Faculty will write next chapter in plan to reduce textbook costs

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate opted not to take action on a resolution calling for a goal of cutting student textbook costs by 50 percent.

Instead the senate at the urging of Jim Evans will leave it up to an ad hoc committee to come up with a proposal, and then will act on that proposal.

That’s the way the senate procedure should work, Evans said. He argued that the resolution before the senate, which had been tabled in November, would be an “insult” to the members of the ad hoc committee because it spells out what they should decide.

That resolution called for the committee to report to the full senate by next May, and there was no indication that the timeline would change.

Everyone in the senate, everyone at the university, Evans said, wants lower textbook costs. The senate should allow the committee to study the issue and deliver a resolution based on what they find. The decision should be based on “facts and data” not “hearsay,” which is how he characterized what was in the resolution.

Anne Gordon asked why the resolution insisted that BGSU lead the state in reducing textbook cost. “That seems to me to be part of the agenda of moving so quickly,” she said. “Why is taking lead in this issue so important?”

Allen Rogel said it was important for the senate and the university to present options before “we get something rammed down our throats by the legislature.”

Provost Rodney Rogers noted in his remarks that the BGSU Board of Trustees will be discussing textbook costs.

At November’s meeting when the resolution was first presented, the initiatives BGSU is already taking were spelled out. Those included the bookstore’s BGSU Choose program through which students can comparison shop for books. Also, the library buys copies of some of the most in demand textbooks and makes them available at the reserve desk.

David Jackson said “faculty have little control over what private corporations charge for textbooks.”

Michelle Heckman, said the Math Emporium was able to negotiate getting materials for 60 percent less when it bypassed the bookstore.

The motion to delay consideration of the resolution until the ad hoc committee delivers its report passed 45-21.

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