Crooked Timber relates stuff about how administrators attempt to run other universities, and I’m left (almost) speechless:
… administration was trying to undermine the speech rights of the faculty by inserting a so-called “civility” clause in the contract.
This is from the University of Oregon.
Here at SUU we put in a collegiality component into our LRT process about 10 years ago. It took less time than that for my provost to inform me in writing that my complains weren’t collegial.
Here’s more from Oregon:
Emails sent on a bargaining unit faculty member’s non-university email account and information created or stored on non-university computer systems belong to the bargaining unit member except to the extent that they address work-related subjects.
Read that last sentence carefully. Not only is the administration demanding the right to monitor and review the faculty’s UO email accounts, but it also arrogates to itself the right to monitor any emails on the faculty’s non-UO accounts (and computers) so long as those emails or documents “address work-related subjects.” So if I email my wife on my Gmail account, complaining about the action of a university administrator, or if I keep a diary on my home computer in which I talk about what that administrator did, that very same administrator can demand to read and review that email or document.
I am not even sure if we have a policy like that here. I do know I’ve crossed this line already.
Here’s Alan from the comments on the policy in the Wisconsin system:
I can verify that the state has not only said–but warned–that any political-activity use of university email is forbidden as subject to FOIA inquiry for misuse of publicly-funded property …
I wonder to what extent the reasonable work product of a macroeconomist like myself will quickly qualify as political activity?
And here’s Astroprof from an unknown school:
We have been informed by legal counsel that any emails mentioning individual students are educational records as defined by FERPA, and must be disclosed to the students upon request.
Oy vey. Here’s my FERPA story. I took over a class for a colleague who had a cardiac event. His class materials are stored on Canvas (our distance education software). Distance education software is not particularly cutting edge, so I wanted to download that material as backup. This is RA and/or secretary work. I was informed that they would have to go through FERPA training before they could get access to the class files for download, even though they’d never see any student records, and this was all before the students had done anything for a grade.