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

Policy Number: III-1.00(C)

University of Maryland, College Park Policy on the Sale of Instructional Materials in the Classroom


I. Introduction

This policy is designed to guide faculty members on issues relating to the sale of instructional materials in the classroom. Where the materials in question are self-authored, the UMCP Policy Concerning the Use of Self-Authored Course Materials (III-1.00(B)) should also be consulted.

II. Policy

The sale of materials in the classroom is to be avoided whenever possible, to avoid the potential appearance of conflict of interest on the part of faculty members, and to prevent students from feeling obligated to purchase materials from the instructor even if they are available at a lower cost elsewhere. On the other hand, faculty may be able to provide materials at a cost lower than available elsewhere; in such situations there are still alternatives to sales in the classroom, such as having a departmental business office handle the sales. If sales in the classroom are absolutely unavoidable, they should be profitless to the instructor; an instructor selling materials in the classroom should be able to show evidence of cost, proving no profit exists.

Alternatives to the sale of materials may include having written material duplicated and sold through the campus bookstore or one of the commercial facilities adjacent to campus. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to make copies of written materials or public domain software available on reserve in one of the campus libraries, all of which have reserve sections. This will permit students to duplicate these materials on their own, should they find that advantageous. Copyright laws should be scrupulously followed in the making of any copies.