Mission: The mission of the Intellectual Property and Professional Ethics Committee is to promote the responsible use of intellectual property in order to foster a learning environment that encourages creativity, innovation, and fair competition among our students. In consultation with the Director and Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Program, the Library, and the Office of Student Integrity, we help to raise campus-wide awareness of legal and ethical issues involving intellectual property by creating and conducting educational communication and programs for the faculty, administration, staff, and student body.
Membership: The chair of the Intellectual Property and Professional Ethics Committee is invited to serve by the Director in consultation with the Assistant Director of Writing and Communication. Members on the Intellectual Property and Professional Ethics Committee are invited by the chair of the committee, in consultation with the Director and Assistant Director of Writing and Communication.
Chair: John Harkey
Committee Members: Sherri Brown, Any Frazee, Aaron Kashtan, Melanie Kohnen, Kate Tanski, Jesse Stommel. Consultants: Robin Wharton, Diane Jakacki.
Goals: (1) Conduct GT-wide survey to determine how instructors are doing with issues of plagiarism, IP, and ethics in the classroom—their successes, frustrations, approaches, suggestions, etc. (2) Consult with Christopher Schmidt in the Office of Student Integrity to gather and interpret statistics regarding cases of plagiarism since the elimination of the “turnitin.com” mandate: specifically we want to know if there have been appreciable changes in the number or kind of cases reported.
(3) Design and lead several faculty workshops devoted to strategies for addressing IP and ethics in intelligent, pragmatic, preemptive, and responsibility-affirming ways, rather than according to a monolithic “policing” model. (4) With a view to clarifying the context-dependency of IP ethics, plan
a series of events that celebrate artistic, transformative, and remix uses of existing media, in juxtaposition with scrupulous, responsible academic uses.
Prior Committee History
Chair: Robin Wharton
Committee Members: Sherri Brown, Rebecca Burnett, Andrew Cooper, Andrew Famiglietti, Ty Herrington, Melanie Kohnen, Christopher Schmidt
Accomplishments: Previously, the committee was responsible for overturning the mandated use of TurnItIn.com in Writing and Communication Program classes. This was an important step in shifting the departmental paradigm away from policing plagiarism and cheating after the fact toward prevention through course and assignment design that emphasizes process work and promotes greater student engagement. The committee has started working with the Office of Student Integrity to determine whether any shifts have taken place in how plagiarism is reported in the wake of our decision to stop subscribing to TurnItIn.com. The committee is also studying how cheating and plagiarism are reported across campus to determine what strategies might be effective in promoting an institutional culture in which cheating and plagiarism are less effective as competition strategies. The committee is interested in the feasibility of moving away from proprietary file formats for Writing and Communication Program documents and communication.