Statement of Purpose

UNLV affirms its absolute commitment to the principle that the selection of textbooks and other classroom materials is the right and responsibility of the faculty member assigned to teach each particular course.

Entities Affected by this Policy

Entities affected by this policy are Faculty, Chairs and Deans of academic departments and the UNLV bookstore. 

Who Should Read this Policy

All parties involved with course content and textbook seleciton for courses, including Faculty, Chairs and Deans, and UNLV Bookstore should read this policy. 



Within the bounds of that principle, the UNLV Faculty Senate reminds faculty that:

  1. Departments/units should have in place mechanisms to ensure that textbooks used by all faculty, including part-time faculty and graduate student instructors, are proper and selected in a timely manner, and that new hires are notified of deadlines and encouraged to submit textbook orders early;
  2. Using the same textbook from semester-to-semester allows students to resell books to the bookstore at a higher price, or sell them directly to other students;
  3. Textbook costs often exceed the cost of the course to students. Where possible, faculty should select lower-cost options, including on-line materials, Academic Printing Service (APS) packets available through UNLV Reprographics/Design Services, placing materials on library reserve, and selecting the least expensive textbook where several otherwise equivalent choices exist;
  4. They should submit their textbook orders as early as possible to allow the bookstore to order used copies; and
  5. They should not order bundled texts unless they intend to use the entire bundled package.

Textbooks and other educational material selection are the responsibility of faculty. All materials should be relevant and should help faculty accomplish the education objectives of the given course. There are no ethical problems with faculty assigning their own textbooks or other related materials, consistent with this policy. See section below "Faculty Requiring Own Text for Class" and related form.

Receiving compensation other than royalties, contingent on the adoption of textbooks and/or other course materials, may be unprofessional and unethical. Receiving usual and customary remuneration for the review of textbooks or course materials is acceptable. Department/unit faculty may adopt policies for part-time faculty and graduate students.

Faculty Requiring Own Text For Class

The Executive Vice President and Provost (EVP&P) Office's policy regarding faculty requiring students to purchase textbooks that the faculty member has written is based on a legal position from the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) attorneys. Faculty are concerned about a possible conflict of interest in making money from their students in this way, or even the appearance of conflict. At the same time, UNLV wants to encourage its faculty to use their expertise to write books, including textbooks.

NSHE's attorneys recommended in order to protect both faculty and students, that the use of the text be approved by the faculty member's Dean. In order to implement this policy, the EVP&P consulted the Deans who suggested faculty members complete a form requesting approval. See "Faculty Request Textbook Approval Form" attached below.

Faculty must obtain the requisite signatures prior to submitting book orders for each semester. Deans' Offices are asked to keep the approval forms for three years, so it will not be necessary for faculty to complete a form for the same book/class more often than that.

Requirements specified by the NSHE attorneys are:

  1. The published books must be properly copyrighted by the authors;
  2. The published books are available for open sale;
  3. UNLV faculty do not make sales directly to students; and
  4. The published books being assigned as texts in a course are approved for such use by the Dean concerned.

At other universities, faculty often donate their royalties from textbook sales at their home institution to their department/unit. UNLV does not suggest that this option be required, but it would remove any potential issues of conflict of interest with required reading materials.

The above does not apply to course packets that go through Reprographics/Design Services and the UNLV Bookstore. They are covered by another policy.