Davis Faculty Association

Archive for May, 1999

DFA Criticizes Proposed Copyright Policy

by Ben McCoy

The Universitywide Task Force on Copyright, headed by UCSC Executive Vice Chancellor R. Tanner, issued its Draft Report and Recommendations for review in September, 1998.  A quick reading of the Tanner report seemed to promise that US law and custom would be respected, and that the copyright for any independent scholarly work would be owned by the creator of that work.  Indeed, item 6 of the report stated, “The University should reaffirm the policy that a faculty member owns his or her works of scholarship.”  But upon closer reading it became clear that in item 6, “works of scholarship” referred to research but not instructional material. The report noted that recordings of class lectures, for example, may belong to the University.  DFA Executive Board member Charlie Nash outlined the problem:

“Suppose that UC mounted a video camera in the back of 198 Young and videotaped all of my Chem 2A lectures (this in fact happened—my lectures were piped to an overflow room in Olson Hall and were taped en route.)  Suppose also that the following quarter UC decided to save some money by running the tapes of my lectures rather than employ me or another faculty member to revise and redeliver them. What are my rights?  Suppose even further that UC now decides to market the tapes in question commercially because of my expository brilliance, or to include them in the catalog of the California Virtual University and give or sell degree credit to those who enroll in the course via that medium.  It would be easy for UC to hire a grad student to cook up some exam questions for the virtual course and to hold some e-mail office hours.  Again, what are my rights?”

Aside from ownership and possible financial gain that faculty would lose in such circumstances, perhaps just as important is pedagogical and academic quality.  According to UC policy, faculty have authority for what is taught in the classroom.  Many faculty are rightly concerned that courses taught via electronic media not escape careful Academic Senate review.

A key issue is whether faculty work in the classroom is or is not “work for hire.”  An incident at UCLA shows the difficulties that can arise.  Faculty were required to post administrative information about their courses on the web and invited to add other material derived from the course syllabi.  One professor wanted to change some things he had posted on the website.  He discovered that the site was protected in  a manner that precluded him from making the changes without the permission of a gatekeeper.  In effect, his scholarly instructional work had come under the control of an administrative unit of the University.

DFA and the Council of UC Faculty Associations provided detailed criticisms of the Tanner report, including its inconsistency with United States Code—The Copyright Act of 1976.  The law provides that faculty own their classroom lectures, whether typed and placed on the web, written out on paper, or recorded electronically.  Several Academic Senate committees also saw and analyzed the problems. The Council Chair of the Systemwide Assembly of the Academic Senate wrote to the Office of the President saying that too many concerns and objections had been raised to consider the Tanner report close to being finished, and that a new statement was needed with another full faculty review.  We trust that the criticisms will be heeded.

[For another view on copyright  issues, see the AAUP website <www.aaup.org> under Distance Education & Intellectual Property Issues.]

DFA Board Elections

by Myrna Hays

A nominating committee consisting of Alan Jackman (Chem. Engr.), Kathryn Radke (Animal Science), and David Robertson (English) has proposed  candidates to fill DFA Board positions as listed below (with the following code R – re-elect; C – continuing; E – elect):

Chair: Ben McCoy  (Chem. Engr.) R
Vice Chair: Bill Lasley  (VM: Pop. Hlt.) C

Board members:
Ariena Van Bruggen  (Plant Path.) C
Alan  Elms  (Psychology) C
Charles Nash (Chem. Emeritus) R
Floyd Feeney  (Law) R
Don  Abbott (English) R
Peter Richerson (Env. Sci.) E
Andrew Waterhouse  (Vit. & Enol.) E
Lynn Roller (Spanish & Classics)E
Sid  Gospe (Med: Neurology) E

All nominees have agreed to serve. Their two-year terms of office will begin Sept. 1999. Further nominations may be made upon petition of 5% of the membership (15 members) in good standing as of April 1, 1999. Such petitions must be delivered on or before June 10, 1999, to the Executive Director (address above). If no nominations are submitted, the slate shall be accepted as elected.

Members leaving the board are Eugenio Amparo (Med: Radiology), Maria Colombi (Spanish & Classics), Yvette Flores-Ortiz (Chicano Studies), and Jonathan Sandoval ( Educ.). We especially want to thank Jonathan for serving as Chair.

Parking Fees Update

by Ben McCoy

The Representative Assembly on April 23 approved the Faculty Welfare Committee’s recommendation to form a Special Committee on Parking Issues. Concern has grown since a 1997 long range plan revealed that “A” parking sticker costs could increase from $360 per year to $948 by 2004.  The thought of paying nearly $1000 each year to park is dismaying to many faculty and staff.

Last summer, DFA offered assistance to Bryan Miller, Chair of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate, to help resolve parking issues. Before his untimely death, Bryan had written to the Chancellor questioning why parking spaces were being replaced by buildings with no compensating funds for the lost parking spaces.  State law mandates that parking must be self-supporting, but using parking income for other purposes is objectionable.

DFA also wrote to the Vice Chancellor for Administration to express concern for the alarming prospect that parking costs could nearly triple in the next several years.  Responses received from UCD administration have not allayed the concerns, and apparently the administration does not wish to reinstate the parking advisory committee that was disbanded four years ago.  Efforts to improve alternative transportation and commuting systems are worthwhile, but overall planning has suffered from insufficient faculty input.

A strong perception among faculty is that the new Center for the Arts will be built on parking spaces that employees have already paid for.  Apparently, the fund-raising plans for the Center do not include sufficient new investment funds for parking facilities at the Center.  Under current plans, new parking facilities to replace those removed for new construction will have to be financed from increases in parking rates paid by UC Davis employees and students.  Such perceptions cannot help the campaign to secure donations for the Center for the Arts.

Similar experiences at UC Santa Cruz confirm that the UC administration is insensitive to employee parking needs.  Between $1 and $2 million in funds received from parking fees have been openly diverted by UCSC to purposes other than parking.  The UCSC Faculty Association, the legal bargaining agent for the UCSC faculty, is contesting the diversion of funds.  Bargaining on the dispute is at an impasse, however, and a Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) ruling has been requested to resolve the matter.  Information on HEERA may be found at <http://home.pacbell.net/ucfa/>.

The disputes suggest that a careful accounting of UC parking fees and investments is needed, with appropriate credit allocated for parking facilities that have been paid for by users.  The new Academic Senate committee should stand firm to resolve this matter fairly for UC employees.

Year-Round Operations

by Peter Hays

As a way of increasing capacity at UC and CSU without having to construct new campuses or new buildings at existing campuses in the near term, a bill ( AB 126) asks CSU and UC to increase summer enrollments and make both institutions year-round schools (YRO). The bill states that no new instructional facilities could be built if any quarter’s enrollment (including summer’s) is less than 90% of peak enrollment and outlines a schedule to achieve summer enrollment at that level by 2007-08. The bill could be replaced by supplemental language to the budget which would require the more reasonable goal of 40%, closer to the nationwide maximum.

The bill states explicitly that faculty would not be required to teach year round; UC and CSU “would provide reasonable accommodation for faculty members to address any additional workload resulting from YRO.”  While  students would  not be required to attend year round, additional incentives could be implemented to encourage students to do so and reduce the time to graduation. The intent is to provide students greater flexibility by offering them a regular schedule of classes in the summer and fees the same as those required the rest of the year.  Chancellor Reed of the CSU system has embraced the idea; at CSU, Los Angeles, there will be no fees for summer attendance in 1999 for new freshman.

How students who  need to work summers to finance their education will be affected and how many additional faculty (and graduate students) will have to be hired to offer four quarters of balanced study, where they will be housed, and how they will be equipped are as yet  unanswered. UC is pressing for maintaining quality by stating that we would need  full funding at the marginal cost of instruction  for all enrollment. Also not addressed  is the impact  on current summer programs. Again, UC has publicly stated that space for summer outreach, teacher training, student orientation, and extension should not be displaced by YRO.

At present the bill may be carried over to next year, giving UC more time to plan. UC, meanwhile, has agreed to phase in YRO initially at one or two campuses  by next summer; these will probably be Berkeley and/or UCLA, which are already at full capacity and could use the addition of more students to justify hiring more faculty. Office and lab space needs, however, would remain, as would the problem of performing needed maintenance on facilities used constantly.

The FA presented  a “white paper” outlining many of these concerns to legislators and will continue meeting with key people on this issue. We will keep you informed.

UC Budget Update

by Myrna Hays

Background: When we reported on the threat to faculty salaries posed by the Governor’s 1999-2000 budget, which included a reduction of $51M from UC’s base budget and discontinuation of the $70M of one-time funding available in the 1998-99 budget, we promised to work hard to persuade legislators that, should  more money become available as was anticipated, some or all of these funds should be restored to UC. In our meetings with legislators, we specifically advocated  providing full funding for UC’s projected enrollment growth at the agreed-upon  marginal cost of instruction; maintaining competitive faculty salaries, which the CPEC methodology shows would require a 2.5% increase for faculty; and continuing to provide targeted funding for the University libraries and the replacement of obsolete instructional equipment–the 1998-99 funding provided $20M for instructional equipment and $10M to begin to restore the print collection in the UC libraries. (At the FA’s request, supplemental language was also included asking UC to develop a funding strategy and multi-year plan to address the library funding problem with attention to traditional print collections.) In the Regents’ request, UC included $7.5M as the first step in a multi-year plan  to address these needs.

May Revise: The Governor’s revised budget and actions by the Assembly and the Senate budget subcommittees together  support full funding for enrollment growth at UC and a restoration of the $51M shortfall from the January budget. This funding, if carried through to the final budget, would permit UC to provide faculty salary increases of 2.5%, the amount required to maintain parity with our comparison institutions.

The Assembly subcommittee has not acted on UC’s request for a repeat of the $70M in one-time funding from last year,
but the Senate subcommittee has proposed approximately  $35M in on-going funds for those same categories: deferred  maintenance, instructional materials/technology, and library materials ($2.5M was also added to the libraries  at the last minute–largely due to efforts by our lobbyist). Now these issues will need to go to the Conference Committee.

The entire budget, of course, is far from final; it must be approved by the Conference committee, the full Legislature, and the Governor. But, so far, things look promising, especially in respect to the FA’s stated goals.

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