Academic Policies and Procedures

Policy 02:13:00

Textbooks/Instructional Materials and Conflict of Interest

Purpose:

To increase faculty awareness of the potential for conflicts of interest in the assignment of textbooks/instructional materials in courses taught by the faculty member who authored the textbook/instructional materials or will otherwise benefit financially from the sale or use of such materials, and to establish procedures whereby such conflicts may be avoided or properly managed.

Revision Responsibility: Dean of Nursing

Responsible Executive Office: President

Created: July 30, 2009

Policy:

I. When selecting textbooks or materials for courses, it is imperative that departments and faculty members avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest in assigning textbooks or instructional materials in the faculty member’s or department’s classes from which the faculty member or department may benefit financially.

II. Textbooks and other teaching materials should be selected for their academic and androgogical value. Where there is no single obvious outstanding choice, other factors such as availability and price can be used in addition to androgogical value. The selection of textbooks or instructional materials should be able to stand the test of peer review.

III. Faculty who stand to benefit financially from educational materials used in their educational activities must make a conflict of interest disclosure.

IV. Platt College faculty members should not benefit financially from textbooks/instructional materials developed by Platt College faculty and required for use in Platt College courses, whether sold through the college bookstore or by an external source. The faculty member should not receive compensation for, including but not limited to, (a) a writer’s fee, (b) royalties, (c) an editor’s fee, (d) fees for customizing books, and/or (e) honorariums.

Faculty members should not accept reviewing or other fees where the fee is contingent on the use of the textbook or instructional materials in the faculty member’s classes.

Exceptions are textbooks or other instructional materials that are (a) appropriately peer-reviewed prior to publication, (b) published by an established publishing house in which the instructor has no financial interest, (c) widely distributed by a publishing company external to Platt College, (d) intended for adoption and use by institutions of higher education, and (e) have total sales to customers external to Platt College that exceed sales to Platt College students.

V. In no instance should either an individual faculty member or an academic unit accept a financial incentive to adopt a specific textbook.

VI. Any and all royalties from the sale of textbooks or other instructional materials authored by a Platt College faculty member will be donated to a recognized 501(c) (3) entity from which that faculty member derives no personal financial benefit, unless sales to other colleges exceed the copies sold to Platt College students.

Procedures:

I. Textbook selection should be made in accordance with policy.

II. A faculty member who wishes to use educational materials from which he or she has the potential to receive financial benefit must first obtain prior approval and disclose any potential conflict of interest by submitting a written request to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The disclosure should include:           

A. The type of potential conflict.

B. The nature of the activity.

C. A description of all the parties involved.

D. The potential financial interests and other rewards.

E. Any other information that the faculty member feels is necessary to evaluate the disclosure.

III. The Dean of Nursing will evaluate disclosures generated under Platt College Policy 02:13:00 regarding the use of educational materials from which faculty members stand to financially benefit.

IV. If the disclosure complies with permissible activities under Platt College Policy 02:13:00, the Dean of Nursing will recommend to the President that either:

  1. There is no conflict of interest.
  2. The potential for conflict of interest is negligible and should be allowed.
  3. There is substantial potential for conflict of interest and the activity should not be allowed.

V. In the case of an appeal, or as otherwise deemed necessary, the final decision will rest with the President.