To: Academic Faculty, Deans and Unit Heads

From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

November 28, 2018

Dear OSU Faculty,

The rising cost of textbooks and other course materials is a significant financial barrier for many of our students. Nationwide:

  • Undergraduate students spend $3 billion of their financial aid on textbooks each year according to a 2016 national survey conducted by U.S. PIRG.
  • Students often select courses based on the cost of course materials rather than on other important criteria. According to U.S. PIRG data, 45 percent of students choose not to register for a course due to textbook costs, thereby inhibiting their academic progress.
  • Some students—perhaps as many as two-thirds—take courses and do not purchase required texts, putting their success in jeopardy.

Listen to what Oregon State students say about textbook costs.

The Oregon Legislature has enacted two state laws to address high course materials costs, HB 2871 and HB 2729. These laws require that students at public universities are able to identify courses that use low- or no-cost materials when they register for classes.

OSU has implemented a system to make this information available to our students via the schedule of classes (Any Course Materials search functionality in Advanced Search function) and the OSU bookstore. However, we need your help to make sure the right information makes it into that system.

How can you help? Please Use the new Low- and No-Cost Materials Bookstore Process

For each course, faculty members or department schedulers should provide the bookstore—at least 30 days in advance of the start of the term—with the following information:

  • Texts and materials students must purchase through the bookstore or other sellers (usual text ordering process, using the SKU for your course textbook)
  • Texts and materials students that students may obtain at no-cost and available through the bookstore (SKU 19734545)
  • Texts and materials that are no-cost and available in Canvas or from the instructor (SKU 19707174)
  • Courses for which no course materials are required (SKU 10596043)

By gathering this information in one place, we provide students with the information they need to manage their limited resources. We will also be in compliance with state law. You can find a link to the Beaver Store faculty order form and the SKU numbers noted above at the Textbook Guide webpage.

These actions require just a few moments of your time but they make a big difference for our students.

Thank you for your attention to this priority and all you do for Oregon State University.


Edward Feser
Provost and Executive Vice President