Textbook and Course Materials Policy
Authority: Business Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: Revised May 7, 2012; October 29, 2015; April 22, 2021; March 21, 2022
Faculty are encouraged to adopt the most appropriate textbook and courseware for content and learning objectives of the course. The University Bookstore orders course materials and must receive information about the course materials selected well in advance of the academic term in which the materials are needed. Faculty may not collect fees from students and/or may not sell any books, courseware, or supplies, etc. directly to students.
The Office of the President has the sole authority to sign and approve any contract for “specialty textbooks,” or textbooks customized for use only at McNeese State University. The University does not assume any part of a contract, nor guarantee any part of a contract which is not approved and signed by the president or their designee. No University college, department, or member of a department may sign any contract directly.
Textbooks and Course Materials – Selection and Adoption
The selection and adoption of textbooks and/or course materials are an academic departmental responsibility. Academic departments are encouraged to adopt the most appropriate textbook/course material for presenting course content and accomplishing course objectives. However, academic departments are also encouraged to take into consideration the cost and expense of the textbook/courseware and other materials for the student taking the course when making adoption decisions. General guidelines for textbook and course materials adoption are as follows:
- Textbook and course materials selected for a course must be selected by faculty and approved by the academic department head and the dean of the college. Decisions must involve input from designated faculty or faculty committees of the faculty members teaching or familiar with the course.
- Academic departments that offer multi-section courses are encouraged to use the same textbook, materials, etc. for all sections of the course in a given semester. Multiple-section courses identified as general education courses must use the same textbook and course materials for all sections.
- A two-year minimum textbook adoption policy will be assumed on all textbook adoptions unless otherwise indicated by the department head at the time of adoption. This two-year policy is necessary in order to give the greatest economic advantage to McNeese students in buy-back and rental situations. A written justification and explanation from the department head and approved by the college dean must accompany the textbook requisition if there is to be any exception to the two-year minimum adoption policy.
- Textbooks or course materials that are designed for one-time use, such as books with tear out worksheets, access codes, software, etc., may not be adopted unless the textbooks or textbook packages are considered the “most economical” and the “best buy” for the student. A written justification and explanation from the department head and approved by the college dean must accompany the textbook requisition if there is to be any exception to the one-time use books. However, laboratory manuals or one-time use workbooks that supplement a textbook may be adopted. The department head and the college dean must approve all supplementary “required and/or recommended” books, supplies, software packages, etc.
- Textbook adoptions, materials, etc. must be approved by the college dean and submitted to the University Bookstore by the department head according to the announced deadline.
- When submitting course material information to the University Bookstore, the department head must indicate whether textbooks are “required” or “recommended” for each course. A textbook is designated as “required” if the book will be used for a substantial part of the course by all instructors teaching the course. Note: Academic departments will be responsible for return freight charges incurred by the University Bookstore should the books be ordered as “required” for a course and then not used by the instructors or not purchased by the students enrolled in that course.
Selection of Custom Published Textbooks or Materials
Departments may select through the normal established process to use “custom published textbooks” for certain courses within the department. The department head must submit to the college dean a written justification and explanation that the custom published textbook(s) is the “most economical” and the “best buy” for the student, rather than a regular edition of the textbook(s).
The president of McNeese State University or their designee for signing contracts, the vice president for business affairs, has the sole authority to sign and approve any contract for a “custom published textbook” for use only at McNeese State University. No academic department head or any member of a department is authorized to sign any contract for a “customized textbook.” The University does not honor any part of a contract, nor guarantee any part of a contract, that is not approved and signed by the president or the vice president for business affairs.
The department head, the college dean, and the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management must approve the contract for a custom published textbook before being forwarded to the vice president for business affairs. A routing form must be obtained from the Office of Business Affairs to accompany the approval process. The vice president for business affairs in coordination with the director of purchasing and property control will work with the publishing company to reach contract language that will be in accordance with McNeese State University policy and the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics. The vice president for business affairs will distribute copies of fully executed contracts to the academic department head, the University Bookstore manager, the Office of Administrative Accounting, and the Office of Purchasing and Property Control. Custom books will not be ordered until the approval process is complete.
All contracts for custom published materials or textbooks must designate McNeese State University as the payee and the Office of Administrative Accounting as the return address. Generated proceeds, royalties, or other economic benefits from the use of custom published textbooks or other custom published materials must be deposited directly to a restricted academic departmental account and not to any individual faculty member’s account. Approval level for expenditures from this restricted departmental account must include two supervisory levels above the department head. Funds may be used for faculty, staff, or student development, or for travel, supplies, or equipment.
Custom Printed Departmental Textbooks or Materials
Departments may select “custom printed” textbooks or materials through the normal established process for textbook or course material selection. The department head must submit to the college dean a written justification and explanation that the custom printed text or materials are the “most economical” and “best buy” for the student or that the custom printed materials are a necessary and important supplement for the course.
All contracts for custom printed textbooks or materials must follow the same rules and procedures as stated above for custom published books. Generated proceeds from the use of custom printed textbooks or other custom printed materials must be deposited to a restricted academic departmental account, and not to any individual faculty member’s account. Approval level for expenditures from this restricted departmental account must include two supervisory levels above the department head. Funds may be used for faculty, staff, or student development, or for travel, supplies, or equipment. A written, signed document indicating the departmental account number for proceeds must be provided to the University Bookstore.
For the purposes of determining the markup on departmental custom printed material, the materials will be classified into three categories and priced accordingly:
- Category I includes original textbooks, etc. used as primary texts in a course. Profit allowed for the department will be up to 60% of the printing costs.
- Category II includes original laboratory books, workbooks, sets of class notes, etc. of a supplementary nature. Profit allowed for the department will be up to 25% of the printing costs.
- Category III includes syllabi, old exams, sample tests, reading assignments, homework assignments, etc. Profit allowed for the department will be up to 5% of the printing costs.
Note 1: In cases in which materials overlap categories, the materials will be marked according to the lowest category applicable.
Note 2: In cases in which the Bookstore and the department cannot agree on a category, the Course Materials and Bookstore Committee will determine the category.
Textbooks Authored by McNeese State University Faculty
A department by the usual process may select a faculty-authored textbook(s) for which the faculty author(s) receives royalties for use in classes in the department even if the instructor of the class is one of the authors. Before the book is adopted, in order to avoid any conflict of interest, faculty authors must indicate in writing to the department head, college dean, the provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, and the vice president for business affairs that they shall comply with one of the following options.
- Option 1: The author(s) makes arrangements with the publisher to send to McNeese State University to be deposited in a departmental restricted account the royalties from any texts sold to the University Bookstore or any surrounding bookstores for use in McNeese State University classes.
- Option 2: The author(s) receives all royalties from the book(s), but then consults with the University Bookstore to estimate how many new books have been sold for use in McNeese State University classes and the amount of royalties that have been realized from these sales. The calculated amount of royalties is then donated to McNeese State University to be deposited in a departmental restricted account.
Note that the royalty funds must be deposited directly to a restricted academic departmental account and not to any individual faculty member’s account. Approval level for expenditures from this restricted departmental account must include two supervisory levels above the department head. Funds may be used for faculty, staff, or student development, or for travel, supplies, or equipment.
Upon receiving royalties, the faculty author(s) must provide sufficient documentation to their department head, college dean, provost and vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management, and the vice president for business affairs that either Option 1 or Option 2 has been followed. The documentation must be sufficient to determine that all conflict of interest has been avoided and that McNeese State University is in compliance with the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics. Documentation shall include an accounting statement from the University Bookstore, delivered to the faculty author(s) by January 31 annually, indicating the number of new books sold during the previous calendar year.
Faculty authors receiving royalties must also complete each year the Outside Employment/Income, Conflict of Interest, and Conflict of Commitment Disclosure Form.
University Bookstore Procedures for Ordering Textbooks or Course Materials for Sale to Students
In order for the University Bookstore to most efficiently serve faculty and students, requests for textbook changes must be submitted at least one full semester before the new texts are desired.
Textbook adoption forms are due in the University Bookstore according to the following (approximate) schedule:
- Textbooks needed for Summer classes: The last week in February.
- Textbooks needed for Fall classes: The third week in March.
- Textbooks needed for Spring classes: The third week in October.
Textbook adoption forms must include the following for each textbook or course material item:
- Course title and section number;
- Title of book, author, edition, ISBN #;
- Maximum and estimated enrollment for the class; and
- Whether the textbook(s) and/or other materials are “required” or “recommended.”
A cover letter from the department head should accompany the completed Textbook Adoption Form and must state that all textbooks and/or materials listed will be made available to all vendors both on- and off-campus upon request.
The University Bookstore manager, (337) 475-5490, is the designated “central custodian” for textbooks and course materials and is available to respond to requests and/or inquiries regarding adoption information and public requests on textbook adoption. If unable to fully respond to a request, the central custodian will be able to direct the inquiry to the proper authority. All requests for textbook information should be directed to the central custodian. The central custodian handles requests for public information related to textbooks and course materials.
Notice and Availability of Textbooks and Course Materials
McNeese State University complies with University of Louisiana System Policy FB-IV.XIII-1a Textbook Adoption and House Resolution 170 and Senate Resolution 179 of the 2008 Regular Session of the Legislature regarding course materials. To the maximum extent practicable, McNeese State University makes available to students and parents the following information 45 days prior to the beginning of the academic term on the University website:
- A course schedule for the next semester;
- The title, author, edition of the book for each course;
- The ISBN #;
- Whether the book is required, recommended, or supplemental;
- Retail price of both new and used copies of the book; and
- Whether previous editions are acceptable.
Other required course materials may be included in the course syllabus, which is available on the first day of class meetings.
The web address for course material information is provided on University documents as practicable: registration and orientation documents, fee bill reminders, email notices, and other news outlets.
This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, the Course Materials and Bookstore Committee, and the University Policies webpage.