Tarrant County College is exploring how to standardize textbooks across the college district. Administrators and trustees said the idea is worth study because they want to find ways to reduce the cost of textbooks for students (See Star-Telegram story). But the faculty is taking a hard stand against the process.
Faculty has voiced concerns such as losing academic diversity and freedom. This week they gave the plan a thumbs down with resolution vote. The Joint Consultation Committee, which represents faculty, put up of for a vote a resolution disapproving the plan.
The faculty voted 714 to accept the resolution and 54 to not accept.
Before the faculty vote, the presidents of TCC's campuses have been directed to work with faculty on reducing the price of books. One concern is that students taking the same courses at different campuses use different books.
A statement issued this week by the JCC said:
"The Faculty Association of Tarrant County College, through its elected representatives on the Joint Consultation Committee, is committed to achieving meaningful reductions in textbook costs for our students. However, we are equally committed to opposing the precipitate implementation of a 'common course textbook' plan because we believe such a plan will not achieve the desired reductions in textbook costs and will have the effect of reinforcing the widely-held perception among faculty that their expertise, experience, and professional evaluations are not regarded as an integral part of college governance. We therefore ask that the "common course textbook" plan be suspended and that the college faculty be allowed to develop meaningful, realistic strategies for reducing student textbook costs to be implemented by the Fall semester of 2014."
David Wells, TCC's vice chancellor for academic affairs, has said common textbooks would have several benefits, including reducing textbook costs, accomdate students taking the same course on different campuses and help in a transition to digital textbooks.