Intellectual Property Policy unanimously passes at March 8th Senate Meeting!

At the March 8 meeting of the University Senate, the Intellectual Property Policy passed unanimously. The new policy provides for ownership of copyright for traditional works, rights in patents and inventions, along with a royalty sharing model, and rights in software. The Policy has not been substantively changed for 30 years, in spite of multiple attempts over the decades. This challenge derives from the difficulty and importance of creating a policy which is acceptable to many competing viewpoints. As mentioned by the IPPC chair, Guy Rub, “intellectual property is at the heart of a research university.”

The Intellectual Property, Patents, and Copyright committee was established by a vote of the University Senate on February 27, 2014 to, among other duties, suggest revisions to the Intellectual Property policy. Throughout its existence, the committee has created several drafts of the policy, yet never reached an agreement before this current revision. After four years, IPPC and the University Policy process created a version which passed through the Senate.

The final step for this policy is consideration and vote at the April 6 Board of Trustees meeting

Message from the Secretary

Just like our football team, or more aptly our record-setting drone from the Aerospace Research Center, the University Senate is firing on all cylinders, that is, operating at high level of efficiency, speed, and productivity.

The Senate is fully engaged in and actively considering any number of important initiatives. Many derive from the new Strategic Plan and reflect the impact of the Comprehensive Energy Project. Decisions made this academic year will set the course of the university for years to come. These include decisions on the implementation of the Enterprise Project and revisions to the General Education program.

It is critical that the Senate and university community actively engage in discussions as we proceed through this academic year, and to that end we will redouble our emphasis on robust two-way communication with constituents.

Best Regards,

Ben Givens, Ph.D.
Secretary, University Senate

Looking for Great Ideas

On any given day, more than 100,000 people are on Ohio State’s campuses, and many of you undoubtedly have concerns and ideas that could lead to improvements. The Senate is eager to hear your suggestions and ready to advance them to the appropriate office or committee. Please contact or stop by 115 Independence Hall. We are open every day of the workweek.

Ohio State’s Strategic Plan: Time and Change

At its meeting on Oct. 5, 2017, the University Senate was honored with a visit from the chair of the Board of Trustees, Alex Shumate. He talked about the board’s role in governing the university and shared his thoughts on the new strategic plan, Time and Change, which evolved over the course of a year and was built on broad input from the university community. He noted that the plan—approved by the board and now in a final written form—is a living document that will be continually refined to remain current and relevant. Chairman Shumate said the board tries to put the university in the best possible position to achieve its goals today and “even higher marks in the future.” He said one role of the board is to make sure the university has sufficient resources and uses them efficiently and effectively.

President Drake joined Chairman Shumate in describing the plan and fielding questions from the senators. He used the analogy that the strategic plan is like icing on a cake, with the cake being our already successful and substantial business as usual, and the icing being the additional investments that will elevate the university and move it even more boldly into the future.

When asked about the continuing role of the board in the strategic plan, Chairman Shumate said the board focuses on strategy, policy and being a positive resource for the university and will leave operations and management of the plan to the administration. However, he said the board’s committees will continue to look into different aspects of the plan and ensure that sufficient funding is in place to fully implement it. Dr. Drake praised the board for helping guide the university—and for asking tough questions and holding the university’s “feet to the fire”—but leaving implementation to the “people who are here doing the work all day, every day.”

In the coming year, the Senate looks forward to more opportunities to work with the board to better understand our respective roles and align our strategic priorities.

More information about the strategic plan is available at