ACEC FY2021 Final Report

The committee met a total of four times and unfortunately was not able to generate student participation in any of these meetings.

Specific Charge 1 – Pandemic Response 

Follow up on how the pandemic response went and implications for online instruction in the future – will this produce a future push to offering online instruction? If so, what are the implications for faculty and staff?   


Overall the committee felt the need to more narrowly define the scope of this charge, or alternatively the need to expand the governance resources with which to address the charge, as such an assessment may include a survey of IT support, views of online teaching by the faculty and students, online synchronous vs asynchronous instruction, implications for evaluations, how shift might produce a future push to greater offering online instruction, and much more.

Given the limited time to address these, the committee used its standing charge to limit the scope to the evaluation of policy.  The committee recommends identifying policies (existing and new resulting from these changes) An initial list of relevant issues and policies is included (Appendix), which could be followed and evaluated in the coming year.

Mary Walsh also provided a report on use of CARES and SPARK funding to provide laptops and “hotspots” for internet access to faculty, staff and students.  This report might be off by a handful, because a student might not have actually picked up the device, or it was shipped out, and never accepted and shipped back.

  • Faculty and Staff

    • 459 hotspots
    • 50 laptops
  • Students - 392 total applications requesting technology.
    • 171 requests for laptops
    • 282 requests for hotspots (those two numbers do not add up to 392, because some applications requested both laptop and hotspot).
    • Of those 392, we approved 324 applications, declined 59 applications.
    • Of those 324 approved applications
        • 152 were approved for laptops,
        • 227 were approved for hotspots (again, does not add up to 324 because of some applications requesting both). 

Specific Charge 2 – Policy on Excessive Downloading

Follow up on Library concerns around situations in which a vendor notifies KU that a user has been abusing their service by downloading too much material.

Angie Rathmel reported that the library has been reporting and tracking these occurrences since 2006.  During that time there have been 58 total cases reported from 27 different publishers.  In the past 4 years, there have been 31 cases from 12 different publishers, with repeat incidents from the following publishers:

  • American Chemical Society (4)
  • Annual Reviews (2)
  • American Physical Society (4)
  • BioOne (2)
  • IEEE (6)
  • Taylor & Francis (5)

Of the 31 cases only 11 investigations were completed to the point of effectively determining the cause and remedy.  All 11 occurred in the course of scholarly activity with 5 of the 11 scholarly uses involving citation management programs (e.g. EndNote).

The committee reviewed the messaging from the libraries to the user in the course of such incidents, which cites KU’s policy on appropriate use of license resources . The intent of the review was to make recommendations for potential changes that would address the following goals:

  • Identify researcher needs triggering these incidents that could be supported by the libraries or other campus partners without violating policy.
  • Identify scholarly uses that could be used to influence publisher policy.
  • Identify any other relevant policies that may need review or inclusion in this process.

Libraries messaging change has not had the opportunity for testing (no incidents since). Given the focus on the pandemic, the committee has not fully completed this charge.  Should the committee continue to address this as a special changes, the following potential actions could be pursued:

  • Identify additional opportunities for communicating the policy when new hires come through the onboarding process and by providing annual reminders University-wide.
  • Identify additional useful metrics for understanding frequency of triggering activities from other sources.
  • IT and Libraries working committee take this issue under consideration, and as IT policies on this matter are reviewed involve ACEC in revision process.


List of Issues related to KU Policies for Special Charge 1 – Pandemic Response

  • Review current policy on online learning and instruction (pre-pandemic)
  • Courses and testing proctored through Zoom taken from A&M -- to be as close to in person as possible.
  • Synchronous vs asynchronous instruction, as well as attendance and challenges of internet access time zones
  • Liberal policy on attendance and late work, at what point are students taking advantage? Some risk with policy for mandating Zoom recordings (see Edwards campus, potentially to the Lawrence campus).
  • Intellectual property forbids recordings except for your own studies and not for sharing.
  • Syllabus policy requires written permission to record.
  • Performance rights for the online course recordings. For this reason, some are moving lecture recordings to YouTube (they own it) rather than using Kaltura (KU owns it).
  • Policy for emergency switch to online, what triggers it?
  • Instructor evaluations (online), revisions to policy too hasty. This should rather be reconsidered more thoroughly as in-person evaluation policies were.
  • Capitalizing investment in the online instruction for other populations. There could be many opportunities for making the course accessible and flexible, even more profitable.
  • Consider how the workforce at large has changed -- working online and the expectations this presents to student workers and staff proving academic and administrative support.
  • Pandemic response did not just effect online instruction -- what about ACEC-related responses to service and research?
  • Acceptable use of KU Resources for those working remotely.