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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes   #2

June 16, 2010

The FSEC met on June 16, 2010. Meeting convened at 4:20pm, immediately following the Faculty Senate Special Meeting and hearing regarding the intellectual property bill.

A motion was made and seconded to pass the Intellectual Property policy bill in the Report of the FSEC dated June 10, 2010, inserting the word "for" after "In addition" in the numbered paragraph 2.

Discussion ensued concerning whether to amend the bill based on comments received during the special meeting. In the discussion, FSEC members emphasized that the bill as offered represented a solution to the uncertainty regarding payment to creators of IP already under management, and established an interim policy that should be revised and replaced after the Council for Research has reviewed the needs of URI and the Research Foundation and developed its own recommendations. Several items were identified in an effort to elaborate on the charge for the Council for Research to review the policy and recommend a permanent alternative; these items were drawn from the discussion during the special meeting. The consensus was to maintain the bill as proposed and send the additional items to the Council along with the bill.

Therefore, after discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Based on several comments during the Special Meeting, FSEC discussion then ensued to specify items for consideration by the Council for Research (CfR):

1. The Council for Research (CfR) should consult the Intellectual Property Committee. Because the IP Committee is a Presidential committee, the FSEC felt the CfR can include this consultation as part of the collaboration with administration in developing a permanent policy.

2. The CfR should consider the distinction between a 10% overhead rate and the 30% share allocated to the University for investment in scholarship and research; the CfR or Vice President's recommendations might outline a process by which the University community will be informed of the returns from this investment. Discussion at the Special Meeting revealed a general need to communicate how the investment is benefiting the faculty and institution as a whole.

3. The CfR should consider alternatives to the overhead charge (which the bill set to 10%) as a means to cover the costs of professional efforts to market, manage, or administer IP by the Research Foundation. Participants in the Special Meeting viewed an overhead charge as counter-entrepreneurial. Others asked how this charge was distinct from the University share.

4. The CfR should review approaches used by other Universities in sharing revenue.

5. The CfR recommendations should address any issues that arise in transition to a new policy, including phasing a new policy and identifying a schedule (if necessary) for reviews of overhead charges.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Stephen Swallow