UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Student Senate Resolution XXXV-08 on affordability of course materials




on Student Senate Resolution XXXV-08 regarding affordability of course materials


1.  Motion presenter:  Joe Onosko, Student Affairs Committee Chair


2.  Dates of Faculty Senate discussion:  4/14/2014, 4/28/14


3.  Motion:  The Faculty senate endorses the Student Affairs Committee’s following recommendations for Senate passage:

1.     Prior to the time of student course enrollment, post on the UNH Booklist your required books and other course materials (e.g., on-line materials, clickers) by logging on to Blackboard and scrolling down the middle column to the link, “UNH - Booklist Creation / FACULTY BOOKLIST FORM.”                                                                                                      

2.     At your earliest convenience submit your list of required books and other course materials to the bookstore(s), as this gives students more time to shop around before purchasing or renting books and other materials. 

3.     Request that the bookstore promptly send you an itemized list of the cost of the book(s) and other materials so you can revise your list if the total cost is more than anticipated.

4.     Request paperbacks when available.

5.     If at all possible, assign texts that do not contain consumable components (e.g., access codes, tear-out pages, one-time use software) as they cannot be rented or resold.

6.     Consider using an open source website to locate text material;

(e.g., http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/ or http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/).

7.     Consider including in your syllabus the following UNH Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website that lists alternative, low cost on-line booksellers and renters: http://www.unh.edu/omsa/books.html, as well as the following UNH Bookstore link that posts the cost of textbooks that are new, used and for rent: http://unh.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TBWizardView?catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=29555

8.     If a relatively small portion of a text is assigned, consider alternative instructional materials.

9.     Use an earlier edition of the text(s) if there appear to be minimal substantive changes and if sufficient copies are available given your course enrollment.

10.  If a text might not be used, designate it as “recommended” rather than “required.”

11.  Place one or more copies of your assigned text(s) in the library reserves and/or in your department for student use, and note this option in your syllabus.

12.  Inform students that their local library may be able to secure required texts through inter-library loan.

13.  At the department level discuss the possibility of establishing a price range for course material expenses when multiple sections are offered.

14.  If you use clickers, please consider having a few loaners available for students to borrow and mention this possibility in your syllabus. 

15.  Please consider giving students options regarding technology used in and out of the classroom. For example, if all readings are online, state on your syllabus that UNH computer labs are available to complete assignments and projects.

16.  Like disabilities accommodations, in your syllabus give students the opportunity to speak to you privately about procuring texts and other course materials and, as an alternative and also stated on the syllabus, invite them to discuss their issues with a third-party, preferably a member of the Financial Aid Office, the University Advising and Career Center, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), or the Center for Academic Resources (CFAR).

17.  Please do not use third party vendors to create and grade your quizzes and/or exams, as students should not bear the financial burden of assessment that is the responsibility of each instructor.  

Possible Institutional Responses to Issues of Student Affordability & Access regarding Texts and other Course Materials

1.     At parent and student orientation sessions provide information on how students can purchase textbooks and other course materials (including the links in #7 above), and emphasize that savings can be significant and that it is the student’s responsibility to secure these savings.  Also have this information posted on University and department websites and included in department and university literature.

2.     Review the UNH Book list system to (a) increase the rate of faculty participation, (b) enhance communication between faculty and book vendors during the ordering process, and (c) maximize transparency for students regarding course costs.

3.     Apply UNH STEM monies to procure STEM-related course materials for students in financial need.

4.     Lobby the New Hampshire legislature about the issue of college affordability given the large percentage of UNH students in financial need.

5.     Develop a procedure that enables UNH students to purchase course materials from on-line vendors w/o the need of a credit or debit card.

6.     Purchase “clickers” (e.g., 200) and create a system of loaners for students based on need.


4.  Senate Action:  Motion passed unanimously with one abstention


5.  Senate chair’s signature:   Todd A. DeMitchell


Forwarded to: President Mark Huddleston, on May 7, 2014

                        Provost Lisa MacFarlane, on May 7, 2014

                        P.T. Vasudevan, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, on May 7, 2014

                        College deans, on May 7, 2014

                        Department chairs, on May 7, 2014

                        Lecturer’s council, on May 7, 2014

                        Research faculty council, on May 7, 2014

                        Student senate chair, on May 7, 2014           



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