“Substantial Support” and Ownership of Distance Learning Instructional Materials

August 18, 2016

Dear BGSU Faculty Colleagues:

In this tenth communication on implementing our new collective bargaining agreement, we wanted to make you aware of how receiving “substantial support” from the University in developing materials for distance learning affects faculty ownership of the resulting intellectual property. As detailed in Article 25 of the contract, substantial support includes, but is not limited to, designated technical assistance, specialized software, release time, or other compensation which exceeds normal University support for traditional courses. The standard level of support available to all faculty for course development (e.g., ordinary use of University servers and software platforms for the delivery of distance education, open enrollment workshops on online instructional techniques and processes, customary technical troubleshooting assistance) would not be considered substantial support resulting in shared ownership (Article 25, Sections 2.5.4-5).

The University and the faculty member developing copyrightable distance learning materials that will include substantial support from the University are expected, in advance, to sign a written form that will be created by a Distance Learning Committee; the committee includes members from the Administration and BGSU-FA. The form will document an agreement on specific ownership rights, obligations, priority to teach, and such other issues as the University and faculty member may agree upon (including royalties) (Article 25, Section 2.6.2.1).

This joint communication will be archived on the Provost website.

Best wishes for a productive academic year.

Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President

David J. Jackson, Ph.D.
President, BGSU Faculty Association