Office of the Provost
Tenure Clock Stoppage and Copyright Issues
I know you are busy preparing to launch your remote courses in just a few short days. While none of us would have chosen these circumstances, it is impressive how our community has come together in such a short time. Because of your hard work and flexibility, we will ensure that 53,000+ students continue their education come Monday. That truly is an amazing accomplishment and could not be achieved without the phenomenal efforts of all of our faculty and staff. I am so proud of how everyone has risen to this challenge.
I continue to receive questions about our unusual circumstances and write briefly to provide new information.
Opt-In Tenure Clock Stoppage Related to the COVID-19 Emergency
The University System of Georgia offers tenure-track faculty the option to stop the tenure clock for up to two years in a limited set of circumstances. Board Policy 126.96.36.199 states that “credit for the probationary period of an interruption may be given at the discretion of the President.” Because of the unanticipated disruptions caused by COVID-19 this semester, Georgia State will allow pre-tenure faculty to apply for a one time tenure clock stoppage for the 2020-21 academic year where justified. We hope this will alleviate some of the stress that many of you are experiencing because of unanticipated instructional challenges and restricted research opportunities.
The stoppage request should originate with a memo from the faculty member to their chair. The memo should include a description of the nature of the disruption to the faculty member’s research. Examples include (but are not limited to) inability to travel to the field sites or to conduct interviews, closed labs, delays in delivery of lab equipment, delays in manuscript or grant proposal review/approval, etc. The request must be approved by the chair and the dean.
Deans should forward approved requests to the Office of Faculty Affairs for the Provost’s review. The Provost’s recommendation will be forwarded to the President, and ultimate approval will be communicated back to the Dean’s Office. Because this tenure stoppage does not require a leave of absence, no leave of absence form will be required.
Ownership of Course Materials
Some of you have raised concerns about ownership over the electronic course materials you are creating as part of our move to remote instruction. The relevant policy can be found on the CETL website at http://cetl.gsu.edu/services/instructional-support/ownership-of-digital-educational-resources/.
Per our policy, faculty typically own course materials they create for the purpose of instruction or evaluation, including syllabi, tests, course assignments, lectures, lecture notes, and other materials. However, intellectual property created with significant use of university resources (instructional design services, multimedia design or development, curricular or pedagogical consulting and project management or coordination by the university) is owned by the university.
The University does not consider courses taught remotely due to COVID-19 to be created using significant use of university resources.
Unauthorized Public Posting and Distribution of Course Materials
I have fielded concerns from faculty about the possibility that students will share electronic lectures and materials in ways that are not intended. One way to address this is to include a statement in your syllabi as follows:
“All content created in this course, including videos, handouts, etc., may be used only by students enrolled in the course for purposes relating to the course. No materials may be shared with students outside of the class or posted in any external forum. Failure to abide by these limitations constitutes a violation of the Policy on Academic Honesty and will be treated accordingly.”
Thanks, everyone. Take care and get some rest this weekend.
Wendy F. Hensel
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs