October 25, 2011
TO: NMSU Faculty
FROM: Wendy K. Wilkins
Good progress is being made in fine-tuning the textbook process, and I wanted to take a few minutes to give each of you an update on steps that have been taken. This also is a good opportunity for a reminder that department heads and deans have the primary responsibility for getting all the textbook information to the bookstore in a timely fashion.
We continue to watch for ways to keep the cost of textbooks at a minimum for our students. The textbook cost issue was one of several identified in the Efficiency and Effectiveness report to the President (see http://business.nmsu.edu/~eec/documents/december-2010-report-to-president-couture-pdf.pdf). In the discussion of how we can reduce costs for our students, we have learned a key step is to simply give students as many options as possible. Thus, we reached out to our Barnes & Noble colleagues and asked them to make as many options available as they could within their store.
In addition, they have developed an electronic process to publish the ISBN for each of those textbooks that our faculty adopt so students can have the information they need to make their buying decisions. Barnes & Noble develops options for rental, ebook, new or used books for all textbook adoptions. Some adoptions actually have all four options available to students. With the ISBN information in our NMSU Banner system through Barnes & Noble’s adoption interface, students can also easily purchase through the local stores or through online options.
We also have made progress on increasing the bookstore’s ability to secure older editions of textbooks for the upcoming semester. Their objective is to work closely with faculty when there are older edition requests. Please let them know whether you would like both new and older editions to be available for students, and the bookstore will bring in as many of the old editions as possible and substitute new editions for the remaining quantities. Barnes & Noble’s sources include NMSU students (through “Textbook Buyback”); the publisher, if they are still printing or stocking; another Barnes & Noble college store if applicable; and Barnes & Noble’s book wholesalers. Barnes & Noble does not source books from Amazon, eBay or any other online marketplace as the integrity/reliability is not guaranteed.
These steps will help NMSU comply with the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act, which includes provisions to lower textbook costs for university students. We appreciate both our faculty members and our colleagues at Barnes & Noble for helping us achieve this goal.
The bookstore also has recently implemented a verification process that will help ensure book orders are properly received and that books are promptly ordered. As a secondary form of follow-up, they will send out a “classes without books” report to the departments on a regular basis during the adoption timeframe for all faculty to review for their respective courses. This will help identify “lost” book orders. As a third option, faculty can check their website, www.nmsubookstore.com to ensure the book information has been received.
As we continue to look for ways to streamline our process, please do not hesitate to contact Barnes & Noble manager Joanna Koliba at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, concerns or suggestions.