From: Brian Fortney <Brian.Fortney**At_Symbol_Here**UTSA.EDU>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Legal Liability for Undergraduate Teaching Labs
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:42:44 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Please reply and send attachments to: brian.fortney**At_Symbol_Here**utsa.edu
(Too, please feel free to help me get my questions to an appropriate listserv, and help me connect with that listserv. Thank you!) I write to this list in the hopes of guidance and advice regarding how to determine legal liability for myself (first year,
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor) in regards to understanding the legal liability I need to assume if I am ordered to oversee two undergraduate general Chem/Physics/Bio teaching labs.
Currently, a graduate student has been supervising/coordinating the undergraduate labs, but is set to graduate in another year. At that time (if ordered), I will become sole coordinator of the undergraduate labs, ordering, maintenance of safety equipment,
etc. For the past many years, a tenured faculty colleague has had oversight of the labs, and all that they entail. Years ago, oversight used to be carried out by a permanent lab supervisor (non-tenure-track). Effective immediately or at the semester, it appears
to be “added” to my job duties. (I was quite shocked.)
I am a new, first year, faculty member at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The teaching labs are situated within the College of Education and Human Development, with no apparent connection (that I can see) to colleagues in the College of Sciences.
I must note, however, that I have no reason to doubt my colleague who currently has control and oversight of the lab coordinator/graduate student. I also have met my EH&S colleagues. I will also ask them the following questions.
Specific questions I seek help/perspectives in answering:
- Is it better to be appointed/ordered to take oversight of the undergraduate teaching labs, or “volunteer”/accept the new duties.
- What personal/professional legal liability must I be aware of/consider as coordinator and “one with oversight of a graduate student--the current coordinator of labs”?
- Whom might you suggest I contact to have an “official” account of my personal legal liability, and the legal liability of my colleagues also teaching in the labs, my Department Chair, and Dean?
- Where might I find checklists for transfer of oversight of teaching labs? I assume they would include receiving electronic and hard-copy of:
- Waste Separation and Disposal Protocols
- Safety equipment maintenance logs
- Chemical Transport Guidelines
- Feel free to send me additional questions.
Thank you very much for helping on any and all points. Please respond to brian.fortney**At_Symbol_Here**utsa.edu
Brian Fortney, Ph.D.
Science Education and STEM Education
The University of Texas at San Antonio
College of Education and Human Development
Curriculum and Instruction
Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX. 78249
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