Opposition to SB 386 (Runner): Faculty Justification for
New Textbook Editions

AS-2900-09/FGA

ATTACHMENT TO AS-2900-09/FGA

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) oppose SB 386
(Runner), which would require a faculty member from the California Community Colleges (CCC) and the California State University (CSU) - who adopts a new edition of a textbook within three (3) years after the adoption of a previous edition of the textbook - to prepare a justification for the adoption of the new edition, and submit copies of the justification to the institution’s academic senate, administration and student government. The justification would have to include:

  • A justification for adopting a new edition of the textbook within a three (3) year
    period;
  • A comparison of the new and previous editions of the textbook;
  • A disclosure of any financial interest of the faculty member related to requiring
    students to purchase the new edition of the textbook.

RESOLVED: That copies of this resolution be sent to the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, campus
presidents, campus senates, Senator Runner, Senator Liu, Chairs of the Senate Education committee, the Assembly Higher Education Committee, and Legislative leadership.

RATIONALE: Existing law includes mechanisms for faculty to work with publishers,
administration and students in reducing the cost of required course materials, including
textbooks. For example, publishers are encouraged to take action to reduce the cost of
textbooks. In addition, the Trustees of the CSU and the Board of Governors of the
California Community Colleges are required, and the Regents of the University of
California are requested, to work with their academic senates to encourage faculty to
give consideration to the least costly practices in assigning textbooks, to encourage
faculty to disclose to students how new editions of textbooks are differ from previous
editions and the cost of required textbooks. System administrations are also encouraged
to work with academic senates to review procedures for faculty to inform college and
university bookstores of textbook selections, and to encourage faculty to work with
publishers and college bookstores to create materials that deliver savings to students.
All of these mechanisms are collaborative, and recognize and respect the expertise of
faculty, and their professional obligation to select the most appropriate materials for
their courses. SB 386, however, undermines the ability of faculty to carry this charge, by
emphasizing textbook cost to the exclusion of other factors contributing to the curricular
appropriateness of textbook selection. In addition, by requiring the submission of a
justification for a new edition of a textbook within a three year period, this legislation
adds significantly to the workload involved in course preparation.

References
AS-2747-06(FA): May 5, 2006: Faculty Role in Mitigating the Costs of Textbooks
http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2005-2006/2747.shtml

AS-2813-07(AA/FA/FGA: November 8, 2009): Textbook Affordability http://www.calstate.edu/acadsen/Records/Resolutions/2007-2008/2813.shtml

Report of the CSU Textbook Affordability Taskforce: Improving Access and Reducing Costs of Textbook Content. Long Beach, CSU Chancellor’s Office, August 2007. 50 pgs.
http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Reports/Textbook_Affordability_Taskforce_report.pdf

Approved Unanimously – May 7-8, 2009



 
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