Policy: Policy 3-2-10: WNC Textbook Policy Date Adopted: Feb 11, 2014
Department: Academic & Student Affairs Contact: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
Statement: According to the NSHE Board of Regents' Code Title 4, Chapter 14, Section 29, "each NSHE institution shall develop an approved statement of professional and ethical guidelines relative to the selection of textbooks or other instructional materials. Such guidelines shall address relationships with publishers or other providers, selection of one's authored text for instructional use, and shall address the desirability of minimizing costs to students when this can be accomplished without compromising academic standards and academic freedom."


The selection and production of educational materials by academic faculty is essential to providing quality instruction. Therefore, the decision on the use of such materials properly, and correctly, rests with individual faculty members and / or faculty units, consistent with policies of the department, division and college.

Section 1: Textbook Selection

  1. Each full-time faculty member will select the title and number of required textbooks and supplements used in each of his/her course offerings within the time-frame and procedures established by his/her division and/or by federal law or proclamation, whichever is most restrictive.
    1. Each division/discipline will have the option of determining the titles and number of required and supplementary textbooks for adjuncts, last-minute faculty hires, and for faculty who have not submitted an adoption by the deadline.
    2. Decisions related to textbook standardization will be made at the discipline level with respect paid to, and tilted in favor of, faculty rights under academic freedom.
    3. If a discipline committee is designated to select standard textbooks and/or supplements, faculty members who are authors of materials being considered or who are related to an author as defined by the WNC nepotism policy may not serve on the committee.
      1. The practice of contributing to a body of knowledge by faculty members in their chosen fields of study through the development of educational materials, e.g., textbooks, case studies, custom books, workbooks, is a practice that is not only acceptable, but actively encouraged and supported by peers, division directors, and vice presidents.
      2. In order to manage any conflict of interest, an instructor of record at Western Nevada College must inform the appropriate director, or his or her designated representative or committee, before requiring students to purchase educational materials that have been written, co-written, or edited by him or her, and from which he or she shall receive royalties of any kind. The director or designee will review the required material to ensure that it is consistent with the requirements in this policy.
        • * In order to avoid such conflict, or the appearance thereof, it is strongly recommended that faculty submit self-authored course materials that will be required for students purchase for peer review prior to assigning the textbook to such faculty members students.
        • * The peer review should be conducted by at least three tenured faculty members.
        • * If a majority of the faculty members determine the assignment of the faculty-authored textbook or other course material is appropriate given the subject matter of the course and the content of the faculty-authored material, WNC will presume that a conflict of interest does not exist.

Section 2: Disputes

  1. Any dispute over textbook adoption will be resolved by the Academic Director responsible for the discipline. If the faculty member disagrees with the decision of the Academic Director they may appeal to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

Section 3: Procedure

  1. Instructors
    1. Will select textbooks that are appropriate for the course of record.
    2. Are not required to adopt educational materials for student purchase or rental for the course of record if, in their professional opinion and in accordance with principles of academic freedom, there are other avenues of obtaining that information, e.g., web, field trips, et al and not inclusive.
    3. Instructors should:
      1. Take student cost into consideration when selecting from among different textbook/supplement options.
        • * In the case of educational materials produced by faculty members or instructors such that the materials are self-published by the faculty member or instructor; or are reproductions, custom books, or other materials, produced for the course; or are published by entities wholly or substantially owned by the faculty member or instructor or by a member of his or her family, then such materials shall be made available to students at Western Nevada College. Instructors may not collect fees from students and/or may not sell any books, or supplies, etc. directly to students.
        • * In all other cases, including the case where educational materials are produced by departments or other instructional units, educational materials shall be selected such that they are available to students through the college bookstore, at a reasonable price consistent with national norms, and selected according to national standards of scholarship.
        • * In no case should students be charged for information that is made physically available to them in the classroom through Western Nevada College without charge, e.g., a course syllabus produced by WNCs Print Shop, practice exams.
        • * Whenever possible, educational materials should be made available to students online or in an electronic format.
      2. Make an effort to use the same textbook/supplements for at least two years, when the effort does not compromise content integrity, accuracy or delivery.
      3. Consider using the WNC-approved learning management system to deliver material electronically in compliance with fair use and copyright laws, recognizing that there are limitations to NSHE-derived storage/memory space with approved learning management systems and that faculty may choose to operate and maintain their own website to obtain that memory space at the faculty members expense.
      4. Coordinate selections with the bookstore to ensure availability and options such as rental texts.
  2. Departments:
    1. Should attempt to provide copies of educational materials, less any answer keys or other items that might negate learning opportunities for students, to the campus library where each class is taught to be placed on reserve for student use.
    2. Should attempt to provide copies of Distance Education faculty textbooks/supplements to the campus library to be placed on reserve for student use.

Date(s) Revised December 28, 2015; November 4, 2014; Date(s) Reviewed March 8, 2024