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Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 2 -- Academic Affairs
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) has historically left textbook, software and other course material selection to the judgment and discretion of faculty. This practice is considered to be sound and in accord with academic freedom and quality of education and should continue.
However, FHSU does have the responsibility to insure its students are not harmed, disadvantaged or exploited as a result of faculty selection of course materials.
FHSU also has the responsibility to see that the University and Kansas Board of Regents Policies regarding Conflicts of Interest of faculty and all other staff are adhered to.
1. It is the policy of FHSU that selection of textbooks and other course materials is to be left to the discretion and judgment of faculty. In addition, there is no prohibition by FHSU of the assignment by faculty to students of faculty authored course materials. However, faculty should be cognizant that an actual or apparent conflict of interest may arise by requiring students to purchase course materials which the faculty authored and for which the faculty member stands to gain financially.
2. In order to avoid such conflict, or the appearance thereof, it is strongly recommended that faculty submit self-authored course materials that will be required for student purchase for peer review prior to assigning the textbook to such faculty members’ students.
3. The peer review should be conducted by at least three tenured faculty members (not including the faculty member who authored the course material) in the same department or discipline as the author. Should three tenured faculty members in the author's department or discipline not be available, then tenured faculty members from other departments may be asked to participate in the peer review. Documentation of the decision of the peer review committee will be kept on file in the department.
4. If a majority of the faculty members participating in the peer review determine the assignment of the faculty-authored textbook or other course material is appropriate given the subject matter of the course and the content of the faculty-authored material, FHSU will presume that a conflict of interest does not exist. However, faculty are advised to comply strictly with the conflict of interest disclosure form prescribed by University and Kansas Board of Regents Policy, and should a financial gain be realized from course materials in the amount required to be disclosed on the form, such disclosure should be made notwithstanding the peer review process.
5. After the peer review process is concluded if serious questions still remain regarding an apparent conflict of interest, then FHSU may investigate the circumstance pursuant to the authority granted by the conflict of interest policies of FHSU and the Kansas Board of Regents. This investigation could result in a determination by FHSU that a conflict of interest or appearance thereof existed for which disclosure should have been, but was not made, and FHSU may take any action allowed by the applicable conflict of interest policies. Adopted by President’s Cabinet (05-02-07)
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