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3/29/2010 - Jackson, Miss.

Student government associations at most of Mississippi’s eight public universities will band together in a single mission this week to spread the word about a new system policy that will reduce the cost of textbooks and increase the buy-back market. 

“Keep Books Cheap Appreciation Week,” an awareness campaign held every semester, begins today and will run through Friday, April 2. Student government associations started the event in November 2009 as a way to thank faculty who make an effort to keep costs down when assigning textbooks.

The new system policy, which includes a minimum adoption period of three years for most lower-division courses, was enacted unanimously in February by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

“Student leaders at our universities decided that they wanted to make a change and the Board of Trustees listened,” Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Hank Bounds said. “It is only appropriate that students use this week to celebrate that victory and share the new policy with their colleagues on campus.”

An IHL Textbook Taskforce, made up of representatives from each institution, developed the new policy after the Associated Student Body at the University of Mississippi released recommendations related to reducing the cost of textbooks in 2006. Trustee Christy Pickering worked closely with the IHL task force and the student government presidents at all eight Mississippi universities to bring the policy to the full Board.

Each university is required to name a textbook coordinator to oversee the implementation of the new policy at the campus level by Thursday, April 1.

The key provisions of the new policy, which must be implemented at the institutional level by June 1, include:

  • Firm textbook adoption deadlines that, whenever possible, are at least 40 days before the end of the preceding semester;
  • A requirement that faculty indicate whether a textbook is required or recommended, and whether an earlier edition is sufficient;
  • A minimum three-year adoption period for most lower-division courses;
  • A minimum two-year adoption period for most upper-division courses;
  • A requirement that the university or bookstore provide faculty and students with information about textbook pricing and alternate purchasing options; and
  • Strong encouragement that the same course material be adopted for all sections of a course.

The new regulations will ensure the system is in compliance with the textbook-related provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which will be effective July 1.

Ads will run in many of the student newspapers and fliers will be posted on campus as part of the awareness campaign and appreciation week. Student government associations are also setting up kiosks to distribute informational fliers on the new policy and handing out recognition certificates to faculty who adopt textbooks early.

“Student government members have taken the idea of Keep Books Cheap and implemented in different ways on each campus,” said Blake Jeter, outgoing president of the Mississippi State Student Association. “Our goal is to ensure that students understand the new policy and can use it to their advantage.”

Click here to view a copy of the informational flier. To follow IHL on Facebook, become a fan of the Mississippi Universities page.


The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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