School of Engineering professor Dr. Autar Kaw has demonstrated his commitment to textbook affordability in several ways. First, he initiated his own Adopt-A-Text program. He used money from his overhead incentive rebate account to purchase 25 copies of a textbook for a course he teaches. All copies are kept on library reserve, easily accessible to enrolled students upon request for a whole semester. In the spring semester, when the course is not being taught, books are moved to the shelves. Making this book available at no cost saves each student close to $100. Prof. Kaw has been using this system for two years; this fall will mark his third year. He calls it a “simple program to help people.”
Second, Dr. Kaw has self-published three textbooks that may be printed on demand for $50. If published by a traditional textbook publishing house, the books would sell for $150, making this a substantial savings for students. One great advantage is that he can log in and change or update content any time, so there are no costly new editions every two years. Plus, he can customize content by adding or removing chapters, diagrams, or other content.
And last but not least, Prof. Kaw started a Facebook textbook exchange program for engineering students. He says that every school at USF should do the same.
Prof. Kaw deeply understands the financial hardships and sacrifices of many college students. When he was a college student in India, textbook sharing was a common practice. Two students would chip in and buy one textbook and set up a reading schedule. For many textbooks, the college library would make a semester-long book loan to students, but many a times one book would be loaned to every two or three students.
TAP applauds Dr. Kaw’s textbook affordability efforts! Thank you Dr. Kaw!