Faculty who are considering their options for publishing research should check publisher policies on copyright and self-archiving using the SHERPA/RoMEO database. It is almost always possible to modify a publisher's standard contract to retain self-archiving rights, and possibly more ... but you have to request this.
A faculty author holds the copyright to his or her research reports unless or until these are assigned - in whole or in part - to a publisher. An institutional open access policy can assist faculty by making it easier to avoid signing away their copyrights and subsequently having to face significant price or permission barriers to accessing their own work.
According to open access expert Peter Suber, "One of the early victories of the OA movement was to get a majority of toll-access publishers and journals to give blanket permission for author-initiated green OA [that is, self-archiving with rights retention]. But this victory remains one of the best-kept secrets of scholarly publishing, and widespread ignorance of it is the single most harmful consequence of green OA's invisibility." - from Open Access, pages 54-55 (MIT Press, 2012)