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Intellectual Property of Distance Education Courses

  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will comply with the UT System policy regarding patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property. The purpose of this section is to clarify matters that may be open to interpretation.
  • Sponsored Research, Extension, and Public Service Agreements: The University considers sponsored work to include contractual agreements made between the University and a third party to provide sponsored research or other services. Examples of sponsored research include grants and contracts received from Federal, State, or local governmental agencies and nongovernmental agencies entering into a contract with the University for specific services. The University may also contract with faculty to develop distance education courses and programs of study on a pay-for-hire basis. 
    • The University may classify several of its internal grant opportunities as sponsored research. These agreements will be clearly delineated in the request for proposals and specified in the agreements reached between the University and the faculty receiving the grant.
    • Faculty teaching distance education courses retain the right to take credit for their creative contributions; reproduce the work for their instructional purposes; and incorporate the work in future scholarly works.
  • With Substantial use of Funds or Facilities: The Provost, through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), may approve the use of Universtiy resources for their development and implementation of distance education courses. Such a MOA will constitute substantial use of funds or facilities. The MOA will clearly delineate matters of copyright and the use of course materials.    
  • Without Substantial use of Funds or Facilities: For the purpose of these guidelines, the University’s issuance of resources for the development of distance learning courses (e.g., load reductions and minor development funds) does not constitute a basis for University ownership or copyright of distance education course materials. Absence of a formal agreement (contract or MOA) regarding use of funds or facilities shall establish the condition for “without substantial use”.
    • Faculty teaching distance education courses should assume ongoing ownership of their distance education course materials and any published work resulting from the development of these materials even if they received released time or compensation for the development of these materials. The University’s involvement in supplying resources for the delivery of distance education does not constitute a basis for University ownership of distance education course materials unless otherwise stipulated.
    • Faculty teaching distance education courses retain the right and responsibility to revise course materials to reflect course assessment, changes in pedagogical philosophy, advances in the discipline, and other matters that warrant course revision.
    • The University may not use or distribute materials that an individual faculty member has developed for distance education courses without that individual’s expressed permission.
    • While a member of the faculty is an employee of the University he or she may not distribute the course materials through other means deemed to conflict with the financial interests of the University.
    • Faculty may receive royalties and other financial compensation from the commercial sale of course materials developed for a distance education course (e.g., textbook).
  • The University will exercise reasonable efforts to protect the intellectual property rights of faculty-developed distance education course materials.
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga recognizes the intellectual property rights of faculty, staff, and students. The following policies are aligned with those already in place, which can be found at UT Research Foundation's Website.
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