Report 2007-116 Recommendations and Responses in 2012-041

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

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Community Colleges 4 10 3 2

Recommendation 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.

Response

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: November 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: November 2012

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2012-041