Bob Guell, Chair
Jeff Harper, Faculty Senate Representative
Patty Yamashita, Staff Council Representative
Raeanne Florek, Student Government Association Representative
Derek Holbert and Rachel Mundell, Barnes and Noble representatives
Nov. 4, 2011 -- The Subcommittee on Books and Supplies has established five subgroups (Faculty Survey, Student Survey, Faculty Policies, e-texts, and Everything other than Books) and assigned members to them. The Subcommittee meets as a whole once a week and each subgroup also meets weekly. The Subcommittee has already identified the need to review university contracts to determine what issues might exist that could impact the implementation or timeframe of potential cost-cutting measures.
Nov. 30, 2011 -- At this point we believe our subcommittee will report that there are significant areas for potential savings that will result from greater faculty understanding of the options they have and the tactics they can use to reduce the effective costs to students. Our report will clearly articulate these options and tactics and propose a regular means by which to present this information to faculty. We believe that there is the potential for significant intermediate and long-term savings to be garnered from entering into eBook arrangements with major publishers, in what might be called a “course-fee” model. In that model, the average cost of textbooks to students comes down between 25% and 50% and it guarantees that every student has access to all the books in their courses. There are many potential administrative and financial aid downsides to this model that will need to be fully explored before the committee will be prepared to recommend this model. It would also (for good or ill) eliminate a student’s option of not buying the book. The committee is exploring the costs on non-book supplies as well. These flight lessons, login keys, physical items (such as clothing for Nurses and cameras for photography students), and software purchases (such as the TK20 software for education majors and ATI for Nursing majors) contribute significantly to the cost of some majors at key points in their education. The committee is not questioning their value (as we have no charge to do so) but is considering whether the models currently used to have students pay these costs are the best for students. Finally, we may propose changes to the ISU Handbook (specifically to 310.1.12) that, if offered, will serve to clarify the issues surrounding faculty profiting from the sale of their own books to their own students and serve to clarify whether departments can compel a single adoption for their multi-section courses.
January 23, 2012 -- Final report.