Textbook Adoptions

1. Faculty should strive to minimize the costs of textbooks and other course materials for students while maintaining the quality of education and academic freedom. To the extent feasible, a majority of the content of required textbook(s) should be used in the course.  The University Store can order and stock as “recommended” rather than “required” textbooks that have ancillary information faculty consider helpful or supplementary but not essential. 

2.   To ensure textbook adoptions are made with sufficient lead time to confirm availability and wherever possible, ensure maximum availability of used textbooks, faculty, textbook coordinators, departments and/or schools are expected to submit textbook and course material adoption information to the University Store no later than the following dates which are mandated by the Murray State University policy:


Fall semester adoptions: April 1

Spring semester adoptions: October 15

Summer adoptions: March 10

Winter adoptions: October 1

Given that national demand for used textbooks far exceeds supply, early acquisition is essential.  Wherever possible, faculty members are strongly encouraged to submit their adoptions in advance of the University Store established deadlines noted above.  In addition to allowing the University Store to promptly obtain used textbooks, early textbook adoption also enables the University Store to pay students the most for their used books. Furthermore, timely adoption notice also allows students to actively search for the most reasonably priced textbooks.  

3.    Faculty members are expected to be aware of any variation in pricing when ordering a different book by a different publisher or a new edition of a previously used book.

4.    Faculty members are encouraged to limit their use of new editions unless a new edition differs significantly in a substantive way.[1] Obviously, selection of a new edition obviates a student’s ability to purchase a cheaper used edition of the prior edition.

5.    Faculty are encouraged to notify the bookstore when prior editions of a textbook remain suitable for use.  Older editions are more available in used form and may have a lower base price than their newer counterparts. 

6.   Faculty should be aware of the existence of course materials that are available in both   “bundled” and “unbundled” form as prices between these two forms of packaging can vary[2]. 

7.    - Faculty are encouraged to consider using a standard book for all sections of introductory level courses so that used books will have more resale value and to explore ways that departmental coordination can reduce costs for students.  Moreover, textbook adoptions,  wherever feasible, should be used for multiple rather than single semesters or terms, thereby creating a demand and market for used texts that result in lower costs for students.

8.   Faculty are encouraged to provide access to required textbooks and other educational materials, if applicable, through library checkout or similar arrangements; and allow for resale and reuse of textbooks and manuals.