Faculty Senate Approves Scholarship Access Plan

February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010 — The University of Virginia Faculty Senate, at its meeting Wednesday, unanimously approved a revised policy on access to published scholarship.

The policy is designed to encourage scholars to retain rights to publish their research findings online a year after the articles are published in academic journals. Many journals now take all rights when they agree to publish material.

The proposal was presented by Brian Pusser, a professor at the Curry School of Education and co-chair, with law professor Edmund Kitch, of the senate’s Task Force on Scholarly Publication and Authors' Rights. The revised resolution makes scholar participation voluntary and establishes the task force as an ongoing body to report to the board on the results of the policy.

Under the policy, U.Va. faculty members are “encouraged to reserve a nonexclusive, irrevocable, noncommercial global license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to each of her or his scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided the articles are not sold for profit,"

In an effort to preserve and disseminate scholarship, the authors are encouraged to send electronic copies of their articles and papers to the University Library, which will maintain a repository for the work.

The senate has discussed the proposal since last fall and, following senators’ concerns and suggestions, the policy has gone through several revisions. Noting the amount of discussion, Pusser said the latest revision calls for the task force to become a permanent body, which will periodically report to the senate about the effort and to accept questions and suggestions from faculty members.

In other business, Craig Littlepage, director of intercollegiate athletic programs, told faculty members that a top priority of his department is academic excellence and that there should be more “routine interaction” between athletics and the faculty.

He cited a program, started several years ago, of “faculty partners,” where coaches, "who are educators, too," would pair with faculty members to get to know each other on a professional and personal level. Littlepage said the program had stopped and he hopes to resurrect it.

He said there have been remarks that the sports program is at a recruiting disadvantage because of U.Va.'s high academic requirements. He does not see this as a disadvantage; neither, he said, do the coaches.

Littlepage also outlined the athletic budget, noting that athletics has to be self-supporting. He said the primary revenue streams are ticket sales, which raise $13.4 million annually; student fees, which raise $11.9 million; scholarship support, at $11.6 million; league revenue distribution, which nets $10.8 million and private donations, which realize $10.1 million. There is also $5.2 million in miscellaneous revenue. The department takes in about $63 million to cover about $62.8 million in expenses.

In another report, Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., executive vice president and provost, suggested to senators that they conduct another survey of the faculty, noting that the last one was about three years ago. He called the survey “valuable” in helping to recruit and in considering what amenities are needed. He cited a heavy faculty concern for more train access to large cities such as Washington, D.C.

President John T. Casteen III outlined for the faculty the budget process with the General Assembly. He discussed various steps proposed in the state assembly for spending cuts, such as employee furloughs, and revenue raising plans, such as placing a tax on each credit-hour of education. He warned that some of the cuts this year have been cushioned by money from the federal stimulus legislation, but he said that expires in 2011.

He said the University’s capital campaign has raised about $2.1 billion of its $3 billion goal.

The next meeting of the senate will be on March 25 at the Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room.