What MN legislators have proposed for open-source textbooks


You may remember my piece in which student leaders said this task force might might be proposed.

Here’s one bill. Another follows.

The author of this bill is state Rep. Terry Morrow (DFL-St. Peter):

H.F. No. 2660,  as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)   Posted on Mar 05, 2012

1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to higher education; establishing an open-access textbook task force;

1.3requiring a plan for improved use of open-access textbooks.



1.6(a) The Office of Higher Education shall convene an open-access textbook task force

1.7of 11 members to develop a plan for promoting and increasing the use of open-access

1.8textbooks and open-content instructional materials in Minnesota postsecondary institutions

1.9to reduce textbook costs for students. The task force must include broad representation

1.10from Minnesota’s postsecondary systems and sectors, including representatives of

1.11postsecondary faculty, administrators, student government leaders, business officers,

1.12and campus bookstores.

1.13(b) The task force must develop a plan for presentation to the committees of the

1.14legislature responsible for higher education finance by January 15, 2013. The plan must

1.15be based on the following:

1.16(1) an inventory of existing open-access textbooks;

1.17(2) a description of undergraduate general courses which would be recommended

1.18for the use of open-access textbooks;

1.19(3) a recommended standardized process for reviewing and approving open-access


1.21(4) recommendations for encouraging and promoting the use of open-access

1.22textbooks by faculty;

1.23(5) identification of barriers to the expanded use of open-access textbooks;

2.1(6) strategies for producing and distributing open-access textbooks to ensure that

2.2the textbooks are easily downloaded, accessed, printed, or obtained in a bound format at

2.3reduced or no cost to students;

2.4(7) identification of technology security standards necessary to safeguard the use of

2.5open-access textbooks; and

2.6(8) identification of new technologies to improve use of open-access textbooks.

2.7EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Here’s one by Morrow’s Republican colleagues on the higher-ed committee, King Banaian (St. Cloud), Chairman Bud Nornes (Fergus Falls) and Bob Dettmer (Forest Lake):

H.F. No. 2213,  as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)   Posted on Feb 13, 2012

1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to higher education; requiring disclosure of certain course material and

1.3course information; establishing a MnSCU textbook task force; requiring reports;

1.4amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 135A.25, subdivision 5; 136F.58,

1.5subdivision 3, by adding a subdivision.


1.7    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 135A.25, subdivision 5, is amended to


1.9    Subd. 5. Bookstores; course materials. The University of Minnesota and private

1.10colleges are encouraged to comply with the requirements for instructors and bookstores

1.11under section 136F.58, subdivision subdivisions 2, 2a, and 3.

1.12    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 136F.58, is amended by adding a subdivision

1.13to read:

1.14    Subd. 2a. Course schedule and material list. (a) Each state college and university

1.15shall compile a course schedule indicating each course offered by the state college or

1.16university for each term and shall include with the course schedule a list of the required

1.17and recommended course materials that specifies, to the extent practicable, the information

1.18required in subdivision 3, paragraph (b).

1.19(b) At the time required by subdivision 3, paragraph (b), a state college or university

1.20shall publish course schedules and course material lists in hard copy format and on the

1.21state college’s or university’s Web site.

1.22    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 136F.58, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

2.1    Subd. 3. Notice to purchase. (a) An instructor or department shall make reasonable

2.2efforts to notify a bookstore of the final order for required and recommended course

2.3material at least 30 45 days prior to the commencement of the term.

2.4    (b) The bookstore must make reasonable efforts to notify students of the following

2.5information concerning the required and recommended course material at least 15 30 days

2.6prior to the commencement of the term for which the course material is required including,

2.7but not limited to:

2.8    (1) the title, edition, author, and International Standard Book Number (ISBN) of

2.9the course material;

2.10    (2) the retail price for the course material, including custom textbooks;

2.11    (3) whether the required course material is bundled with optional material, whether

2.12it can be unbundled, and the price for each bundled and unbundled component the name of

2.13the publisher of the course material; and

2.14    (4) whether the material is available in an alternative format and the cost for the

2.15alternatively formatted material.; and

2.16(5) the most recent copyright date of the course material and the copyright date of

2.17the three previous editions of the course material, if any.

2.18(c) For purposes of this subdivision, “custom textbooks” means course materials

2.19that are compiled by a publisher at the direction of a faculty member or, if applicable,

2.20the other adopting entity in charge of selecting course materials for courses taught at a

2.21state college or university. Custom textbooks may include items such as selections from

2.22original instructor materials, previously copyrighted publisher materials, copyrighted

2.23third-party works, or elements unique to a specific state college or university.



2.26    Subdivision 1. Establishment. The board of trustees shall establish a task force

2.27to study methods that result in lower textbook costs for students. The task force must

2.28examine and evaluate the effectiveness of existing state and federal textbook legislation

2.29that increases the amount of information on textbooks provided to faculty, bookstores,

2.30and students and limits bundling of textbooks and course materials, including how this

2.31legislation has impacted textbook costs for students. The task force must also explore

2.32alternative textbook delivery methods, including a cross-campus shared delivery system

2.33for textbooks, the expansion of electronic text books with an assessment of effective

2.34methods for delivering e-books to students, and other technology-based, innovative, or

2.35best practices methods to bring real cost-savings to students.

3.1    Subd. 2. Members. The members of the textbook task force include the following:

3.2(1) the chancellor or designee;

3.3(2) one member of the board of trustees;

3.4(3) one member of the Inter-Faculty Organization;

3.5(4) one member of the Minnesota State College Faculty;

3.6(5) one member of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees;

3.7(6) one member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal


3.9(7) one member of the Minnesota State University Administrative and Service


3.11(8) one member of the Minnesota State University Student Association;

3.12(9) one member of the Minnesota State College Student Association;

3.13(10) one member representing campus bookstore staff; and

3.14(11) one member representing the Leadership Council.

3.15The members must select two cochairs. One of the cochairs must be a student.

3.16    Subd. 3. Report and recommendations. The task force must report its findings

3.17and recommendations to the board. By January 15, 2013, the board must report to the

3.18legislature on the work of the task force, including any recommendations for legislation.


Here’s a side bill bill, also by Morrow:

H.F. No. 2481,  as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)   Posted on Feb 23, 2012

1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to higher education; encouraging the reduction of student course material

1.3costs;amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 135A.25, subdivision 3.


1.5    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 135A.25, subdivision 3, is amended to


1.7    Subd. 3. Educational strategies. Public postsecondary institutions must develop

1.8educational materials considering the recommendations in studies by the Minnesota Office

1.9of Higher Education and others and at least annually convene and sponsor meetings

1.10and workshops, and provide educational strategies for faculty, students, administrators,

1.11institutions, and bookstores to inform all interested parties on strategies for reducing the

1.12costs of course materials for students attending postsecondary institutions. In developing

1.13course materials, consideration must be given to how the cost of those materials can be

1.14reduced by the use of educational technological advances or changes in course material

1.15pricing, distribution, and licensing practices.