The Office of Undergraduate Studies collaborates with faculty to develop and evaluate undergraduate courses, programs and articulations; review and revise university academic policies and procedures; and coordinate course assessment.
Eastern Washington University Textbook Taskforce
Note: The Textbook Taskforce has met its charge and was dissolved at the end of the 2011-11 academic year.
Textbook Taskforce Charge:
Overview: This committee, which will be advisory to both the Faculty Senate and the Provost, will offer advice on ways to assure EWU students can have access to quality textbooks and other learning materials at reasonable costs. it has become increasingly clear that the cost of textbooks has outpaced the financial resources of many students. According to the College Board, in the three-year period of 2003-04, the cost of textbooks for students at four-year public institutions increased by 20%. At the same time, changes in technology, and in particular in the area of online communications, have challenged the primacy of printed text. The University needs to explore how it can support students in accessing needed learning tools.
To support the University in this task, the Textbook Taskforce will prepare a set of suggestions no later than the close of the 2009-10 academic year, addressing some or all of the following goals:
1. To assure that students do not pay for textbooks unnecessary for their courses
2. To increase the resale value of students' used textbooks
3. To increase opportunities for students to purchase less expensive textbooks through the university's bookstore (eg. through the purchase of used or earlier editions)
4. To assure that faculty are aware of the costs of the textbooks they select for their courses
5. To provide more opportunities for students to use standard textbooks, shared commonly among sections of the same course
6. To provide options for online textbook services such as free online textbooks, online rentals, outlets for used textbooks, and programs for student sharing
7. To provide students access to online textbooks the licenses for which have been purchased either by the University or by students through the University.
The Textbook Study Committee may wish to investigate textbook services at other universities; to consult with faculty, staff and students; and to review university policies and practices.
Charge-Dr. John Mason, former Provost, and Dr. Raphael Guillory, Faculty Senate President for 2009-10
Dr. Helen Bergland, Office of Undergraduate Studies
|Dr. Doris Munson, EWU Libraries||
Former Taskforce Chair
|Dr. Prakash Bhuta, Department of Biology|
|Nick Brown, Office of eLearning Services|
Dr. Mick Brzoska, Associate Dean
College of Science, Health and Engineering (retired)
|LeeAnn Case, EWU Bookstore|
|Dr. Rex Fuller, Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs|
|Dr. Elena Toneva, Department of Mathematics|
Themes from student comments (from survey):
- Overpriced textbooks
- Not enough money in return when selling back
- Professors should use the same book for longer periods of time (multiple years)
- Cheaper to find an outlet store than Bookstore
- Misconceptions about faculty requiring the latest edition
- Weight of books and inconvenience (or health issues) from lugging around
- Purchase books for major; ebook or rent for GECR courses
- More library copies and reserves available
- Articles online or in Blackboard
- Professors don't use the required book, or don't use much of it
- When the course is offered once per year, students have trouble selling the books back
- Policy regarding faculty requiring own textbook
- Anger over perceived price gouging
- Perception that ebooks don't work with all computers/readers
- Only purchase chapters that will be used
- Faculty revised curriculum to take advantage of free resources
- Don't bundle textbooks when both are not used in the course
- Buy online or through Tree of Knowledge
- Encourage faculty to
- Consider costs to students
- Is the textbook really going to be used?
- Will a significant percentage of the textbook be used?
- Will you only use a few chapters?
- Can you use online resources (ebooks, articles, etc.)?
- Use the same textbook for 2-3 years whenever possible
- Submit book orders as early as possible, even for the entire year. Doing this will help the Bookstore search our cost-effective alternatives
- Use the book that has been ordered for the course (this suggestion is for new faculty, hired later in the year)
- Email course syllabus to students before the quarter starts, through the course roster in EagleNet. doing this will help students seek out cost effective alternatives
- Ask Bookstore personnel for textbook alternatives such as new, used ebooks, rentals, purchasing chapters, soft-cover custom publishing. Patty Ambrosi, 359-4728
- Discuss the possibility of using the same textbook in programs that have multiple sections
- Consider costs to students
Appendix C-Berkley's Report of the Joint Task Force on Textbook and Reader Affordability: The Berkley Report is encouraging because it reflects many of our questions, discussion points, and decision points along the way.