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The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

Policy on Faculty Assigning for Purchase Their Own Works in Classrooms

This page last updated on 5/3/16

The following was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees on May 2, 2016.


5. Policy on Faculty Assigning for Purchase Their Own Works in Classrooms

5.1. General Statement. Academic freedom includes the right and responsibility of faculty to choose materials to assign to their students and to require for purchase by the students in their courses. As professional educators, faculty should avoid the appearance and the reality of any conflict of interest in making such determinations.

5.2. Avoidance of Economic Benefit. When faculty create materials either by authoring or compiling such materials and derive revenue from their sale and, either as individuals or as members of a group, make the determination to use materials that they have created in their own classes, then that portion of the revenue they derive from the sale of such materials to their own students should be directed to a program over which the authors have no control or influence and which is for the use or support of students. Such programs may include but are not to be limited to, student scholarships and emergency funds at the college at which they teach.

5.3. Departmental Decision-Making in Courses with Multiple Sections. Whenever materials that are created by a faculty member are to be used in multiple sections of a course, only some of which are taught by that faculty member, then the decision concerning which work is to be used must be made by an official group of faculty of the department and not by any single faculty member, including the department chairperson. The faculty author may not participate in that decision but may keep the revenue from sales notwithstanding paragraph 5.2 above.

EXPLANATION: This new section is intended to obviate any conflict of interest in connection with a faculty member assigning materials authored by him or her. This section is similar to policies at many other colleges and universities and is based on a proposal submitted by the CUNY University Faculty Senate, which has approved it.