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Textbook and Educational Materials Policy

This policy can be found on pages 110-111 of the Faculty Handbook.

The following principles pertain to the role and responsibilities of faculty in the development and selection of instructional materials at the University of Houston:

  1. The selection and production of educational materials by faculty is essential to providing quality instruction.  Therefore, the decision on the use of such materials properly rests with individual faculty members and / or faculty units, consistent with policies of the department, college and University.
  2. The practice of contributing to a body of knowledge by faculty members in their chosen fields of study through the development of educational materials, e.g., textbooks, case studies, custom books, workbooks, is a practice that is not only acceptable, but actively encouraged by peers, department chairs, and deans.
  3. In the case of educational materials produced by faculty members or instructors such that the materials are self-published by the faculty member or instructor; or are reproductions, custom books, or other materials, produced for the course; or are published by entities wholly or substantially owned by the faculty member or instructor or by a member of his or her family, then such materials shall be made available at cost to students at the University of Houston.  In all other cases, including the case where educational materials are produced by departments or other instructional units, educational materials shall be selected such that they are available to students at a reasonable price consistent with national norms, and selected according to national standards of scholarship.  In no case should students be charged for information that normally is available without charge, e.g., a course syllabus, practice exams.
  4. In order to implement item 3, and to manage any conflict of interest, an instructor of record at the University of Houston must inform the appropriate dean, or his or her designated representative or committee, before requiring students to purchase educational materials that have been written, co-written, or edited by him or her, and from which he or she shall receive royalties of any kind.  The dean or designee will review the required material to ensure that it is consistent with the requirements in 3 above.