Read the Results of Faculty Survey

In the late fall of 2009, USF faculty were surveyed about textbook affordability awareness and issues. Out of 424 requests, 356 faculty members completed the survey.

  • 97% are aware of the rising cost of textbooks, but only 80% consider cost when choosing a textbook
  • 58% indicated that $50 to $100 is an acceptable price for a textbook
  • 41% used earlier editions of textbooks in order for students to be able to purchase used copies at lower costs
  • 60% said they can submit textbook information to the bookstore 60 days prior to the first day of classes, yet only 13% met the deadline for Fall 2011
  • 72% say they have created course packs as a textbook alternative
  • 62% are interested in learning how to create open access (free) materials for their courses
  • 38% would be willing to author an open access textbook

TAP asked the faculty what they were doing to promote textbook affordability. Here are some responses:

  • I am working with a publisher to create an online course package with a subscription price of about $40 to $50
  • I use an online textbook that costs under $50 for my introductory class
  • I allow my students to use older editions of textbooks
  • I encourage the use of secondary source materials, such as journals (print or on-line) as teaching material, rather than textbooks

Faculty were asked to suggest methods for reducing textbook costs for students. Here are some responses:

  • Encourage student organizations to sponsor textbook exchanges
  • Make use of the library’s electronic collections to find current materials and books
  • Have the library initiate textbook loaner programs
  • Set up textbook exchange programs on Facebook
  • Utilize the library’s course reserve program
  • There is a need for pushing toward open access education and research materials

Finally, some faculty shared their more creative ideas:

  • Pressure publishers to stop making their profits off students
  • Go completely electronic
  • Confront publishers and boycott those who overcharge
  • The college bookstore should be non-profit
  • Force publishers to disclose textbooks costs to faculty without misleading information.
  • I think making faculty more aware of the problem is a good start