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Update from VC Koshland’s re: Copyright Online Education working group

Vice Chancellor Koshland responded to our letter of April 30, 2015 in which we requested an update on the Copyright Online Education working group.  His response is pasted below.


May 6, 2015

Dear Professor Lye and Professor Vernon,

Thank you for inquiring about the Copyright Working Group and its progress. We are pleased to report that thanks to the diligent efforts of Chair Julie Conner (Associate Campus Counsel) and the group members, a final draft of a faculty agreement template has been presented for discussion at meetings of the Steering Committee for Online Education and committees of the Academic Senate.

The existing draft agreement template attempts to address detailed concerns of faculty in multiple departments. At its core, the agreement is intended to protect faculty intellectual property rights and the rights of the University’s investment in and use of the prope11y. The input from the Senate committee discussions will be taken into consideration and incorporated into the current draft agreement template as appropriate. Please consult with Panos Papadopoulos about the status of the review by the Senate.

Given the differences between departments and how they approach the issue, it appears unlikely that one agreement will be adopted without revision across departments. We have been operating under the presumption that the department involved in a particular online education initiative can make decisions in certain areas regarding modifications to the agreement and that authorization of revisions at the department level is appropriate when supported by legal counsel. Accordingly, we have appreciated being kept informed of the efforts of Haas leadership and faculty to create a Haas-centric agreement

with similar baseline assumptions, but have not asked that Haas conform that agreement to the template under consideration by the Steering Committee for Online Education and the Senate committees.

Finally, we are informed by the working group that other universities across the country are addressing the same issue and there is no standard as such. With that in mind, we are encouraged that Berkeley is developing a template agreement that protects faculty IP first and foremost and allows reasonable use by the University. It is a template that can be adapted as appropriate for use in unique department cultures, and it will be able to evolve along with the changing and growing online education environment.


Catherine Koshland
Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education


cc: Panos Papadopolous, Chair, Academic Senate Chris Patti, Chief Campus Counsel
Julie Conner, Associate Campus Counsel
Diana Wu, Executive Director, Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education


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