2:016 Adoption of Textbooks and Ancillary Course Materials
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2:016 Adoption of Textbooks and Ancillary Course Materials


Austin Peay State
Adoption of Textbooks and Ancillary Course Materials

Issued:  March 8, 2017

Responsible Official:  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Office:  Academic Affairs


Policy Statement

In the Tennessee Code Annotated 49-7-141, it is required that Austin Peay State University develop a policy for minimizing the cost of textbooks and ancillary course materials to students while maintaining quality of education and academic freedom.  The term “textbook”, when used hereafter, shall include all course materials that must be purchased for a particular course offering and applies to textbooks, eBooks, lab materials, and other course material.


This policy is intended to encourage the use of textbooks for multiple, rather than single, semesters or terms, thereby creating a demand and market for used texts that result in lower costs of educational supplies for students.  Because new editions of existing textbooks typically result in additional costs to students, the adoption of a new edition shall follow the same process as the adoption of a new textbook. Departments/schools are encouraged to adopt identical materials for all sections of a specific course offering.  When practical, departments/schools should adopt textbooks that can be used by multiple courses.  

The contracted bookstore and university are required to follow Section 133 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) as it relates to consumer disclosure information for textbooks.  The university is required to post all adoptions online and the university has the option to utilize its contracted bookstore web system to comply with Section 133. 

All textbooks must be adopted following the process outlined in Section I below.  At times, it may be recommended that a department/school adopt a textbook written by a faculty member or in which that faculty member (or a family member) has a potential financial interest; in these cases, Sections I and II must be followed.


-Process for Adopting Textbooks
-Process for Selecting Faculty-Authored Textbooks or Textbooks in which the Faculty or Family Member has a Financial Interest
- University Interests in Faculty-Authored Textbooks

-APSU Policy 1:001
-APSU Policy 2:047


Process for Adopting
The Provost shall develop and disseminate a calendar of deadlines for the submission of textbook adoptions approved pursuant to this policy for each semester or term in a given academic year at the university. 
  1. The chair/director of each academic department/school shall review and act upon faculty requests to adopt textbooks for the department’s/school’s courses and faculty requests for faculty-authored textbook adoptions (Also see Section II, Process for Selecting Faculty-Authored Textbooks).  Chairs/directors may choose to form a Textbook Selection Committee(s) to oversee textbook adoptions for the department’s/school’s courses prior to submission to the chair/director for action.
  2. Faculty members must submit requests for all textbook adoptions to the appropriate chair/director (or department/school Textbook Selection Committee) in an adequate timeframe for consideration as provided in (1) and (2) above.
  3. Reviews, if conducted by the department/school Textbook Selection Committee(s), shall include recommendations based upon majority vote. Reviews, whether conducted by chairs/directors or by department/school Textbook Selection Committees, should include input from affected adjunct instructors.  The chair/director (or Textbook Selection Committee) shall review recommended textbooks using the following criteria as guidelines:  

Criteria for Textbook Selection

The proposed textbook should:

    1. match the learning objectives outlined in each course syllabus;
    2. provide a reasonable cost to students. As a way of ensuring reasonable cost, faculty members should consider practices that reduce the cost of course materials, such as recommending the adoption of the least expensive option from the available products that meet the requirements of the course.  Bundled materials (a group of objects joined together by packaging or required to be purchased as an indivisible unit) only should be considered if there is a cost savings to students;
    3. provide all information in a manner that accommodates the needs of hearing- and visually-impaired learners in accordance with state and federal regulations;
    4. contain current copyright dates and revision cycles; and,
    5. be printed by a reputable publisher. 
  1. If a department/school does not submit a textbook adoption request for a particular course by the deadline established in the calendar disseminated by the Provost, the university bookstore may order the same textbook as used in the most immediate prior semester/term or a new edition (if the previous edition is no longer available in sufficient quantities).
  2. Once approved, textbooks for a particular semester or term must be entered into the textbook adoption system of the contracted bookstore by individual faculty members or a representative of the department.  
  3. The contracted bookstore shall provide to individual faculty members (or chairs/directors to disseminate to faculty members) on a per course basis the costs to students of purchasing the required textbooks and course materials. Faculty members (or the chair/director on behalf of the faculty member) must confirm to the bookstore representative the total cost of textbooks for each course offering before an order is completed.  
  4. The contracted bookstore should periodically provide a list of adopted textbooks to the university in a format acceptable to comply with public records inquiries for each semester or term.  The list of adopted textbooks also must be made available to students and other interested parties through links on the university’s website (or in the university’s library or other convenient location) and must minimally include the textbook’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to comply with Section 133 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
  5. The contracted bookstore must, to the fullest extent possible, provide students the option of purchasing the textbooks and other study products separately from each other when not prohibited by the publisher.
  6. The contracted bookstore shall actively promote and publicize book buy-back programs and the availability (whenever possible) of used textbooks.
  7. When textbooks have been furnished at no charge by the publisher for student   use, these copies shall be made available to students, at no cost, through the academic department or the institution's library.  Faculty members are encouraged to donate desk and review copies of adopted textbooks for this purpose.
  8. The contracted bookstore should use existing staff to comply with the textbook inventory and monitoring processes.

Process for Selecting
Textbooks or Textbooks
in which the Faculty or
Family Member has a
Financial Interest
The use of faculty-authored materials in teaching activities is defined as a form of self-dealing.  Materials in which a faculty member (or any family member) have a financial interest may be approved institutionally if the appropriate disclosures are filed and the faculty member demonstrates that the recommended material is best suited to the course being offered.  The following steps apply whether or not the faculty member expects an immediate financial gain. These steps also apply to requests for replacing existing faculty-authored materials with new faculty-authored materials (e.g., a new edition of a currently adopted textbook). 
  1. If a faculty member desires to use faculty-authored textbooks from which s/he, or any person or business associated with the faculty member’s family, obtains direct financial gain, the faculty member shall submit this recommendation to the chair/director (or Textbook Selection Committee) well before the material is expected to be used in the classroom.  The textbook must be approved by both the department, reviewed by the Conflict of Interest Committee and authorized by the President before an order is placed by the university bookstore. 
  2. Any recommendation to adopt a faculty-authored textbook should include justification regarding the reason the required textbook(s) is uniquely suited for use in the author’s course; an estimation of the total number of students who will be required to purchase the textbook(s); the estimated cost of the textbook(s) related to other appropriate textbook(s); and the estimated profit of the textbook(s), if any, to the faculty member and/or his/her family.
  3. The Textbook Selection Committee shall review the recommendation to adopt a faculty-authored textbook and consider the appropriateness of the textbook(s), according to the criteria set forth in Section I.  The faculty member must demonstrate why the recommended material is better suited for adoption than other published materials.
  4. If the chair/director or Textbook Selection Committee recommends the adoption of the faculty-authored textbook(s), notification of that initial recommendation shall be provided to the faculty member.
  5. If the textbook is formally adopted, the faculty member and/or his/her family may donate the royalties/profits (subject to the following section University Interests in Faculty-Authored Textbooks) from sales to APSU students, to the faculty member’s desired non-profit charity, professional association, or APSU Foundation scholarship fund. 
  6. The faculty member shall disclose all personal relationships to the adopted textbook(s) that s/he has requested on the Statement of Interest Form, required by APSU Policy 1:001—Conflict of Interest

University Interests in
  1. If a department chair receives a recommendation from a faculty member or the Textbook Selection Committee, s/he may request modification or reconsideration of the recommended materials based upon the potential costs to students.
  2. The faculty member shall forward all documents regarding suitable substitute materials and student needs to the Conflict of Interest Committee. The Committee will review the conflict of interest disclosure and provide a recommendation to the President specific to the following questions:
    • Should the material, if not yet produced, be permitted for student use?
    • Is the conflict of interest manageable given other textbook options?
    • Should the university claim an interest in the material (per APSU Policy 2:047)?
    • How will any royalties/profits be distributed (per APSU Policy 2:047)?
  3. The President will consider the Conflict of Interest Committee’s recommendation, and, after deciding whether to approve, modify or reject the recommendation, will notify the Provost, Committee, the appropriate dean, the appropriate chair/director, and the faculty member regarding her/his decision.


APSU Policy 1:001


APSU Policy 2:047


Revision Dates

APSU Policy 2:016 (previously 2:017) – Revised: March 8, 2017
APSU Policy 2:016 – Issued: June 19, 2008

Subject Areas:

Academic Finance General Human



President: signature on file