Textbook affordability a top faculty concern

Nearly two-thirds of faculty members view textbook affordability as a top priority for their universities, according to the annual Faculty Watch Report.

The survey, released Thursday by the National Association of College Stores, found that 63 percent of faculty cited textbook affordability as a top priority, up from 57 percent in 2021.

The report also found that faculty use of e-textbooks nearly doubled over the last seven years, hitting 68 percent in 2023, up from 37 percent in 2016. However, print remains the most commonly used form of textbook, with 72 percent of faculty using print materials last year.

The survey found that about two out of five faculty members said they needed help understanding the affordability of course material options. About the same proportion said they needed help understanding course material models such as inclusive access programs, which are affordable access programs offered on a course-by-course basis, and open educational resources, such as open-access journals and online tutorials.

While most faculty (92 percent) are aware of open educational resources, only 39 percent use OER available to them, the report found.

The report surveyed 1,017 college faculty from 20 two- and four-year institutions in both the U.S. and Canada.

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