Syllabus Plagiarism (cont)
The Chronicle has an op-ed on syllabus plagiarism that cites my blog post on the topic. I should say that I think the piece oversimplifies my position (i.e. I find value in seeing teaching as a collective enterprise in addition to an individual one) and find it odd to ascribe an opinion to me without asking. The author, Jennifer Sinor, has faced having her syllabus copied verbatim by another professor. I concede that some syllabi may be more original than others and remain sympathetic to the author's concerns, but I am unswayed to the main point.
And the straw man of postmodernism is unhelpful: I don't think that nothing is original, but syllabi often are hybrid affairs. The grant proposal comparison is apt: while one shouldn't copy a proposal, who writes one without another as a close template?
That said, there are some insightful claims in the piece: where one stands on the position may correlate to the teaching-research mix of one's position.