University of Missouri to limit lecture recording

While the school stood behind Ancel, director of the university’s Institute for Labor Studies, a former union business manager who helped teach the class at the university system’s St. Louis campus offered to resign amid the uproar. He has since been asked to return to his adjunct professor post, Ancel said.

The proposed policy, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press upon request, notes that “unauthorized distribution of such materials is a violation of academic standards and may violate copyright and/or privacy rights.”

Students and professors who violate the policy could face university disciplinary sanctions.

Ancel has previously said that her comment about union violence was a paraphrased remark of a statement made in a documentary shown in class about the 1968 Memphis garbage workers’ strike and Martin Luther King’s assassination.

The recordings were obtained from a university website available only to students enrolled in the class.

But the problem was not the recording but the “twisted interpretations by others of the content,” Davis said. “No policy could deal with what others do with content.”

Faculty objections led to a clarification that students would still be able to record lectures unless someone objects. But the gist of the restrictions remains.

Student government leader Zach Toombs called the proposal “confusing, vague and (one that) prohibits students from taking advantage of studying and note-taking methods that have been used for a long, long time.”

The Missouri Students Association had asked school officials to distinguish between classmates sharing notes and unauthorized public distribution on the Internet.

Journalism professor David Herzog said the restrictions send a “mixed message” at a time when Missouri and other universities are aggressively promoting open access and technology.

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