issues that are the subject of collective bargaining, there is occasional overlap.

This year, FA has been engaged in several issues that might merit your attention.  First, we have been following closely the rolling out of Cal State Online.  One important issue that may adversely affect faculty involves the intellectual property rights of the faculty member who creates an online course.  If faculty are unaware of or do not protect their rights, they can lose them.  

For example, sometimes faculty sign contracts and receive payment for developing online courses.  Frequently, in accepting this “substantial support” they forfeit the exclusive right to such materials.  Other times faculty develop such courses without substantial additional support.  Perhaps they just do it as part of their service to their department or because they desire to teach an online course.  In such situations, they retain the right to the material therein.  Usually no one can teach the course using their materials because the faculty member has retained the intellectual property.  Neither model is definitively better, but faculty should know what they are doing before signing a memorandum of understanding.  If your campus’ Intellectual Property policy is old, perhaps it should be reviewed.

Another issue of import which we have spent time on this year is what to do about student recording a class without first asking permission.  It used to be that recording devices were big and bulky.  This made it likely that the instructor would know if a student was recording them.  We all know that is no longer the case.  So what to do?  Christine Helwick, CSU General Counsel, advised FA that faculty control their classrooms, so the matter of classroom recordings is up to the faculty instructor.  If you don’t care, you don’t have to do or say anything.  If you do care, you might add a statement to your syllabus stating students must obtain permission to record a class lecture or discussion and that without prior permission the student can be reported for academic misconduct. 

Finally, we’ve discussed ways we might celebrate faculty achievements in Category B: Professional Achievement.  We decided to support the creation of a CSU website where each campus can provide the name and department affiliation of the university-wide award winners, the name of the award, and a link to a PR piece that provides the details of what the faculty member has done to earn this recognition.  Sometimes people think CSU faculty just teach.  Such a website could be shared with Trustees of the CSU, state legislators and executive officers, and the public.  They might click on a few links and learn how very successful CSU faculty are in research, scholarship, and in creative activities.  The website would be linked to the ASCSU website and would be updated at least annually.  Your campus senate chairs and statewide senators will be reviewing and revising what FA comes up with.  Once it’s posted, I am sure you’ll be told about it and can see for yourself how marvelous your colleagues actually are.

I look forward to updating you again in the future.

For more information, contact committee Chair Kevin Baaske at or visit the committee website.