January 9, 2012

Reminder about university textbook policy

With a new semester set to commence, Johns Hopkins officials are reminding faculty, staff and students of the universitywide textbook affordability policy in compliance with new state and federal laws. The intent is to lower the cost of textbooks by ensuring that people have appropriate options and pertinent and timely information when selecting and purchasing course materials.

The policy came in response to the Maryland College Textbook Competition and Affordability Act and the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Before selecting a textbook, faculty should consider such factors as price, available formats (hardcover, paperback and online editions) and the difference in content between current and previous editions. Also, the university must post certain textbook-related information for all courses—such as a book’s ISBN identifier, whether a previous edition will suffice and anticipated class enrollment—within three weeks after selection of class materials by a faculty member.

The university is encouraging early selection and adoption of textbooks and course materials so that students have an opportunity to explore budget-sensitive options.

Faculty teaching in upcoming terms may expect to be contacted by their program or dean’s office and provided additional information or instructions about compliance with state and federal regulations.

The policy, a letter from Provost Lloyd Minor, a list of divisional contacts and a FAQ sheet can be found online.