CU Boulder Provost Russ Moore is seeking faculty, staff and students to serve on a new committee charged with finding ways to reduce the financial burden on students for course materials and textbooks. Additionally, the committee will make recommendations regarding how to allocate $1 million previously pledged by Chancellor Phil DiStefano in his State of the Campus speech last fall to fund a transition toward more affordable course materials.
The Open Educational Resources Advisory Committee, chaired by Interim Dean of Libraries Leslie Reynolds, will examine national trends centered in the use of open educational resources (OER) and make recommendations to the provost regarding their best use at CU Boulder.
“We’re going to look at OER across the campus, identify impediments to adoption and try to determine the savings that the average CU Boulder student could achieve if, for example, 10, 20 and 50 percent of their textbooks were OER,” said Reynolds.
“I think it is on us—working in full partnership with our faculty—to help reduce the financial burden that textbooks put on our students,” Moore said.
Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Kelly Fox agreed: “The $1 million commitment from the chancellor will facilitate the transition to more affordable textbooks and supplies and could fund startup ideas the OER Advisory Committee devises.”
Fox said the effort to invest in open educational resources is “part of a team lift with our student leaders in CU Student Government to make learning materials more affordable and accessible to all students.”
“We also support current discussions in the legislature to fund these efforts,” Fox added.
Moore said the move to OER would have still another positive effect: “This will serve as a catalyst to promote educational innovation.”
Moore said faculty, staff or students can volunteer to serve on the committee, or can nominate others, by submitting names to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations will be accepted through April 9, and Moore expects the committee’s report due to him on Oct. 1.