Declare Your Support of Affordable Textbooks

Open American has been working closely with The Student Public Interest Research Groups (Student PIRGs), a national network of state-based nonprofit groups working to organize college students to solve some of the world’s most pressing public interest problems. The Student PIRGs have investigated publisher practices and the student experience in the textbook market over the past 14 years.

Since summer 2017, they have been identifying caring faculty members across our campus who are likewise concerned about the rising cost of textbooks. The below Faculty Statement of Support has been signed by many American University faculty.

Faculty Statement of Support

As faculty members, we affirm that it is our prerogative and responsibility to select course materials that are pedagogically most appropriate for our classes. We also affirm that it is consistent with this principle to seek affordable and accessible course materials whenever possible. Unfortunately, textbook publishers are promoting a new product, the course access code, which completely eliminates low and no-cost course materials options for students, such as textbook rental programs and open textbooks.

Therefore, we the undersigned declare our intent to:

  • Seek and consider open textbooks and other open resources when choosing course materials
  • Give preference to a low or no-cost material such as an open textbook over a more expensive, single use access code if it makes sense for the class
  • Encourage institutions to develop support for the use of open textbooks.