Report 2007-116 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2007-116: Affordability of College Textbooks: Textbook Prices Have Risen Significantly in the Last Four Years, but Some Strategies May Help to Control These Costs for Students (Release Date: August 2008)

Recommendation #1 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should reevaluate bookstores' pricing policies to ensure that markups are not higher than necessary to support bookstore operations. If the campuses determine that bookstore profits are needed to fund other campus activities, the campuses should seek input from students as necessary to determine whether such purposes are warranted and supported by the student body, particularly when higher textbook prices result.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From August 2014

While the Chancellor's Office completed the bulk of the recommendations from the 2008 report shortly after it was issued, our office did not follow through with two recommendations from the report dealing with community college bookstores for the following reasons: 1) the budget crisis was dominating the attention of college personnel and our office; and 2) it is not within the scope of our legal authority to impose a state mandate requiring compliance with these recommendations from the State Auditor and if we had, it would have created a reimbursable state mandate resulting in costs to the state.

CCC Chancellor's Office Actions to Implement Recommendations #1 and #2

It is not within the scope of our office's legal authority to require colleges to adopt the specified practices. In addition, if we were to issue guidelines or regulations to this effect, it would constitute a reimbursable state mandate and result in costs to the state. Given these limitations, we have taken the following steps to implement the recommendations:

1. Reached out to the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) to discuss these recommendations. This statewide group represents chief business officials, the campus leaders most likely to be involved in bookstore oversight.

2. Issued a communication to chief business officials at the 112 California community colleges, drawing their attention to these recommendations and urging them to consider implementing the policies at their local bookstores or in contracts with third-party book stores. (Documenting email communication will be sent to laurak@auditor.ca.gov)

  • Completion Date: August 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

Initial conversations with the Executive Board of the California Community College Association of Chief Business Officers (ACBO) were held on the topic of increasing transparency in textbook markup policy. However the discussions were placed on hold while College Chief Business Officers and other college leadership groups dealt with the unprecedented cuts sustained by college budgets. The Chancellor's Office will resume discussions with ACBO no later than October 2013 and hopes to issue guidance to colleges on these issues by January 2014.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

Initial conversations with the Executive Board of the California Community College Association of Chief Business Officers (ACBO) were held on the topic of increasing transparency in textbook markup policy. However the discussions were placed on hold while College Chief Business Officers and other college leadership groups dealt with the unprecedented cuts sustained by college budgets. The Chancellor's Office will resume discussions with ACBO no later than February 2013 and hopes to issue guidance to colleges on these issues by Spring, 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should direct bookstores to publicly disclose on an annual basis any amounts they use for purposes that do not relate to bookstore operations, such as contributions they make to campus organizations and activities.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From August 2014

While the Chancellor's Office completed the bulk of the recommendations from the 2008 report shortly after it was issued, our office did not follow through with two recommendations from the report dealing with community college bookstores for the following reasons: 1) the budget crisis was dominating the attention of college personnel and our office; and 2) it is not within the scope of our legal authority to impose a state mandate requiring compliance with these recommendations from the State Auditor and if we had, it would have created a reimbursable state mandate resulting in costs to the state.

CCC Chancellor's Office Actions to Implement Recommendations #1 and #2

It is not within the scope of our office's legal authority to require colleges to adopt the specified practices. In addition, if we were to issue guidelines or regulations to this effect, it would constitute a reimbursable state mandate and result in costs to the state. Given these limitations, we have taken the following steps to implement the recommendations:

1. Reached out to the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) to discuss these recommendations. This statewide group represents chief business officials, the campus leaders most likely to be involved in bookstore oversight.

2. Issued a communication to chief business officials at the 112 California community colleges, drawing their attention to these recommendations and urging them to consider implementing the policies at their local bookstores or in contracts with third-party book stores. (Documenting email communication will be sent to laurak@auditor.ca.gov)

  • Completion Date: August 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The Chancellor's Office and the Board of Governors do not have the authority to direct colleges to provide this information, but the College Finance and Facilities Planning Division of the Chancellor's Office has initiated a conversation with the Association of Chief Business Officers (ACBO) on how this recommendation can be implemented voluntarily at local campuses. The discussions were placed on hold, however, while the College Chief Business Officers and other college leadership groups dealt with the unprecedented cuts sustained by college budgets. The Chancellor's Office will resume discussions with ACBO no later than October 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

The Chancellor's Office and the Board of Governors do not have the authority to direct colleges to provide this information, but the College Finance and Facilities Planning Division of the Chancellor's Office has initiated a conversation with the Association of College Business Officers (ACBO) on how this recommendation can be implemented voluntarily at local campuses. The discussions were placed on hold, however, while College Chief Business Officers and other college leadership groups dealt with the unprecedented cuts sustained by college budgets. The Chancellor's Office will resume discussions with ACBO no later than February 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Recommendation #3 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to communicate the provisions contained within recent state laws regarding textbook affordability to ensure that all faculty are aware of the existence of these laws and steps they can take to possibly reduce textbook costs.

1-Year Agency Response

According to the community colleges, it developed recommendations to colleges on textbook affordability in a report that it presented to its board of governors in May 2008 that address several of the bureau's recommendations. It indicated that one of the primary recommendations in its report was for colleges to create local textbook affordability taskforces that would include academic senates, faculty, and other stakeholders to address these issues. According to the community colleges, campuses began working on implementing the recommendations in its report at the start of the 2008-09 academic year. Further, the community colleges indicated that management and staff of its system office made several presentations at statewide conferences of various community college stakeholders on textbook affordability that address the bureau's recommendations and its staff continued to make presentations in 2009 at statewide conferences whenever the opportunity presented itself. In addition, the community colleges stated that its system office developed an on-line archive and Web site of research, policy, legislation, links, and other useful information to assist local college textbook affordability taskforces in implementing our recommendations. For instance, the Web site includes examples of campus textbook adoption policies and information on strategies to reduce textbook costs for students. The community colleges also indicated that it emailed an announcement on the contents of its Web site to community college constituent groups, including faculty in October, 2009. (See 2010-406, pp. 158-159)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #4 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise faculty to submit their textbook adoption information to the bookstores by the due dates to make certain that the bookstores can obtain as many used books as possible and purchase books back from students at higher prices.

1-Year Agency Response

According to the community colleges, it developed recommendations to colleges on textbook affordability in a report that it presented to its board of governors in May 2008 that address several of the bureau's recommendations. It indicated that one of the primary recommendations in its report was for colleges to create local textbook affordability taskforces that would include academic senates, faculty, and other stakeholders to address these issues. According to the community colleges, campuses began working on implementing the recommendations in its report at the start of the 2008-09 academic year. Further, the community colleges indicated that management and staff of its system office made several presentations at statewide conferences of various community college stakeholders on textbook affordability that address the bureau's recommendations and its staff continued to make presentations in 2009 at statewide conferences whenever the opportunity presented itself. In addition, the community colleges stated that its system office developed an on-line archive and Web site of research, policy, legislation, links, and other useful information to assist local college textbook affordability taskforces in implementing our recommendations. For instance, the Web site includes examples of campus textbook adoption policies and information on strategies to reduce textbook costs for students. The community colleges also indicated that it emailed an announcement on the contents of its Web site to community college constituent groups, including faculty in October, 2009. (See 2010-406, pp. 158-159)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #5 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to encourage faculty to consider price in the textbook adoption process and, without compromising the quality of the education students receive or the academic freedom of faculty, to consider adopting less costly textbooks whenever possible.

1-Year Agency Response

According to the community colleges, it developed recommendations to colleges on textbook affordability in a report that it presented to its board of governors in May 2008 that address several of the bureau's recommendations. It indicated that one of the primary recommendations in its report was for colleges to create local textbook affordability taskforces that would include academic senates, faculty, and other stakeholders to address these issues. According to the community colleges, campuses began working on implementing the recommendations in its report at the start of the 2008-09 academic year. Further, the community colleges indicated that management and staff of its system office made several presentations at statewide conferences of various community college stakeholders on textbook affordability that address the bureau's recommendations and its staff continued to make presentations in 2009 at statewide conferences whenever the opportunity presented itself. In addition, the community colleges stated that its system office developed an on-line archive and Web site of research, policy, legislation, links, and other useful information to assist local college textbook affordability taskforces in implementing our recommendations. For instance, the Web site includes examples of campus textbook adoption policies and information on strategies to reduce textbook costs for students. The community colleges also indicated that it emailed an announcement on the contents of its Web site to community college constituent groups, including faculty in October, 2009. (See 2010-406, pp. 158-159)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to instruct faculty to consider adopting textbooks that are not bundled with supplementary products, unless all the components are required for the course.

1-Year Agency Response

According to the community colleges, it developed recommendations to colleges on textbook affordability in a report that it presented to its board of governors in May 2008 that address several of the bureau's recommendations. It indicated that one of the primary recommendations in its report was for colleges to create local textbook affordability taskforces that would include academic senates, faculty, and other stakeholders to address these issues. According to the community colleges, campuses began working on implementing the recommendations in its report at the start of the 2008-09 academic year. Further, the community colleges indicated that management and staff of its system office made several presentations at statewide conferences of various community college stakeholders on textbook affordability that address the bureau's recommendations and its staff continued to make presentations in 2009 at statewide conferences whenever the opportunity presented itself. In addition, the community colleges stated that its system office developed an on-line archive and Web site of research, policy, legislation, links, and other useful information to assist local college textbook affordability taskforces in implementing our recommendations. For instance, the Web site includes examples of campus textbook adoption policies and information on strategies to reduce textbook costs for students. The community colleges also indicated that it emailed an announcement on the contents of its Web site to community college constituent groups, including faculty in October, 2009. (See 2010-406, pp. 158-159)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise campus bookstores to evaluate the feasibility of implementing cost saving strategies, such as low price guarantees and guaranteed buyback on certain titles, to the extent they have not already done so.

1-Year Agency Response

The community colleges addressed this recommendation in its response to finding number 2. (See 2010-406, p. 159)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to evaluate the feasibility of implementing book rental programs or student book exchange programs to the extent they have not already done so.

1-Year Agency Response

The community colleges addressed this recommendation in its response to finding number 2. (See 2010-406, p. 160)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #9 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

To ensure that courses taught by faculty whose main instructional materials are open educational resources meet the articulation requirements for students who transfer to the UC and CSU systems, faculty and the system offices at the UC, CSU, and community colleges should collaborate to develop acceptable standards and policies related to content, currency, and quality of these alternative instructional materials.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

The Guiding Notes for General Education Course Reviewers is a guide to the Online Services for Curriculum Articulation Review (OSCAR), a software program within the ASSIST database used by the California State University, the University of California and the California Community Colleges to facilitate the articulation process. In May of 2009, CCC Faculty successfully secured an agreement from CSU Office of the Chancellor to update the Guiding Notes with language stating that the use of open textbooks and online textbooks are an acceptable substitute for traditional textbooks. Since UC does not publish a similar guide, but accepts determinations made by CSU, the Guiding Notes serve as the de facto authoritative reference on this topic for all three segments. (See 2009-041, p. 48)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Community Colleges Chancellor's Office

The system offices of UC, CSU, and the community colleges should continue taking steps to promote awareness, development, and adoption of open educational resources as alternatives to textbooks and other learning materials.

1-Year Agency Response

The community colleges stated that its system office became a member of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources steering committee that oversees a pilot supporting the creation of open education resource textbooks for community college faculty. It drafted and sent a solicitation to identity parties interested in becoming the California Community Colleges Open Educational Resources Center pilot in spring 2009. The community colleges indicated that it identified two colleges as qualified and interested in being Open Educational Resource Center pilots. It added that a proposed statement of duties and deliverables has been developed and agreed upon and a Memorandum of Understanding is in the process of being developed and will be signed and presented at a board of governors meeting following completion of appropriate signatures. (See 2010-406, p. 162)

  • Response Date: August 2009

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #11 To: University, California State

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should reevaluate bookstores’ pricing policies to ensure that markups are not higher than necessary to support bookstore operations. If the campuses determine that bookstore profits are needed to fund other campus activities, the campuses should seek input from students as necessary to determine whether such purposes are warranted and supported by the student body, particularly when higher textbook prices result.

60-Day Agency Response

CSU explained that while campus bookstores provide an essential service, they are highly capital intensive. CSU added that the costs of providing the infrastructure for selling textbooks as well as the requirement that a campus bookstore offer all texts required by a campus’s faculty results in a business that must markup its inventory, including textbooks, to cover its costs. CSU indicated that the markup rates differ across the system and are modified at various points in time when the contracts are negotiated. (See 2010-406, p. 157)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #12 To: University, California State

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should direct bookstores to publicly disclose on an annual basis any amounts they use for purposes that do not relate to bookstore operations, such as contributions they make to campus organizations and activities.

60-Day Agency Response

CSU stated that the bookstores operated by campus auxiliaries are all not-for-profit corporations that are required to produce annual audited financial statements that include, among other financial details, the disclosure of net income, revenues and expenditures, and use of any funds provided to the campus for other activities. CSU indicated that it asked campuses to ensure that financial statements are made accessible to any interested student for auxiliary-operated bookstores. However, according to CSU, it cannot require the commercially operated bookstores to share their financial statements. Finally, in August 2009 the CSU sent a memorandum to all campuses instructing them to seek input from students through the bookstore Web site when they plan to use bookstore profits to support campus activities other than bookstore operations. (See 2010-406, p. 157)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #13 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to communicate the provisions contained within recent state laws regarding textbook affordability to ensure that all faculty are aware of the existence of these laws and steps they can take to possibly reduce textbook costs.

60-Day Agency Response

In October 2008 CSU’s executive vice chancellor/chief academic officer distributed an official “coded” memorandum to campus presidents requesting that they distribute a message to all faculty regarding our recommendations and that they renew their message to all faculty at appropriate times in order to remind them each academic term to take actions that may result in lower costs to students for textbooks and learning materials. CSU included a “draft text of a message to faculty regarding textbook affordability” for presidents to use at their discretion in communicating the recommendations in our report that relate to ensuring faculty members are aware of factors affecting textbook costs. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #14 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise faculty to submit their textbook adoption information to the bookstores by the due dates to make certain that the bookstores can obtain as many used books as possible and purchase books back from students at higher prices.

60-Day Agency Response

In October 2008 CSU’s executive vice chancellor/chief academic officer distributed an official “coded” memorandum to campus presidents requesting that they distribute a message to all faculty regarding our recommendations and that they renew their message to all faculty at appropriate times in order to remind them each academic term to take actions that may result in lower costs to students for textbooks and learning materials. CSU included a “draft text of a message to faculty regarding textbook affordability” for presidents to use at their discretion in communicating the recommendations in our report that relate to ensuring faculty members are aware of factors affecting textbook costs. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #15 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to encourage faculty to consider price in the textbook adoption process and, without compromising the quality of the education students receive or the academic freedom of faculty, to consider adopting less costly textbooks whenever possible.

60-Day Agency Response

In October 2008 CSU’s executive vice chancellor/chief academic officer distributed an official “coded” memorandum to campus presidents requesting that they distribute a message to all faculty regarding our recommendations and that they renew their message to all faculty at appropriate times in order to remind them each academic term to take actions that may result in lower costs to students for textbooks and learning materials. CSU included a “draft text of a message to faculty regarding textbook affordability” for presidents to use at their discretion in communicating the recommendations in our report that relate to ensuring faculty members are aware of factors affecting textbook costs. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #16 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to instruct faculty to consider adopting textbooks that are not bundled with supplementary products, unless all the components are required for the course.

60-Day Agency Response

In October 2008 CSU’s executive vice chancellor/chief academic officer distributed an official “coded” memorandum to campus presidents requesting that they distribute a message to all faculty regarding our recommendations and that they renew their message to all faculty at appropriate times in order to remind them each academic term to take actions that may result in lower costs to students for textbooks and learning materials. CSU included a “draft text of a message to faculty regarding textbook affordability” for presidents to use at their discretion in communicating the recommendations in our report that relate to ensuring faculty members are aware of factors affecting textbook costs. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #17 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise campus bookstores to evaluate the feasibility of implementing cost-saving strategies, such as low-price guarantees and guaranteed buyback on certain titles, to the extent they have not already done so.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

Ten campuses have low price guarantees in place, advertised prominently on the bookstore webpage; one campus is planning to implement low price guarantees. Nine campuses have buyback programs for certain texts, also advertised prominently on the bookstore webpage. Four campuses are planning to implement buyback programs. Additionally campuses partner with the university library to provide reference titles for students to use. Some have piloted an “old edition” program with faculty involvement, giving students up to a 70% savings from the new price. Given the opportunity presented by this request, CSU reaffirmed with campuses that notice has been provided to faculty about the need for early textbook choice adoption and the importance of considering price when ordering textbooks. A few of the campus faculty governing bodies have passed policy statements on this subject. (See 2009-041, p. 50)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #18 To: University, California State

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to evaluate the feasibility of implementing book rental programs or student book exchange programs to the extent they have not already done so.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

Nine campuses have book rental programs in place, advertised prominently on the bookstore webpage; six campuses have plans in place to introduce a rental program. Three campuses have book exchange programs; with an additional two planning to implement exchange programs. Some bookstores extend the cost savings programs to include computer hardware and software. (See 2009-041, p. 50)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #19 To: University, California State

To ensure that courses taught by faculty whose main instructional materials are open educational resources meet the articulation requirements for students who transfer to the UC and CSU systems, faculty and the system offices at the UC, CSU, and community colleges should collaborate to develop acceptable standards and policies related to content, currency, and quality of these alternative instructional materials.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

The CSU has a long history of active and extensive collaboration with the California Community Colleges and the University of California in developing resources, guidelines, and tools to facilitate the transfer of general education courses across institutions.

Faculty and staff from CSU and the California Community Colleges serve on the CSU Chancellor's General Education Advisory Committee, now in its 18th year, to continuously develop the "Guiding Notes for General Education Course Reviewers". These Guiding Notes are available on-line, are widely read by community college faculty and staff in their proposals for courses that would be acceptable for transfer to the CSU.

The following text will be adopted within the Guiding Notes document in January 2010.

"Proposed courses should include a textbook. Reviewers use the representative text as a way to confirm their understanding of course content. It's understood that the instructor in a given section may choose a different text, but the proposed one is still given close attention. It's expected that the structure of the text will be consistent with the course outline.

"Texts don't need to be published in hard copy. The UC and CSU welcome the use of on-line texts and other Open Educational Resources, so long as the resource is a stable, bona fide textbook, and not just a collection of links to lecture notes or other web pages."

This strategy for "open educational resource" (OER) material emerged in fall 2008 at a meeting of the southern group of the California Intersegmental Articulation Council (CIAC). Community college articulation officers and UC representatives were in attendance. This approach was further explained in spring 2009 at presentations with community colleges. There has been agreement within the higher education community (faculty and articulation officers) that a policy statement that welcomes OER material, rather than trying to define it will result in greater use of such OER. (See 2009-041, p. 51)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #20 To: University, California State

The system offices of UC, CSU, and the community colleges should continue taking steps to promote awareness, development, and adoption of open educational resources as alternatives to textbooks and other learning materials.

Recommendation #21 To: University, California State

CSU should continue its efforts to develop, implement, and promote awareness of the Digital Marketplace. While doing this, CSU should monitor any resistance from students and faculty to ensure that the digital education content aligns with their needs and preferences.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

a. The Digital Marketplace is designed to provide a one-stop shop for students and faculty to find, organize and acquire academic content that's more affordable, more accessible, and higher quality choices in meeting their teaching and learning needs. There are 3 basic elements of the Digital Marketplace:

i. Discovery and production of free and fee-based academic content;

ii Selection and organization of content for courses; and

iii. Choice and acquisition/purchase of content by students

b. The design strategy for the Digital Marketplace (DM) is to leverage the capacities of the publishing and technology industries, higher education, and professional organizations to deliver scalable and sustainable services in a timely manner.

i The business model of the DM will provide more cost-effective services

ii The technology model of the DM is to integrate existing web-based services to deliver reliable and cost-effective services

c. We have developed a two minute video to explain the Digital Marketplace.

d. We have developed a website that provides more information about the project.

e. We are working with CSU Dominguez Hills and Fresno on the use of open course materials and designing a campaign strategy that will be cost-effective and scalable throughout the CSU. CSU Dominguez Hills (Sept 23, 2009, Oct 9, 2009, December 2, 2009); CSU Fresno (October 18, 2009).

f. We have recently completed a successful pilot project that tested the technology, copyright clearance, and contract principles enabling CSU faculty and students to acquire individual journal articles from Elsevier at a lower cost (at least 16% less expensive) and at a faster rate (10 minutes vs. 7 days). CSU Chico, Fullerton, Channel Islands, and Stanislaus participated.

g. We will be starting a pilot project with industry leaders in securing the distribution and acquisition of digital content of publishers (e.g. Vital Source, Pearson, Wiley, etc) this spring. CSU San Bernardino will be participating.

h. We will be starting a pilot project on a new "lease model" for publishers e-textbooks that can result textbooks costing 25% of current prices. CSU San Bernardino, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, and Long Beach are developing plans to participate this spring.

i. Staff responsible for the Digital Marketplace presented to the statewide student organization (CSSA) on Oct. 17, 2009. The CSSA gave a positive response to the "Affordable Learning Solutions" strategy, and have adopted a policy agenda that advocates the use of technology in teach and learning. We will continue to work with the CSSA to ensure alignment with student needs and preferences.

j. We have been working with faculty and academic administrators on the use of digital academic content The Affordable Learning Solutions project has been reviewed with both the campus provosts (October 22, 2009, Nov 12, 2009) and the Council of Library Directors, who work with faculty extensively on the use of digital content(September 3, 2009). The MERLOT International Conference which provided 3 days of professional development for CSU faculty in the use of digital academic technology and open educational resources was held in August 2009 in San Jose CA. (See 2009-041, pp. 51-52)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #22 To: University of California

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should reevaluate bookstores’ pricing policies to ensure that markups are not higher than necessary to support bookstore operations. If the campuses determine that bookstore profits are needed to fund other campus activities, the campuses should seek input from students as necessary to determine whether such purposes are warranted and supported by the student body, particularly when higher textbook prices result.

60-Day Agency Response

According to UC, its campus bookstores set and review pricing policies in order to ensure that textbook markups stay within a range necessary to support bookstore operations and to keep textbooks within a reasonable price range to students. UC indicated that campus bookstores have pricing programs that are reviewed by governing or advisory boards that comprise students, staff, and faculty. UC added that these boards review revenues and the use of revenues as well. (See 2010-406, p. 156)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #23 To: University of California

To increase awareness and transparency about the reasons campus bookstores add markups to publishers' invoice prices for textbooks, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should direct bookstores to publicly disclose on an annual basis any amounts they use for purposes that do not relate to bookstore operations, such as contributions they make to campus organizations and activities.

60-Day Agency Response

UC stated that most of the campus bookstores review and disclose information related to bookstore operations on an annual basis and make information widely available upon request. (See 2010-406, p. 156)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #24 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to communicate the provisions contained within recent state laws regarding textbook affordability to ensure that all faculty are aware of the existence of these laws and steps they can take to possibly reduce textbook costs.

60-Day Agency Response

UC indicated that it sent a letter to each campus from its systemwide headquarters requesting a detailed report on implementation of each of the bureau's audit recommendations. According to UC, each campus reported its implementation efforts to date, but added that these efforts are ongoing and it will continue to evaluate ways in which it can ease the cost of higher education for its students. It also stated that campus bookstores issue guidance on the textbook adoption process and have taken significant steps to ensure that faculty are aware of deadlines for submitting textbook selections, advantages for students of adopting textbook selections in a timely manner, as well as providing advice on bundled materials. According to UC, faculty at all of its campuses have been informed of the textbook affordability issues and their significance in the systemwide Academic Senate's June 2009 issue of "The Senate Source". UC noted that in the most recent issue of this publication, the Academic Senate provided an overview of faculty best practices on textbook affordability, a description of state legislation enacted to keep the cost of textbooks down, and an invitation for faculty to submit ideas to their local campus Senate divisions by December 2009. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #25 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise faculty to submit their textbook adoption information to the bookstores by the due dates to make certain that the bookstores can obtain as many used books as possible and purchase books back from students at higher prices.

60-Day Agency Response

UC indicated that it sent a letter to each campus from its systemwide headquarters requesting a detailed report on implementation of each of the bureau's audit recommendations. According to UC, each campus reported its implementation efforts to date, but added that these efforts are ongoing and it will continue to evaluate ways in which it can ease the cost of higher education for its students. It also stated that campus bookstores issue guidance on the textbook adoption process and have taken significant steps to ensure that faculty are aware of deadlines for submitting textbook selections, advantages for students of adopting textbook selections in a timely manner, as well as providing advice on bundled materials. According to UC, faculty at all of its campuses have been informed of the textbook affordability issues and their significance in the systemwide Academic Senate's June 2009 issue of "The Senate Source". UC noted that in the most recent issue of this publication, the Academic Senate provided an overview of faculty best practices on textbook affordability, a description of state legislation enacted to keep the cost of textbooks down, and an invitation for faculty to submit ideas to their local campus Senate divisions by December 2009. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #26 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to encourage faculty to consider price in the textbook adoption process and, without compromising the quality of the education students receive or the academic freedom of faculty, to consider adopting less costly textbooks whenever possible.

60-Day Agency Response

UC indicated that it sent a letter to each campus from its systemwide headquarters requesting a detailed report on implementation of each of the bureau's audit recommendations. According to UC, each campus reported its implementation efforts to date, but added that these efforts are ongoing and it will continue to evaluate ways in which it can ease the cost of higher education for its students. It also stated that campus bookstores issue guidance on the textbook adoption process and have taken significant steps to ensure that faculty are aware of deadlines for submitting textbook selections, advantages for students of adopting textbook selections in a timely manner, as well as providing advice on bundled materials. According to UC, faculty at all of its campuses have been informed of the textbook affordability issues and their significance in the systemwide Academic Senate's June 2009 issue of "The Senate Source". UC noted that in the most recent issue of this publication, the Academic Senate provided an overview of faculty best practices on textbook affordability, a description of state legislation enacted to keep the cost of textbooks down, and an invitation for faculty to submit ideas to their local campus Senate divisions by December 2009. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #27 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to instruct faculty to consider adopting textbooks that are not bundled with supplementary products, unless all the components are required for the course.

60-Day Agency Response

UC indicated that it sent a letter to each campus from its systemwide headquarters requesting a detailed report on implementation of each of the bureau's audit recommendations. According to UC, each campus reported its implementation efforts to date, but added that these efforts are ongoing and it will continue to evaluate ways in which it can ease the cost of higher education for its students. It also stated that campus bookstores issue guidance on the textbook adoption process and have taken significant steps to ensure that faculty are aware of deadlines for submitting textbook selections, advantages for students of adopting textbook selections in a timely manner, as well as providing advice on bundled materials. According to UC, faculty at all of its campuses have been informed of the textbook affordability issues and their significance in the systemwide Academic Senate's June 2009 issue of "The Senate Source". UC noted that in the most recent issue of this publication, the Academic Senate provided an overview of faculty best practices on textbook affordability, a description of state legislation enacted to keep the cost of textbooks down, and an invitation for faculty to submit ideas to their local campus Senate divisions by December 2009. (See 2010-406, p. 158)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #28 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to advise campus bookstores to evaluate the feasibility of implementing cost saving strategies, such as low price guarantees and guaranteed buyback on certain titles, to the extent they have not already done so.

Recommendation #29 To: University of California

To ensure that faculty are aware of factors affecting textbook costs, UC, CSU, and the community colleges should issue guidance on the textbook adoption process. In developing this guidance, they should direct campuses to evaluate the feasibility of implementing book rental programs or student book exchange programs to the extent they have not already done so.

60-Day Agency Response

UC addressed this recommendation in its response to finding number 3. (See 2010-406, p. 160)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #30 To: University of California

To ensure that courses taught by faculty whose main instructional materials are open educational resources meet the articulation requirements for students who transfer to the UC and CSU systems, faculty and the system offices at the UC, CSU, and community colleges should collaborate to develop acceptable standards and policies related to content, currency, and quality of these alternative instructional materials.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009

The University has already, in effect, implemented a process by which it reviews course materials for purposes of course articulation. Courses taken by community college transfer students are governed by articulation agreements and the content of those courses, including the textbooks used, are evaluated regardless of whether they are conventional or open-source textbooks.

When doing articulation of California Community College courses, however, the University of California reviews first and foremost, the course being proposed for articulation in terms of match to UC's lower-division courses in content—course instructional materials are not the primary driver. When looking at textbooks, UC's primary goal is to ensure that the curriculum presented in the materials is in alignment with the course content and UC curriculum requirements. UC also verifies that the text is dated within 6 years, in accordance with Title V.

Additionally, as a further measure to help instructors who are teaching courses online or in subject areas where there is not an appropriate textbook, the University does have a place on its OSCAR course review screen where information can be entered to describe what is being offered in place of a text and how it meets the aforementioned requirements. Occasionally, an outdated textbook is justified by the CCC faculty as the best match for the intended curriculum. Course reviewers take those comments into consideration and, if appropriate, do accept the course without a recent textbook. The University has discussed the possibility of making this flexibility an official rule in systemwide articulation with the CSU Chancellor's Office.

As indicated in earlier responses to the Bureau of State Audits, which is attached for your reference, I am very concerned about the affordability of a UC education and the University is working in a number of ways to address this issue. The UC campuses have taken numerous steps to keep the cost of textbooks affordable, and with respect to open educational resources, the University continues its involvement with the CSU and CCC segments to develop and promote open educational resources. (See 2009-041, p. 54)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #31 To: University of California

The system offices of UC, CSU, and the community colleges should continue taking steps to promote awareness, development, and adoption of open educational resources as alternatives to textbooks and other learning materials.

60-Day Agency Response

UC stated that it continues its engagement with the CSU and community colleges through its Strategic Publishing and Broadcast Services to develop and promote open educational resources. According to UC, Strategic Publishing and Broadcast Services is also involved in other efforts to create open access textbooks, and instill broader discussions to try to comprehend the arena of textbook affordability for the State's postsecondary segments, as well as for California's K-12 public schools. It also stated that it is working in partnership with the community colleges on the Hewlett-funded Open Textbook Project to create free or low-cost, high-quality textbooks for community college students. In addition, UC explained that as part of its licensing deal for Springer Journals, the California Digital Library recently acquired permanent access to the more than 20,000 e-books that Springer Journal has published between 2005 and 2009. The collections include 1,300 college level textbooks in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as well as the social science fields. According to UC, all of these e-books are available at no cost to UC faculty, staff, and students who are also able to get print-on-demand copies for less than $25. Furthermore, it also stated that the California Digital Library is exploring opportunities for members of the UC community to purchase or subscribe to Wiley Publishing's online textbooks at a discounted rate. (See 2010-406, p. 161)

  • Response Date: October 2008

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2007-116

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.