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Back to Policy Section III: Academic Affairs
Section III: Academic Affairs

Policy Number: III-1.00(B)

University of Maryland, College Park Policy Concerning the Use of Self-Authored Course Materials


  1. Policy It is a basic principle of good education that an instructor should prescribe the best instructional materials available. When such materials include books, manuals, or other aids authored by the instructor of the course or by a colleague, great care must be taken to avoid even the appearance of the instructor's improperly profiting by the choice of materials.
  2. Procedures
    1. All orders of instructional materials that entail financial gain for the faculty member teaching the course must be approved by the chair of the department offering the course.
    2. There is less potential for allegations of conflict when the text is published commercially and in general use academically (in which case its value and use is supported by outside professional judgement), than when it is published privately and not in common use elsewhere. When the text is not in general use, special measures are in order. For example, choice of self-authored materials may be confirmed, or made, by a committee. Alternative texts may be authorized. Royalties may be assigned to third-party educational organizations, including the University of Maryland.
  3. Responsibility The instructor and the department are responsible for avoiding abuse of the practice of requiring students to buy course materials authored by the instructor.