Guidelines on the Support of Instructional Materials

Introduction

The purpose of this statement is to set forth guidelines on the departmental support of faculty engaged in the development of instructional materials in which they have a personal financial interest.  Financial interest is broadly defined to include royalties, profits, interest income, salary compensation and any other forms of direct and indirect compensation that accrue to the faculty member as a result of utilizing Departmental resources in the development of these instructional materials.  Instructional materials is broadly defined to include textbooks, hard copy supplements to textbooks, electronic/internet-based materials, CD-ROMs, cases, lecture notes, etc. Departmental resources and support are broadly defined to include the normal departmental budget accounts, endowed position accounts, gift accounts, center accounts and research/grant accounts.

This statement of guidelines supersedes the document entitled Policy on Textbook Support, College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Business Administration, dated March 1, 1993.

If these guidelines are met, it is certainly appropriate to support the development of instructional materials by Mays Business School faculty in which they have a financial interest.  Indeed, the development of quality instructional materials by Mays faculty is a desirable goal and recognized in the Guidelines for Faculty Promotion, Tenure, and Annual Reviews of the Mays.  The development of such quality instructional materials reflects a productive and professionally recognized faculty.

The guidelines do not apply to instructional materials developed by faculty members and provided at cost – that is with no financial interest.  For such materials, normal departmental guidelines will apply.

Support for Developing Instructional Materials

To be eligible for departmental support, the instructional materials must be consistent with departmental goals and Mays’ goals, and provide for the professional development of the faculty member. The potential for enhancing the teaching/instructional, research and/or service missions of Texas A&M University must be present.

The development of such instructional materials may be supported by a department only after all administrative, teaching/instructional, and research demands have been satisfied.  With prior general written approval of the department head, departmental support may include prudent and reasonable levels of word processing assistance, copying of draft materials, supplies, student worker help, masters level graduate assistant support, regular mail service, long-distance phone calls, fax, use of assigned office, personal computer(s), printer(s), internet searches, e-mail and the like.  If the faculty member is a department head or other college-level administrator, written approval is by the dean or his designee.  Masters-level graduate assistants may assist faculty members in the development of such instructional materials only if the tasks are consistent with the students’ professional development.

Doctoral-level graduate assistants may not be used to assist faculty in the development of such instructional materials.  Under normal circumstances, doctoral students should not be hired (paid) by faculty members to assist in the development of such instructional materials.  Exceptions to this normal expectation require the written approval of the departmental doctoral coordinator and the department head.  If the doctoral student has a committee chair, this person should be consulted as part of the process in considering a potential exception.

Express mail charges may not be charged to the department. Also, instructional material in which a financial interest exists may not be promoted/marketed, provided, distributed, or linked with or through University, College, Departmental or Center information technology-based resources.

Under normal circumstances, departmental support/resources may not be used for extensive copying/reproduction of such instructional materials. This function is to be handled by the faculty member through a private-sector copy firm. The charges are to be paid by the faculty member, student charges if approved for course adoption, and/or a support grant for instructional development from the firm that will market the instructional materials.

Instructional Materials and Consulting

The development of such instructional materials is not normally considered to fall within the definition of consulting or outside employment.  However, faculty members should become familiar with the University, college and departmental guidelines regarding the development of instructional materials in which they have a personal financial interest.  This should be undertaken before signing any contract with a firm for the development of instructional materials.

Departmental Option

As noted previously, faculty members developing instructional materials in which they have a personal financial interest may use departmental resources with general written approval of the department head.  As noted previously, the dean or his designee will indicate the written approval if the faculty member is a department head or other college-level administrator.  The department head or other designee is responsible for ensuring the prudent and reasonable use of departmental resources and guarding against abuses in their use.

A department is not obligated to provide any support for the development of such instructional materials.  A department may, at any time, further limit or eliminate the amount of departmental resources used to support the development of instructional materials if it is not considered to be in the best interest of departmental and college goals.

Effective April 15, 1999