II:01:08 Textbook Cost Reduction

I. Materials Selection and Submission of Adoptions

(1) Each appointed textbook selection committee will research cost-effective alternative delivery formats for selected materials, including but not limited to digital formats (such as "e-books") available to students at reduced cost, where appropriate. Notification of any selected alternative formats should be included in course syllabi or other relevant course documents distributed to students.

(2) When considered feasible and potentially beneficial to students, and when no infringement upon academic freedom is perceived, textbook selection committees will weigh custom publishing options against standard selections. Such options may dramatically reduce publishing costs, effectively offering aggregate cost savings to students.

(3) Upon final selection of materials, each department chair will submit a list of adoptions to the campus bookstore, as usual. Previously accepted adoption deadlines set forth by the bookstore must be stringently met in order to facilitate cost reporting.

II. Campus Bookstore Reporting of Required Materials and Associated Costs

(1) Within a twenty-one (21) day period following each deadline for submission of adoptions, the campus bookstore will provide each department chair with a comprehensive, itemized cost report on a per-course basis, explicitly stating student costs for all required materials.

(2) Department chairs will forward cost information to teaching faculty, who will affirmatively acknowledge materials costs before final placement of a materials order. Final orders should be submitted within fourteen (14) days of receipt of cost reports.

(3) Upon completion of final bookstore orders, campus bookstore

will provide a public, per-course report of required student materials and associated costs on its Web site. This report will be prominently referenced on Volunteer State's home Web page. Minimum required information should include each textbook's author(s), edition, publisher, publication date and International Standard Book Number (ISBN). Students must be granted access to this information before courses begin each semester.

(4) All textbook inventory, monitoring, and cost reporting shall be accomplished by existing bookstore staff, i.e., at no additional cost to the institution or its students.

III. VSCC-Campus Bookstore Textbook Rental Initiative

(1) The campus bookstore will offer students the option of renting most or all of their required textbooks. Students will continue to be allowed to purchase texts at new or used prices if textbook rental does not satisfy their needs.

(2) Textbooks considered by the campus bookstore as eligible for student rental will be available on a semester basis at the fixed rate of 55% of shelf sale price. Most titles and editions will be considered eligible for rental.

  • For a given title or edition to be considered eligible for rental, textbook selection faculty and department chairs must provide the campus bookstore with a stated minimum period during which the department will commit to the use of the requested title and edition. This period should generally coincide with the title's usual publication cycle, which is typically two or three years. This minimum required commitment period may vary, at the campus bookstore's discretion, from title to title or from edition to edition.
  • Bundled materials will not be considered eligible for rental, including the textbook comprising the chief component of a materials bundle. Textbook selection committees must consider potential student cost repercussions when deciding whether to order bundled packages.
  • Students choosing to rent some or all of their textbooks will be allowed to pay for their rentals using cash, personal check or credit card. However, in all cases the renting student must provide the campus bookstore with a valid credit card number and authorization to subsequently debit that card's account upon failure to return rented materials on time.
  • Should a student fail to return rented materials to the campus bookstore at the end of the rental period, the campus bookstore will invoke its rights, per the student's prior authorization, to charge the student for the difference in purchase cost and rental cost. As an example, a student renting a textbook which would have sold for $100 and was rented for $55 will be charged $45 upon failure to return the rented item.

(3) Rentable textbooks will be prominently displayed in the campus bookstore. Students will also be given the option to buy or rent their required textbooks, when eligible, upon transaction at bookstore cash registers.

(4) Under certain, limited conditions, textbook rental may not provide the individual student with cost savings. As an example, textbooks which will be used throughout a multi-semester course sequence may be best suited for purchase. Faculty and bookstore staff should notify students of these possibilities as they arise.

(5) The textbook rental initiative is designed to provide aggregate cost savings on student purchases of textbooks. It is understood that this initiative will not achieve the goal of providing each individual student with savings on materials costs every semester.

(6) Pending timely amendment of VSCC's contract with the campus bookstore and approval by all appropriate VSCC and TBR personnel, the textbook rental initiative is expected to begin with the Spring 2008 semester.

IV. Additional Cost Reduction Strategies

(1) When possible, at least one copy of each adopted text should be made available for onsite student use in the campus library. Such materials should be made available through this channel only when materials have been provided by the publisher, at no additional charge to the institution or its students.

  • Textbooks provided by the publisher for the purpose of library reserve will be available to students on a first-come, first-served basis, on library grounds only and for a maximum period of time "per sitting" as determined by appropriate library staff.
  • Textbook selection faculty and/or department chairs shall be responsible for the task of ensuring that the campus library's reserves inventory remains current upon transition to a new title or edition.
  • In order to facilitate cataloguing and monitoring of inventory, the campus library will require receipt of textbook reserve materials at least fourteen (14) days prior to requested availability dates.

(2) The VSCC campus bookstore will continue to actively promote and publicize book buyback programs, according to its current policy.

TBR Source: TBR Meeting, September 27, 2007

VSCC Source: October 15, 2007 President's Cabinet