R465, Course Materials Affordability

R465, Course Materials Affordability

R465-1. Purpose: To assure each Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) institution has policies,  procedures, and/or guidelines  in place that:  (1) assure consideration of affordability for the student of  required  course materials;  (2) make course materials costs clear during the course selections process and available to students who purchase course materials from university sources (e.g., university- or college-run  bookstores or other university-designated suppliers), and (3)  regulate remuneration to authors employed by the institution when course materials they have authored are required purchases for students for courses at the institution.

R465-2. References

2.1. Utah Code §53B-2-106(2)(c) (Direction of Instruction, Examination, Admission and Classification of Students)

2.2. Utah Code §53B-16-102 (Changes in Curriculum)

2.3. Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, Textbook Provision (Section 112)

 R465-3.  Definitions

3.1  “Course Materials”.  Any textbook or other course materials for which the student must pay that are associated with a given class.  Course materials may be required or optional.  Optional course materials are those that are not required in order to complete course assignments.

 R465-4. Policy

4.1  Course Materials Costs and Affordability.  Each USHE institution shall adopt policies, procedures, and/or guidelines that further efforts to minimize the cost of course materials for students while maintaining the quality of education and academic freedom.  Institutional policies/procedures for required course materials selection shall include consideration of affordability of course materials as influenced by:

    • Utility of the course material for achievement of course learning outcomes as determined by the instructor and/or department
    • Total cost of the course materials for each course
    • Use of the same course materials for multiple sections of the same course
    • Adoption period; availability of used course materials
    • Added value of new editions:  Approval of new editions only if there is sufficient added value to achieving the course learning outcomes to justify ordering the new edition
    • Availability of the course materials at the time of course initiation
    • Availability and selection (where appropriate) of open-access course materials for which there is no cost.

 4.2 Posting of Costs of Course Materials.  Institutional policies/procedures shall require the institutional bookstore or university-sanctioned suppliers to post a list of required and optional course materials and the cost of each item in a timely manner and in a conspicuous place.  Course materials in the postings shall be clearly labeled as “required” or “optional.”   The institution shall note in the institutional course schedule the place where students can access the course materials information, including the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price. [1]

 4.3 Regulation of Remuneration to Institutional Employees who are Authors of Course Materials Required for Purchase with Course Enrollment.  USHE Institutions shall maintain policies,

 4.4 procedures, and/or guidelines (the form being subject to institutional practices) that include the following principles:

 4.3.1   When in a position to decide or influence issues that would result in personal gain, no employee of a USHE institution may demand or receive any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, service, or anything of value, present or promised, in exchange for requiring students to purchase a specific textbook or course materials (other than recovering the direct cost of the materials) unless the requirement has been subjected to an appropriate level of institutional review and approval.

 4.3.2   Subject to the policies , procedures or guidelines of each USHE institution, an instructional employee may receive:

    • Sample copies, instructor copies, or instructional materials.  These materials may not be sold for any type of compensation if they are marked as free samples/not for resale.
    • Royalties or other compensation from sales of textbooks that include the instructor’s own writing or work.
    • Honoraria for academic peer review of course materials.
    • Fees associated with activities such as reviewing, critiquing, or preparing support materials for textbooks.
    • Compensation to provide for instructor training in the use of textbooks and course materials


[1] Adopted November 18, 2011