Textbook Affordability & Open Educational Resources
House Bill 33, Senate Bill 810 & House Bill 1027
Pursuant to HB 33 (2011), The University of Texas at Austin must ensure that students have access to affordable course materials by decreasing costs and enhancing transparency and disclosure with respect to the selection, purchase, sale, and use of course materials. The intent is to encourage all the involved parties – faculty, students, administrators, bookstores, publishers, and distributors – to work together to decrease the cost of college textbooks and supplemental materials while maintaining academic freedom and high-quality course materials.
The University Co-op, the university-affiliated bookstore, in close cooperation with the Registrar’s Office, manages this course material information. In order to be compliant with HB 33, all textbooks and course material selections must be visible to students at least 30 days before the start of the semester. In addition, a listing of all commercial digital materials in the Longhorn Textbook Access program must be submitted to UT System for approval each semester, no later than one week after the deadline for faculty to submit textbook information to the bookstore. This process is managed by the University Co-op.
In addition, SB 810 (2017) and HB 1027 (2021) require that open educational resource (OER) course materials are identified so that students know which courses use them. Currently, the Co-op requests information from instructors about the adoption of OER and other no-cost materials. A list of materials is posted on the University Co-op website.
All required course materials – textbooks, course packets, access codes, iClickers, school supply items, etc. – must be submitted to the Co-op. If an item is unavailable at the Co-op, it will still be listed. For courses without any required materials, course material information still needs to be reported by flagging “No Text Required.” Courses that include and distribute textual materials that are included in the program costs (such as Option II and III programs) must also provide this information.
Providing this information to the Co-op does not obligate you or your students to conduct business with them.
Relating to measures to increase the affordability of textbooks used for courses at public or private institutions of higher education.Read legislation
Relating to the purchase and use of open educational resources.Read legislation
HB 1027 Relating to the disclosure of certain information regarding course materials by public institutions of higher education.Read Legislation
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to report open educational resources (OER) and other no-cost course materials to the University Co-op?
Even though these materials do not need to be purchased by either the Co-op or by students, state legislation requires that we communicate all required course materials to students. Pursuant to this legislation, students must be able to view courses that require only OER. To make this possible, instructors must report all course materials adoptions, regardless of cost. Our current approach is to display all course material information through the University Co-op, so even no-cost materials must be reported through the standard course materials adoption reporting process.
Yes, pursuant to state legislation, all course material adoptions must be reported each semester. This is true regardless of the cost of course materials for students, and whether or not access is facilitated through the University Co-op. If you are using many no-cost course materials, such as websites, articles, or materials access through the UT Libraries, you may summarize your adoptions as “multiple no-cost resources required.”
Does providing this information to the University Co-op obligate my students to purchase from the Co-op?
No. Your students may continue to purchase or acquire materials from any source they wish. Providing the information to the University Co-op helps the University comply with relevant state legislation and provide students with transparency on the cost of course materials.
Pursuant to state legislation, all course material adoptions must be reported each semester, regardless of how students will acquire them. If an item is unavailable at the Co-op, the Co-op will determine the source of the product and provide direct purchase information when possible.
Yes. In these cases, you will select the option “No Text Required” through the University Co-op reporting form.
Does this restrict my freedom to choose the course materials that I believe best support the learning objectives of my course?
No, this legislation simply requires that information about course materials is reported so that students can find it and be informed about the cost of course materials for the course.
The Co-op collects the course material requirements for all UT courses and makes the information available to the students by way of the UT registration website or the Co-op website.Submit to the Co-op here
Main Building 201 (G1000)
Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin
110 Inner Campus Dr. STOP G1000
Austin, Texas 78712-1701