About the HEOA
The Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) of 2008 outlines several provisions for publishers and higher education institutions related to textbooks and other course materials. According to the law, the language addressing textbooks is meant to “ensure that students have access to affordable course materials by decreasing costs to students and enhancing transparency and disclosure with respect to the selection, purchase, sale, and use of course materials (Sec. 133 a.)”
About the Textbook Section
Information about textbooks is included in Section 133 of the HEOA. The following portions of the Section are relevant to faculty:
‘‘(d) PROVISION OF ISBN COLLEGE TEXTBOOK INFORMATION IN
COURSE SCHEDULES.—To the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall—
‘‘(1) disclose, on the institution’s Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution’s choosing, the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution’s course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes, except that—
‘‘(A) if the International Standard Book Number is not available for such college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall include in the Internet course schedule the author, title, publisher, and copyright date for such college textbook or supplemental material; and
‘‘(B) if the institution determines that the disclosure of the information described in this subsection is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by placing the designation ‘To Be Determined’ in lieu of the information required under this subsection; and
‘‘(2) if applicable, include on the institution’s written course schedule a notice that textbook information is available on the institution’s Internet course schedule, and the Internet address for such schedule.
‘‘(e) AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION FOR COLLEGE BOOKSTORES.—An institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall make available to a college bookstore that is operated by, or in a contractual relationship or otherwise affiliated with, the institution, as soon as is practicable upon the request of such college bookstore, the most accurate information available regarding—
‘‘(1) the institution’s course schedule for the subsequent
academic period; and
‘‘(2) for each course or class offered by the institution for the subsequent academic period—
‘‘(A) the information required by subsection (d)(1) for each college textbook or supplemental material required or recommended for such course or class;
‘‘(B) the number of students enrolled in such course or class; and
‘‘(C) the maximum student enrollment for such course or class.
Complying with the HEOA
In order to ensure compliance with the Textbook Section of HEOA, faculty must submit textbook information for the courses they will teach by deadlines determined by the Office of the University Registrar.