APSCUF, SRU administration adopt new textbook policy
Oct. 15, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The executive board of the Slippery Rock University chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, and the SRU administration have agreed to new policy regarding the use of self-authored textbooks in classrooms.
Recognizing that faculty have a contractual right to select textbooks and other teaching aids, a committee comprised of Keith Dils, dean of the SRU College of Education, and SRU faculty and APSCUF executive board members Judy Silva, assistant professor in the library, and Nola Nolen-Holland, assistant professor of dance, said it is also important when it comes to the use of textbooks or teaching materials for the University and faculty to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of such.
After months of review and revisions, the committee proposed new policy language at a recent Meet and Discuss session that was immediately accepted by both parties.
Under the new guidelines:
1. If self-or-group-authored books (or books authored under a pseudonym) that are commercially published are to be used in a course offered by a SRU department, they must be pre-approved in writing by the author's chair or a department committee to ensure no conflict of interest exists.
2. If self-or-group-authored course materials (or course materials authored under a pseudonym) that are not available commercially are to be used in a course offered by a SRU department, they must be priced based on reasonable production costs only (faculty or group manuscript authors cannot charge royalties), and must be pre-approved in writing by the author's chair or a department committee to ensure no conflict of interest exists. The author(s) of the materials must donate an electronic copy of all materials to Bailey Library to be placed on electronic reserve.
3. All required student course materials must be available for sale through the SRUSGA bookstore.
"While the University encourages faculty to engage in scholarship and the creation of innovative teaching materials, the faculty union and the administration recognize that safeguards are needed to ensure students buy books or course materials that are appropriate to the course, accessible through the campus bookstore or library and priced at fair levels. It was gratifying to see the unanimous support for this policy which should add to SRU's reputation as a best-value institution," said Philip Way, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.
The policy is effective immediately.
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