Regent Policy Documents

SECTION 4: ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROGRAMS

4-18 MAKING TEXTBOOKS AFFORDABLE

  1. All institutions within the University of Wisconsin System shall develop and implement schedules for the early adoption of textbooks (requiring purchase) to allow students time to order textbooks from competitively priced sources.  It is expected that all institutions will achieve this goal by the end of 12 months from the effective date of this policy. [Footnote]

  2. Each bookstore owned by a UW institution shall provide faculty and instructional academic staff who are placing book orders with current information about the retail price of selected course materials.  A bookstore not owned by a UW institution, but granted a contract to operate on a campus prior to the development of this policy, shall, to the extent possible, also provide faculty and instructional academic staff who are placing book orders for purchase with current information about the retail price of selected course materials. 

  3. To enhance the viability of used textbooks as an option for lowering the costs of textbooks to students, to the extent feasible and appropriate, faculty and instructional academic staff teaching the same course for multiple semesters are encouraged to use the same textbooks and course materials for multiple semesters.

  4. Whenever appropriate within the goals of the course, faculty and instructional academic staff are encouraged to order new editions of textbooks only if older editions are not of comparable educational content or are no longer available through normal distribution channels.  In such cases, instructors are encouraged to list information pertinent to previous editions which are acceptable for use.

  5. When available, and economically advantageous to students, faculty and instructional academic staff shall request unbundled versions of textbook and course materials.

  6. To the extent possible, if bundled materials are assigned, bookstores owned by UW institutions shall make available both bundled and unbundled versions of the materials for purchase.  In situations where bundled materials are assigned, institutions and bookstores should clarify whether students can purchase either the bundled package or all required portions of the bundle individually.

  7. When appropriate and available for purchase, faculty and instructional academic staff shall encourage students to purchase electronic versions or other alternative formats of textbooks.

  8. All UW institutions shall continue to look for creative ways to lessen the financial hardship of college textbook purchases, such as:  targeted scholarship and financial aid funds, exploration of economically viable textbook rental programs for selected courses, consideration of placing selected course materials on reserve in campus libraries, using information in the public domain (custom publishing), and encouraging student-managed initiatives such as textbook swaps.

 


Footnote: This policy takes into consideration the imminent action of the federal government.  By July 2010, all institutions within the University of Wisconsin System will need to comply with Section 133 of the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act which, among its provisions, requires that "to the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall:

  1. Disclose on the institution’s Internet course schedule and in the manner of the institution’s choosing, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed on the institution’s course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes. 
  2. If the ISBN number is not available for such college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall include in the Internet course schedule the author, title, publisher and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material.  If the institution determines the disclosure of the information required above is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by placing the designation 'To Be Determined' in lieu of the information required."

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History: Res. 9778, adopted 06/11/2010


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The Regent Policy Documents were adopted and are maintained pursuant to the policy-making authority vested in the Board of Regents by Wis. Stats. § 36. The Regent Policy Documents manifest significant policies approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This document is a ready reference for those charged with carrying out these policies. Unless noted otherwise, associated documents and reports may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, ph 608-262-2324. http://www.uwsa.edu/bor/policies/