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Old 10-29-2015, 01:35 PM   #1
Potemkin
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Default Fighting expensive textbooks

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The choice of a single textbook for one section of a course at one university might seem like a decidedly local issue. But a dispute over whether an academic department may impose such a selection on all faculty members in a multisection course has set off a large debate over how textbook choices should be evaluated, who should select textbooks, whether price should be a factor, and academic freedom.

These issues came to a head Friday when Alain Bourget, an associate professor of mathematics at California State University–Fullerton, appeared before a faculty grievance committee to challenge a reprimand he received for refusing to use a $180 textbook his department had determined was the only appropriate text for an introductory linear algebra and differential equations course. Instead, he used two textbooks, one of which cost about $75 and other of which consists of free online materials.

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The Fullerton text in question is Differential Equations and Linear Algebra, published by Pearson with a suggested price of $196 but available at the Fullerton bookstore for $180 (used editions for much less). The authors are Stephen W. Goode and Scott A. Annin, the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the mathematics department at Fullerton. The textbook is currently in its third edition, and Pearson is preparing to bring out a fourth edition. Goode, via email, said he has been asked to “suspend communication” about the issue until the Bourget grievance is resolved.

HAHA, no **** Sherlock. Call me shocked!

I even went to a University where one of the tenured Professors and Chair published a book. Of course it was required for the courses but the publisher hadn't actually printed the books yet.

No problem, they gave the University the draft of the book and they Xeroxed it. Not even typeset proofs. No bindings, just the copied pages with rubber bands and shrink wrapped.

Of course you paid full price for their intellectual property.

Of course they are working on a 4th edition. Can't have all of those used textbooks sloshing around eroding into new full priced sales.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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On the other end of the spectrum all course notes and books are xeroxed and available at the xerox stores at 1/5th the cover price here. Talking about import textbooks.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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Ah, the textbook scam. Even with no authors tied to my university, we were scammed. History students were required to have a minimum of 3 or 4 texts for each course, with a further list of required reading. Never was the information given as to how much of the texts would be used. One would be the main, the other 2 or 3 usually only one chapter used. Never knew which would be which until the end of the course. I kept those books for years, trying to justify the expense.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:31 PM   #4
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I still have all of my text books from college. Since most of them are medical info I figured I should keep them in case I needed them. They have come in handy. Biology for the boys to explain the facts of life and to show them which bones werebroke at different times.

I like the idea of copied text books to keep the cost down but hate to see Xerox get more money.
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