Higher Ed: Open Textbook News From New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and North Carolina
Four reports in this roundup post.
1. New Jersey: Rutgers University Libraries Launch Open and Affordable Textbook Project, Joins Open Textbook Network
Rutgers University has become the first of New Jersey’s institutions of higher education to formally take action against the rising cost of textbooks by launching the Open and Affordable Textbook Project (OAT). The initiative includes a grant program administered by Rutgers University Libraries that will give incentives to faculty or department groups that replace a traditional textbook with a free, low-cost or open alternative.
As a member of the Open Textbook Network, Rutgers joins a select group of institutions across the country – including other members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance – that are encouraging their faculty to use open educational resources.
Read the Complete Announcement
2. Rhode Island: Open, Online Textbook Initiative Aims To Drive Down College Costs (via RI Public Radio)
Seven public and private universities in Rhode Island, including Brown and Rhode Island College, have pledged to look into increasing their use of digital textbooks. RIC piloted the initiative in a biology course, saving students an estimated $100,000, according to [Rhode Island Chief Innovation Officer Richard] Culatta.
The University of Connecticut’s Co-op is discussing plans to donate $250,000 to affordable textbook initiatives on campus, said president Timothy Dzurilla.
“The Co-op was started with the hopes of being able to supply students with affordable textbooks and the board of directors has decided that this is the best way to continue that mission,” Dzurilla said.
Funding is expected to come from the sale of the Co-op’s assets and inventory as part of the corporate dissolution process, Dzurilla said. The money would be donated to the UConn library system with an earmark for affordable open education resources, including textbooks.
“There’s not much I can do about how much their tuition costs, and I can’t do anything about the student fees,” said Beth Bernhardt, an assistant dean of university libraries who’s coordinating the alternative textbook initiative at UNCG. “But there is something I can do about the textbook costs because there are other options out there.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.