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The principal criterion for the choice of any required materials for a course or program should be that the materials are the most appropriate for the purpose. The instructor who has been assigned responsibility for the course or program, in most cases, identifies what materials are required for the course. The process for selecting course materials must avoid conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest.
Generally, no member of the instructional staff of the University may personally profit from the assignment of materials, or assignment of the venue of purchase of materials, to students in classes or any other instructional setting at the University. If the faculty member responsible for a course or program judges that the best materials available for use with the course are materials whose sale will provide them personal income, the faculty member must receive approval from the head of the academic unit.
Review and Approval
If an instructional staff member intends to require materials in their course, for which they will personally profit, they must justify the requirement in their request for approval to the head of the academic unit.
The head of the academic unit should judge the request solely on the academic merit of the materials. The decision to approve the request should typically include a consultative step with faculty peers knowledgeable about the use of the materials. If the head of the academic unit is also involved in the use of these materials, the dean of the college must give the written approval.
The approval, if given, will apply to all offerings of the course for which the affected individual is responsible during the twelve-month period following the approval date.
If the individual wishes to assign the same materials, or other materials created by that individual for courses occurring after the twelve-month period lapses, a new request for approval must be submitted to the head of the academic unit.
The unit must retain the request and the subsequent decision, as well as file a copy of the record of the approval with the dean of the college.
This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.
Reason for Policy
To manage conflict of interest concerns, persons teaching courses may not by themselves make the decision to assign course materials for which they could personally earn a profit. Requiring approval from a higher level provides appropriate internal controls.