Textbooks and Course Materials Policy

SLT 3.12

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures

Policy Statement

Textbooks and related course materials continue to be essential to the delivery of knowledge. For various reasons, the cost of those materials has continued to rise. The goal of the University is to provide the best quality educational resources at the lowest possible cost to the students by minimizing the cost of textbooks and course materials used at the university while maintaining quality of education and academic freedom.


The Provost’s Office is responsible for overseeing the faculty role in textbook selection. It discharges that responsibility by working closely with the Deans of the colleges. Business and Finance is responsible for overseeing the practices of the GVSU Laker Store.

Responsibilities of the Faculty:

  • Faculty members shall submit lists of required textbooks, recommended textbooks and supplemental course materials to the GVSU Laker Store by the specified deadlines.
  • Faculty are expected to compare various textbook options and to make the selection by taking into account pedagogical value, price, and availability. If all other considerations are about the same, the less expensive option should be selected. When there are multiple sections of a course taught by different instructors, it is preferable (but not required) that departments order the same textbook for all sections, in order to benefit students who may be adjusting their schedule during drop/add week and to support inventory management for the GVSU Laker Store.
  • When faculty wish to require the purchase of any published textbooks or materials for which they have or will receive royalties or revenue, this decision shall be reviewed by the Unit Head, who shall determine whether the selection is appropriate, taking into account the criteria above. The purpose of the review is to disclose and to manage any actual or potential conflict of interest. The Unit Head may authorize that the review be conducted by a designee if certain disciplinary expertise is needed or if the Unit Head cannot provide a neutral review. If the Unit Head cannot identify a designee, then the review shall be conducted by the Dean or designee.

Responsibilities of the GVSU Laker Store:

  • The GVSU Laker Store will continue to reduce textbook prices whenever possible.
  • The GVSU Laker Store will buy back used textbooks, and the following semester make the used copies available at reduced price and display them next to the new ones.
  • When filling departmental textbook orders, the GVSU Laker Store shall acquire as many used but still up to date copies as possible, make them available at reduced price, and place them next to the new ones.
  • The GVSU Laker Store will display the required texts and materials with the course instructors’ names and course section numbers. This will help students make informed decisions when finalizing course schedules.