Textbook Adoption Issues


Mark Spriggs would like to know how other institutions deal with an instructor adopting a textbook written by faculty in the same department or school

ARC: Community: ELMAR: Posting Related ARContent: Textbooks

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 08:51:09 -0600
From: "Spriggs, Mark T" <MTSPRIGGS@stthomas.edu>

I am interested in institutional policies and personal experiences regarding adoption of a textbook written by faculty in the same department or school.  An individual author may certainly adopt their own text for their class, but the issues can become murky when an instructor in the same department/school considers adoption of the text, and/or the department is choosing one (or more to select from) common text across multiple sections of a course.  We have identified two issues.  First, is drawing a line between choosing the best text for a class vs. real/perceived pressure to adopt a colleague’s book.  This could be an issue for non-tenured professors, or department collegiality.  The second issue is around royalties.  For students that are already paying tuition for the class, some believe that their instructor also profiting from the sale of textbook is problematic.  On both these issues, faculty line up on each side, although I believe very few are heavily invested in the issue.

Although it may be a subject for further discussion, I am primarily interested in knowing how others currently address the issue.  For example, I have heard that some authors choose, or are required to, "donate" the royalties from sales in their own class, or the school, to a student fund such as emergency assistance, etc.  Others simply don’t consider a faculty member’s text for adoption to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.  If your department/school has a policy, formal or informal, I would be interested in hearing it.

Mark Spriggs  Ph.D.
Chair – Entrepreneurship Department
Schulze School of Entrepreneurship
College of Business
University of St. Thomas
Minneapolis MN
(651) 962-4256