Friday, May 03, 2013

Recommended Reading: On Open SUNY

Here's a recently-updated Phil Hill post at e-Literate on Open SUNY--it's a great intro to the recently-announced initiative by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

I'm here at UUP's Academic Delegates meeting hearing from a panel on issues raised by Open SUNY, such as:

  • academic quality/academic integrity
  • pedagogy
  • intellectual property/work-for-hire agreements
  • extra service/workload/on-call-recall designations/compensatory time
  • outsourcing
  • who is involved in curriculum change, when, and under what conditions
  • pace of change
Of course, UUP must be involved in discussions of any changes to salary, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment, which are mandatory subjects of bargaining.  These include:
  • change in length of workday
  • increases in duties
  • work-for-hire requests
  • on-call/recall issues
  • extra service issues
UUP is available to consult with members whenever there are changes in work life and is looking for ways to  collaborate with SUNY governance bodies, both state-wide and on different campuses.  Vice President for Academics Jamie Dangler recommends:
  • forming chapter committees
  • using chapter web sites and newsletters to engage members
  • working with campus governance bodies
  • developing positions on specific changes/issues
  • developing guidelines for UUP representation on campus and statewide groups
Other ideas that came out of our discussions include:
  • workshops/training
  • what are legitimate and inappropriate standards/procedures for evaluation of online teaching? (UUP's Technology Issues Committee has a report entitled Best Practices in Online Learning that addresses this [available here], but may not adequately deal with evaluation of contingent faculty.)
  • vulnerability of contingent faculty to be pressured into designing or teaching in Open SUNY
  • increased workload that comes with changes in online learning systems
  • UUP resolution/statement (Chief Academic Officers and Faculty Council of Community Colleges have made them)
  • who profits from Open SUNY? (often with MOOCs, it's private corporations)
  • conflicting definitions of "consultation" and management abuses of the concept (such as at CUNY)
  • what's going on in other systems, states, and nations so we can help, learn, gain allies
  • defining what's optimal, what's working, what ought to be happening
  • thinking about how to connect with student groups to push for broader/better support for quality public higher education

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