Originally published 06/13/2013
Cary Nelson at Yale in 2007. Credit: Wiki Commons.The academic freedom of professors is under siege, Cary Nelson, former president of the American Association of University Professors said during his opening remarks for that organization's annual meeting in Washington D.C. yesterday. Universities are threatening to hijack the intellectual property rights of faculty members over their course material, he argued, and the consequences of that could be extreme.“If we lose this battle for intellectual property,” Nelson said, “it's over. Being a professor will no longer be a viable career. It will be a service industry. That's it.”Nelson said that the advent of massive online open courses – commonly referred to as MOOCs – offer the potential for tremendous disruption not just in terms of jobs and educational options for students, but professors' control over their course content.