Royalties, Revenues or Other Income from Sale of Course Materials Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
August, 2000
Policy Number: 

Statement of Purpose

The development of a policy regarding royalties, revenue or other income from the sale of course materials was introduced in 1997 via an Academic Senate resolution. The following policy reflects the recommendations of the Academic Senate and the Associated Students, and governs the receipt of such royalties, revenue and other income by Humboldt State University personnel or departments/units for the sale of required or recommended course materials to HSU students. Humboldt State University recognizes the appropriateness of faculty and/or departments/units receiving royalties, revenues or other income from a broader market for scholarly products that aid in student learning and advance knowledge in their disciplines. At the same time, it is acknowledged that at their home institution faculty and/or departments/units must avoid any potential conflict of interest that might occur through accepting royalties, revenues or other income from HSU students.

Course Materials Published for National or International Distribution

Course materials published for national or international distribution include, but are not limited to, textbooks, CD-ROMs, etc. When such materials are required or recommended for courses at HSU by the author, the author is encouraged to donate royalties received from the publisher for materials purchased by HSU students to an HSU student scholarship fund of the faculty member=s choice. Though the HSU Bookstore can provide information on the number of copies sold, it is recognized that non-students purchase items at the HSU Bookstore, and also that the recipient of such royalty payments is liable for income taxes on the total amount received. Authors are urged to exercise reasoned judgment in arriving at a fair value received from HSU students and to support the spirit of this policy by redistributing same as described above.

Locally Published Course Materials

Locally published course materials include, but are not limited to, course packets, web sites, CD-ROMs, self-published books, etc. With the exception of production expenses (itemized below), no individual or campus department/unit shall receive any additional royalties, revenues or other income from the sale of required or recommended course materials that a student purchases for an HSU course.

Production Expenses

Individuals or departments/units can recover expenses that have not been covered by the university incurred in preparing and producing course materials. Such expenses can include, but are not limited to, secretarial costs, supplies, duplicating charges, Internet provider costs, etc. The faculty member=s labor and expertise in preparing materials for course packets or web sites are not considered reimbursable expenses under this policy and shall not be added to the price paid by HSU students.

Reimbursement Approval Process

All reimbursements to individuals and/or departments/units for production expenses, described above, for locally published course materials must first be reviewed by the Campus Fee Advisory Committee. Individuals and/or departments/units will submit to the chair of that committee a request that specifies the reimbursements being requested and their rationale. Expenses must be detailed on a line-item basis, including supporting documentation, on an application form available from the committee chair or the offices of the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Affairs. If reimbursement is recommended by the Campus Fee Advisory Committee and approved by the President, total costs approved will be amortized over the period that the course materials are expected to be used and the number of students expected to use them. That amount will be added to the purchase price and reimbursed to the individual or department/unit until the total amount of actual expenses has been recovered. Such charges will be itemized on the course materials for sale at the HSU Bookstore.

Student Complaint Procedure

If a student believes that charges are being assessed for required or recommended course materials that violate this policy, he/she may:

  • file a complaint with the department chair if the charge originates with an individual faculty member and/or
  • file a complaint with the college dean if the matter involves a department/unit and/or the department chair.

If the department/unit chair or college dean deems that the charge violates this policy, he/she will take remedial action, which shall include calling for reimbursement to all affected students by the individual or department/unit that received such funds. If the charge is deemed appropriate, the faculty member or department chair will forward a request, with rationale, to the Campus Fee Advisory Committee unless the fee already has been reviewed and approved in accordance with the Reimbursement Approval Process, above.

Distribution: All Faculty