MOU/contract for faculty making OER?

(Hugh McGuire) #1

Seems a good idea to have one in place. Could we get together and draft a standard template for an OER-MOU with faculty?


(Elizabeth Mays) #2

I will reach out to faculty who are interested.

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(Christina Hendricks) #3

I don’t think we do because we own the copyright in our teaching materials so no such thing is needed (I think?). We can just create our stuff and license it how we wish. or am I not getting the point?

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(Elizabeth Mays) #4

@clhendricksbc That makes sense. The question also applies to those at universities who are either commissioning the open textbooks from their faculty or who might take different rights.

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(Steel Wagstaff) #5

Historically, there’s been some confusion here about whether faculty/staff always own the rights to their teaching materials or whether it’s considered “work for hire”. In 2007, our faculty senate passed this resolution about faculty copyright and ‘author addendums’: Here’s the ‘addendum’ that was officially endorsed by our faculty senate: That applies largely to faculty research, I think. In the case of teaching mateirals, in several cases I’ve seen the ‘Board of Regents, UW-Madison’ asserted as the copyright holder for material. I’ll ask the libraries here and our legal department for a clarified opinion and whether they have a sample MOU/contract for these kinds of projects.

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(Steel Wagstaff) #6

@swagstaff Our library also maintains a helpful FAQ for faculty/staff:, in case the material here seems like it’d be of use to anyone.

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I’m working on a boilerplate MOU/MOA for authors whose projects are funded. I’ll share once I have the draft approved.

Basic pieces:

  • Responsible roles/persons
  • Agreed timeline for development
  • Licensing (CC BY) and depositing in institutional repository

It’s loose, but a start.

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(Hugh McGuire) #8

This will be great!

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(Steve Foerster) #9

We don’t. In our country it’s enough that our faculty members and instructional developers are contracted as work-for-hire. But if there were a good default contract to use we’d consider it as an act of OER solidarity.


(Elizabeth Mays) #10

That brings up another interesting question. Do they get compensated beyond their normal pay to do this? Or is this a stipulation in their regular contract? That they’re ceding the rights they develop IP wise while employed in the course of their faculty work to the university.


(Hugh McGuire) #11

@lizmays they don’t cede their IP, they are licensing under a CC BY license, but that should be made clear in the MOU I think. … So in theory whatever IP agreement they have with their institution would remain in force, just that this particular content is licensed CC BY (by whomever “owns” the IP).



@lizmays @hugh Correct, we will be asking them to deposit a CC BY-licensed copy into the repository, but the original authors/creators maintain their copyrights. We just have an open copy to work with after that point.

We may have a policy about all content that lives in our Pressbooks instance (they will need to be openly licensed) like the one for REBUS, in addition to the MOU faculty/staff sign for work they receive support to do.


(Hugh McGuire) #13

For those interested in this topic, we’ll be hosting a Rebus Office Hours/web call on the subject next week, for details:



@hugh @lizmays Here is a boilerplate MOA that can serve as a starting point:

Feel free to copy and place in a Google Drive (or other) location where it can be commented/edited by the group. We ended up only needing a letter of agreement for our first go, but this template may be useful to others.


(Elizabeth Mays) #15

This is wonderful! We will link to it in the reminder we’ll send out re. Office Hours next week!


(Elizabeth Mays) #16

@wmeinke As you suggested, as a followup to our call today, we will be placing this in a Gdoc that can be commented / edited by the group and sending that link by email to Rebus Community members.

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@lizmays Thanks, hope it’s useful to some folks.


(Hugh McGuire) #18

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Office Hours.
Updates to come soon!


(Elizabeth Mays) #19

@zoe has put together a quick recap of our office hours session on MOUs. We welcome your feedback on some of the existing MOUs as we work to develop a new master document for review.


(Elizabeth Mays) #20

A quick update on this topic:

We are now working together with the Open Textbook Network to have a lawyer affiliated with Creative Commons look over our potential draft MOU.

We should have another update on this soon.