Faculty Handbook: Appendix F

Appendix F - Textbook and Course Materials Policy

Back to Faculty Handbook


The purpose of the textbook adoption policy at Northeastern State University is to support the academic mission of the institution by providing textbooks and course materials to students at affordable prices. This policy is to define the responsibilities of all parties responsible for the textbook ordering process, including bookstore staff, faculty, department chairs, deans and administration.

Textbook prices are influenced by a number of factors. A collaborative effort to adhere to the following guidelines by NSU faculty, administrators and bookstore staff will keep prices low and will allow the bookstore to provide exemplary customer service to our students and faculty/staff clients. This policy also incorporates the provisions of Oklahoma State Statue 70 O.S., which provides additional information covering Instructional Materials and Textbook Adoption Legislation. The purpose of this legislation is to give students enrolled in institutions in The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education more choices for purchasing textbooks and instructional materials.

Textbook Adoption Process

All campuses will follow the same adoption process.

  1. The book adoption process takes approximately one month (20 working days) utilizing the guidelines detailed below. The process for summer and fall semesters will begin February 15 and should be complete on or about March 15. The process for winter intersession and spring semester will begin on September 15 and needs to be complete by October 15.
  2. The bookstore sends adoption requests including due dates to deans and chairs. Chairs will distribute textbook requests including due dates to all full-time faculty and select needed adoptions for adjunct faculty. Faculty should submit their textbook requests through the bookstores website and copy the chair or other designated department contact. If a change in textbook is needed, an online adoption should be completed. If faculty have a course which has multiple sections requiring the same textbook, they can submit one adoption online for multiple sections. The bookstore (through FacultyEnlight) will disclose to faculty and staff the costs to students of purchasing instructional materials, and disclose publicly how new editions vary from previous editions. In addition, the bookstore will disclose retail costs for instructional materials on a per-course basis to faculty and staff and make this information publicly available.

    The bookstore will request, in writing, of all applicable publishers, the State required wholesale and retail pricing information and book edition revisions, prior to each semester's adoption process. Faculty are encouraged to review this information and revise their adoptions at this time, especially if price considerations may affect an adoption choice or decision. Faculty are welcome to contact the bookstore for book pricing information when making adoption decisions. Online adoptions are due back to the bookstore within 10 working days. Faculty will be e-mailed a copy of their textbook request for their records.
  3. The final list will be maintained within the online course schedule by course. The bookstore asks that faculty verify this information within 48 hours of submitting an adoption.
  4. The textbook needs are determined prior to each buy-back period by the bookstore based on a review of class enrollment numbers provided by Enrollment Management and past book purchasing history by class and section.
  5. When texts will be reused, textbook buy-back quantities are determined and an initial 'want list' is sent to textbook wholesalers to secure any used texts.
  6. Following 'buy-back', supplemental quantities of textbooks are requested from either used book wholesalers and/or new books are ordered from publishers.
  7. The textbook ordering system is updated and the purchasing of any new textbooks required begins.
  8. The bookstore will notify respective department chairs and/or college deans if a current adoption is determined to be obsolete or required book quantities are unavailable. This may occur when there is high national resale demand or new textbooks are out-of-print and adequate quantities cannot be obtained to support class enrollment numbers. During summer months or periods when faculty are not available to assist in providing a replacement text adoption selection(s), the information will be forwarded to the department chair and college dean for timely selection of a replacement text.
  9. If there is an anticipated change in the number of textbooks that needed for a class (either more books to handle added sections or less books due to cancelled classes), it is the responsibility of the department chair and/or college dean to communicate the changing textbook needs to the Bookstore as soon as possible.

Textbook and Course Materials Policy

Faculty and curriculum committees are encouraged to adopt the most appropriate textbook(s) for content and objectives of the course with the following policy guidelines:

  1. Use of the same textbook is strongly encouraged for all like course sections. This provides a better buyback market for students and less expensive books to students for subsequent classes, as long as the particular adoption is in use. Please have exceptions approved by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  2. College deans may review all textbook adoptions.
  3. Department chairs or deans should determine book adoptions for classes which will be taught by adjunct faculty to ensure textbooks will be available at the beginning of each semester.
  4. Adoption of 'bundled' textbook packages is strongly discouraged unless bundled products provide a lower overall cost to students (with buyback and rental options being considered), as bundles generally provide no buy-back or resale value to students. Textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, CD's, DVD's, Website access cards, etc. may be adopted separately, allowing buy-back of the primary textbook and reorder of the one-time-use items.
  5. Late textbook adoptions must be approved by both the college dean and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

"Required verses "Recommended" Textbook Adoptions

The textbook adoption should indicate whether a book is "required' or "recommended". A textbook will be designated as "required" if, (1) the book will be used for a substantial part of the course by all instructors teaching the course sections and (2) if course activities require use of the book or if specific test material is derived from the book. If a textbook is adopted as "required", appropriate quantities of the book will be ordered into the Bookstore. Textbook adoptions that are "recommended" will be ordered at lesser quantities according to historical sales data.

New Adoptions

The faculty will be notified if there is a new edition of the requested textbook. The new edition will be adopted unless the bookstore is otherwise notified. The market for an old edition becomes limited making it difficult to fulfill course needs. Old editions are also rarely available to rent which increases the cost to students.

Custom Publications

Custom publications are texts that are printed or copied and bound by the bookstore. Most custom publications are defined as professor notes given to the bookstore to be copied, bound and packaged with other materials designated by the faculty member. Custom packaged editions should be used for one year: fall to summer. There is no buyback market to the students for custom publications. Appropriate quantities will be produced to meet class enrollment numbers.

ITV and Online Classes

NSU will make available textbooks for ITV and online classes. The books will be ordered through the NSU bookstore when all other textbook orders are placed. Changes in textbooks for theses classes will follow the same procedure as textbook changes for NSU on-campus classes. Online/distance students may order textbooks online at the RiverHawk Shoppe.

Additional Provisions from Oklahoma State Statue 70 O.S.

Section 3

  1. No employee or department at an institution within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall demand or receive and payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything, present or promised, as an inducement for requiring students enrolled at the institution to purchase specific textbooks or instructional material required for coursework or instruction. An employee or department of an institution may receive:
    1. Sample copies of textbooks or instructional materials, instructor copies of textbooks or instructional material, or other instructional material, that are not to be sold by faculty, staff, or bookstores;
    2. Royalties or other compensation from sales of textbooks or instructional materials that include the writing or work of the employee;
    3. Honoraria for academic peer review of instructional materials; and
    4. Training in the use of instructional materials and technologies.
  2. No instructional material vendor or bookstore located on campus or bookstores which contract with the institution to provide bookstore services to students shall solicit higher education faculty and staff members for the purpose of selling free review instructional materials that have been provided by a publisher at no charge to the faculty or staff. Bookstores shall not permit book wholesalers conducting buybacks on campus to accept review instructional materials from faculty or staff. No bookstore shall engage in any trade of any instructional material marked as or identified as free review instructional materials.

Revised – July 2013 to be consistent with Barnes and Noble processes and procedures and Higher Education Opportunity Act.