Textbook Ordering Deadlines: Update on Exceptions

To: Departmental Executive Officers
From: Helena Dettmer, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum
RE: Textbook Ordering Deadlines: Update on Exceptions

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As you have heard, the University of Iowa must comply with the federal legislation that requires textbook information for a course to be available through the institution’s online course schedule before students register for the semester that the books will be used.

Starting with Fall 2017, all instructors will be asked to order books each semester before the start of Early Registration for the following semester so that UI complies with the federal legislation.

The law does allow for some exceptions. If placing the textbooks online is “impractical,” the tag of “To be determined” may be added to the course schedule instead.

However, the law also indicates that institutions (rather than each individual) defines more specifically what is considered “impractical” and when “To be determined” may be used.  At the University of Iowa, “To be determined” may be used in these circumstances:

  1. If an instructor has not yet been hired
  2. If the instructor has not yet been assigned to a course
  3. If the course is new and still under development
  4. If the textbook is new and still under development 

Departments should use these exceptions judiciously and should submit the bulk of orders by the deadline.

Please remind instructors that an instructor simply choosing a bookstore is not enough; the books must also be ordered since students cannot access book information until the store has processed the order.

We appreciate your help in this matter.

*Visit section the HEO Act for more details concerning the legislation (scroll to down to this tag [Page 122 STAT. 3107].