Professor Says Textbooks Are Too Expensive, Quits Using Them

Ron Hammond, Phd, professor at Utah Valley State College, has quit using textbooks in his classes. Why? They’re too expensive.

The cost of textbooks is rising faster than inflation and Hammond doesn’t feel right forcing his students to purchase ever more expensive books on top of their already expensive tuition and fees.

“I think it’s immoral because of the cost of it,” Hammond told the Central Utah Daily Herald.

Instead of textbooks, Hammond has been assigning journal articles and other reading materials that his students can check out from the library or download from the internet, a practice which, if every one of their professors did it, would save students (on average) $900 a year.

It took Hammond a year to rewrite his own curriculum, after throwing out all his old textbooks. “It was worth it in the long run,” Hammond said.

We always appreciated professors who did this when we were in college. At least at our college, providing xeroxed readings from various sources via downloadable PDFs instead of multiple textbooks was common. Often we could get away with sharing the textbook with a friend or using the copy on reserve at the library.

Hooray for professors who understand that college is expensive!

UVSC prof. quits books [Daily Herald] (Thanks, Octavia!)
(Photo:MARIO RUIZ/Daily Herald)