Lehman College Statement on Academic Freedom

This post was contributed by Kenneth Schlesinger, Chief Librarian, Lehman College.

On November 15, 2017, Lehman College Senate approved a new Statement on Academic Freedom.  This process was a year in the making.  We started with CUNY’s controversial and contentious Freedom of Expression Policy, which—from the perception of the College Senate’s Academic Freedom Committee—appeared to be more about abridging freedom of speech rather than celebrating and advocating for it.  Originating from CUNY’s Office of Legal Affairs, it’s not surprising that it read like a legal document, neither user-friendly nor inspirational.

In developing Lehman’s own Policy, we looked to Statements developed by peer institutions including University of Chicago and Middlebury College. While the College Senate did approve original draft based on Chicago’s Report in March 2017, I wrote to the Chair of the Committee with some of my concerns.  First of all, I wanted a Statement that pertains to the specific Lehman community, that reflects our values and local culture (on campus, we refer to this as Lehmanizing).  I also believe our Statement should be aspirational, and recommended deleting or recasting language that appeared restrictive or negative (disagreeable, offensive, reject, loathe, etc.). Continue reading “Lehman College Statement on Academic Freedom”

OER at the 2017 CUNY IT Conference

This post was contributed by Ann Fiddler, Open Education Librarian at CUNY’s Office of Library Services.

With $4 million dollars in state funding, CUNY OER initiatives are bustling along, creating and changing the OER conversation across CUNY.

All that’s happening has resulted in a slew of OER presentations at this year’s CUNY IT conference on November 30th and December 1st (also check out the full program, which includes an opening keynote from Safiya Umoja Noble).

The OLS copyright committee will also be hosting a pre-conference session about educating faculty on copyright as part of OER initiatives. The session will take place on November 30th from 10-11:30 in the John Jay library classroom. Please RSVP.

About the CUNY OER Initiatives

Currently with 100% participation by eligible CUNY campuses, the face of OER at CUNY is taking shape through CUNY’s OER initiatives. To date, 260 courses are proposed to be converted (all with multiple sections). There’s been a brisk pace of workshops held in a variety of forms; campuses are building on their prior models, Lumen Learning is conducting workshops for all to attend, and we are utilizing our own home-grown experts to go out and share their wisdom and experiences with other schools. Particular thanks go out to Jean Amaral from BMCC and Cailean Cooney from City Tech. Continue reading “OER at the 2017 CUNY IT Conference”

Editor’s Choice: A Look Back at Open Access Week 2017

This excerpt by Margaret Heller originally appeared in the ACRL TechConnect Blog.

I was chatting with a friend who is an economist recently, and he was wondering about how open access worked in other disciplines, since he was used to all papers being released as working papers before being published in traditional journals. I contrast this conversation with another where someone in a very different discipline who was concerned that putting even a summary of research could constitute prior publication. Given this wide disparity between disciplines, we will always struggle with widely casting a message about green open access. But I firmly believe that there are individuals within all disciplines who will be excited about open access, and that they will get at least some of their colleagues on board–or perhaps their graduate students. These people may be located in the interdisciplinary side, with one foot in a more preprint-friendly discipline. For instance, the bioethicists in the theology department, or the history of science people in the history department. And even the most well-meaning people forget to make their work open access, so making it as easy as possible while not making it so easy that people don’t know why they would do it–make sure there are still avenues for conversation.

Read the original.