Have you have heard of Garcetti v. Ceballos? This 2006 U.S. Supreme Court case involving Gil Garcetti, a district attorney for Los Angeles County, and Richard Ceballos, a deputy DA, had nothing to do with higher education and yet it has had a profound effect on the academic workplace, particularly at state-supported colleges and universities.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
legal issues for faculty
A faculty member brings a ragged photocopy of a book chapter to the library to be scanned and loaded to the e-reserves for enrolled students. Does this fall within fair use of the document?
Problems like these confront academic faculty and administrators daily, and it is important to keep up with the latest court rulings to be sure your institution is in compliance. In her recent online seminar, The Copyright Case We’ve Been Waiting for: Key Lessons and Policy Changes, Linda Enghagen, an attorney and professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, reviews some of the key considerations of copyright law, updated to include rulings that were made on August 13, the day of the seminar. It is a must-hear seminar for institutions wishing to be in compliance.
Complaints about incivility in the classroom are not new, but most faculty believe incivility is on the rise. Couple that with our litigious society, and it’s no wonder that one of the most important skills faculty need today is classroom management.
Earlier this year a UCLA student made a video tirade against Asian students and posted it to YouTube. She quickly removed the hateful clip, but it was too late. The damage was done.
Although an extreme case, it’s a good example of how inappropriate behavior can not only spread rapidly far beyond one’s circle of friends, but can damage a reputation for years to come. Students don’t always thinking about this, nor are they aware that employers now regularly use Google and social networks to check out prospective employees.
There are three main legal issues that can cause trouble in online educational programs: ownership issues, copyright issues, and issues of harassment and defamation. Each of these issues also pertains to the face-to-face classroom setting but requires a fresh perspective when applied to distance education.
Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Harassment: Navigating the Murky Legal Waters of Online Teaching
If you teach online, here’s a simple quiz for you:
- Are you familiar with your college’s intellectual property policy?
- Do you know if you own the class material you have created?
- Do you have permission to use all copyrighted materials you use regularly?
- Do you know how to prevent defamation and harassment issues online?
- Do you have a disability expert on campus that regularly assists in the development of online materials so that you do not violate disability guidelines?
A parent calls you to ask how her son is doing in your class. Her son, a first-year student, began the semester well but recently started missing class and turning in assignments late. The mother says she’s worried about him and wants to know if he’s showing up for class, how his grades are, and if he will pass your class.