Cary Nelson, former president of the American Association of University Professors, talks to Inside Higher Ed about intellectual property rights on campus.
“There’s no need for universities to own the online course you create,” Nelson said. “All the university needs is a contract from you saying they can use it in different ways.” And that doesn’t exclude profit-sharing, he added, as university resources often are involved in the creation of content or product; after all, “it’s not about the money,” but principle. . . . Nelson said intellectual property issues and recommendations for action will be discussed in his new report on faculty concerns, to be published by the AAUP and distributed by University of Illinois Press by the end of the year (Nelson is a past president of the AAUP). Those recommendations will be governed by the idea that academic freedom “goes the distance, from the idea to the thing itself,” he said, and protections for it should be part of collective bargaining agreements – even, perhaps at the expense of salary increases. Select recommendations also will be available on the AAUP’s website by fall, he said.