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Washington State University Faculty Authored Material

Use of Faculty Authored, Edited Or Prepared Scholarly Material

Due to a 2018 ruling by the Washington State Executive Ethics Board, the Faculty Affairs Committee is reviewing new language for Section IV I of the Faculty Manual – Faculty Authored, Edits, or Prepared Scholarly Materials.  This section of the manual specifically covers materials created and required by faculty members in the instruction of their WSU course.  Because of potential personal liability for faculty members, we are advancing this draft language as well as the link to the Grays Harbor case below.

Grays Harbor Link


IV I. Use of Faculty Authored, Edited Or Prepared Scholarly Material
Faculty members are expected to educate our students using the best scholarly materials and knowledge available. In some cases, this will result in faculty producing materials, such as textbooks or unpublished laboratory manuals, for student purchase. Selection of required materials must only be done to promote appropriate educational goals and must not be done for personal benefit or to obtain special privileges for faculty (RCW 42.52.030)

WSU Policy: Students may be required to use textbooks or other material written or created by WSU faculty, however, the faculty member may not receive any financial gain, directly or indirectly, from sales to WSU students.

This policy applies whether the material is self-published or printed and copyrighted by a recognized publishing house. Further, this policy applies only in those situations within the faculty member’s control or influence, e.g.: required for students in own class, or, if faculty is member of an advisory group that advises on material for courses taught by other faculty and his/her material is in the recommended list.

Faculty members may be in compliance with this policy if any royalties are waived or, if received, are either directed to or remitted by the publishing house or by personal check from the faculty member to a University gift account not under the faculty member’s control. Disclosure of the activity and evidence of options elected to ensure compliance with ethics rules should be made on the annual report of consultant and extended professional activities (BPPM 60.44) and remitted to the appropriate department chair or other supervisor by November 1 of each year. Evidence of compliance may include either a statement from the publishing house that no royalties were remitted or, a statement of royalties paid from publishing house and receipt of deposit to gift account.

Should the faculty member receive royalties from authored material used in both a course within his/her control or influence and in other courses for which there’s no engagement in material decisions, a reasonable estimation of the amounts attributed to class assignment should accompany the annual report of disclosure and adjustments made to gifted amount accordingly.