The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Faculty vote disapproval of common textbook plan

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

TCC faculty members overwhelmingly condemned the administration’s movement toward common course textbooks in a vote that concluded March 28 by a 714-56 margin.

The resolution stated that consolidating textbooks would lower education standards and questioned whether such a move would actually reduce textbook costs, which is the college’s stated goal. The resolution was drafted by the Joint Consultation Committee, which represents faculty districtwide.

A JCC member who did not wish to be named said that of the 56 faculty members who voted against the resolution, a significant number of them called to say they thought the resolution wasn’t worded strongly enough.

Vice chancellor of academic affairs David Wells said the college will take the resolution into account but hasn’t changed its plans.

“The fact is this initiative was directed by the board [of trustees] as a response to input from our communities — students, faculty, administration and the public — that the college address the issue of high costs to students for learning materials, textbooks, etc,” Wells said. “The board has chosen to respond to that input by clearly directing that the college move to common textbooks or e-textbooks or a combination of both and that also includes options for the selection of open source or free materials.”

Vice chancellor of finance Mark McClendon said the college is still looking into how much would be saved by the move.

“We’re looking at the numbers right now,” McClendon said. “We have to actually reach out to the bookstores to find out how much money this will save. Until the bookstores come back with the numbers, there’s going to be a lot of variables in this.”

McClendon said the idea that moving to common textbooks will save money is based on the assumption that many textbooks are basically equivalent, despite being more expensive.

“If you have two books that produce the same type of curricula that a faculty committee would say they are equal, and they have a different cost, going to the cheaper one could provide some [savings],” McClendon explained.

JCC chair Robin Birt declined comment.

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