03-10.01 – Policy on the Sale to Students of Instructional Materials from which a Faculty Member May Earn Monetary Gain

  1. Policy Statement:

    Towson University (the “University”) adheres to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement on Professional Ethics, respects the academic freedom of the individual faculty member, and recognizes scholarly achievement through publishing. Yet to avoid any exploitation of students for the monetary gain of the faculy member, the required purchase by students of faculty-authored materials in courses and the sale of materials to students by faculty shall be governed by this policy in order to protect both students and faculty.

  2. Definitions: 

    1. “Instructional Materials” are any materials used in the teaching of a course, including but not limited to books, course packets, journals, electronic course materials (e.g., compact discs, apps), manuals, databases, software, and lab equipment, whether or not disseminated by a commercial entity (e.g., publishing company, university press, software company). 

    2. “Faculty-authored Materials” are instructional Materials created by the faculty member teaching the course in which the Instructional Materials will be used. 

    3. “Department Procedures” are the procedures used by an academic department to decide what Instructional Materials will be used in teaching of course. 

    4. The “Department Representative” is the department, department chairperson or department committee which is responsible for making the decision about the use of Faculty-authored Materials in a course, in accordance with Departmental Procedures. 

    5. “Direct Sale” is Requiring students to lease or purchase Instructional Materials, including licenses for items such as data bases or software, directly from the faculty member teaching the course. 

    6. “Indirect Sale” is requiring students to lease or purchase Instructional Materials, including licenses for items such as databases and software from a person or entity other than the faculty member.

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

    Responsible Office:
    Office of the Provost

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All faculty.

  5. Procedures:

    1. The Department Representative shall review the Faculty-authored Materials to determine their instructional value. As determined in accordance with regular Department Procedures, selected materials must be current, relevant to course learning objectives, and reasonably priced. If the Department Representative is the creator of the Faculty-authored Materials, then the appropriate college dean will make the decision. 

    2. The Department Representative (or dean, where appropriate) must approve use or Indirect sale of the Faculty-authored Materials before the beginning of the semester. Direct sales of Faculty-authored Materials are prohibited. Approvals are needed within sufficient time to meet textbook adoption guidelines. Faculty-authored Materials that are not approved for Indirect sale may still be used by the faculty member as optional or supplemental course materials, or placed on faculty course reserves, but students shall not be required to purchase these materials. 

    3. Upon approval by the Department Representative or dean, as appropriate, the department shall forward documentation outlining the instructional value of the Faculty-authored Materials to the appropriate college dean who will keep the documents on file.

Related Policies:

TU Policy 03-10.00, Policy on Textbook Affordability

USM Policy III-10.00, Policy on Textbook Affordability Measures

Approval Date: 02/08/2017

Effective Date: 02/08/2017

Approved By: President’s Council 02/08/2017

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .