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HEOA Provision Effective July 1, 2010

The reauthorization of the amended US Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) becomes law July 1, 2010. The law contains the following new provision:

"To the maximum extent possible, each institution of higher education receiving Federal assistance shall - (1) disclose on the institution's internet course schedule ... the ISBN and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplementary materials for each course listed in the institution's course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes."

The purpose behind the new provision is to provide students with the information necessary to comparison shop for the most affordable course material.

As a consequence of HEOA, by the opening day of the student registration period for each upcoming semester (including summer sessions), departments must, to the maximum extent possible, have teaching assignments completed and assigned faculty must have course material information available for the University to provide to students.

The HEOA recognizes that there are instances in which course material information may not be available at the time of registration (e.g. instructor not hired yet) and allows for the designation of "To Be Determined" for the course material information. However, it is generally recognized that, if a faculty member has been identified for a course, then course material information, with pricing, should be available to the students by registration time.

The University will now use an online Course Material Requisitions (CMR) form (What is a CMR?) to collect course material information. Submitted forms will be automatically sent to the Provost's Liaison's Office and the University Bookstore. A CMR form is required for all course material information for each upcoming academic session, for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course materials include all purchasable items, including textbooks, course-packs and electronic readings. In the case of electronic readings, on-line link information should be provided on the CMR form. If a course requires no purchasable materials, a CMR form should still be completed for the course with a notation of "no course materials" entered in the course information section. The CMR can be submitted by visiting this website. If you are having trouble using this form or need help, please contact the Office of the Provost's Liaison (tel. 632-9828) or email provost_liaison@stonybrook.edu.

During the student's registration process on SOLAR, as the student selects courses, a "View Your Textbooks" link is populated. Clicking on the link will bring up the CMR information, with the addition of retail pricing information, for each course the student has selected. For those students who choose to purchase through the University Bookstore, they will be able to select and order course materials directly from their SOLAR account during the registration process.


HEOA FAQs

What is the Federal HEOA Law and how does it apply to me?

The Federal HEOA Law is a series of "Good Faith Laws" used to correct some of the issues that have arisen in recent years in state colleges. This applies to the faculty because it is our mission to carry out the duties of the Federal Government in providing all available course book information online for students while offering the most convenient purchasing options when it comes to choosing their textbooks. This can be read in detail in the official HEOA summary, HEA sect. 133. (.pdf)

What will happen if we do not comply with this law?

Since HEOA is a federal law, noncompliance with these new policies could result in severe fines and a reduction of state aid to SUNY and CUNY post secondary schools.

Does this new law apply to only undergraduate courses?

No, the new law applies to ALL COURSES, both graduate and undergraduate courses.

How will the policy affect the work in my department? Will the Provost's Liaison's Office be communicating and collecting the textbook information from each faculty member?

The Provost's Liaison's Office will be in close contact with department staff (such as the Department Chairs and Department Assistants) to make certain that each faculty member submits their course book information on time. This will require cooperation from both the faculty member and department so that we may provide the University Bookstore with accurate information in time for the upcoming semester. Department contacts are not necessarily responsible for obtaining each individual completed CMR form but are responsible for making sure that faculty members in their department are cooperating with the Provost's Liaison's Office in complying with the new law.

What is a Course Material Requisitions (CMR) form?

A Course Material Requisitions (CMR) form is a specialized textbook requisition form provided by the Provost's Liaison's Office to assist the Provost's Office and the University Bookstore in obtaining and recording all of the various texts (recommended or required) for all courses taught at the university.

What semesters are faculty required to begin using the CMR forms?

Faculty will be required to begin using the CMR forms for the Spring 2011 semester. However, the Provost's Liaison's Office will begin utilizing the CMR forms for the Fall 2010 semester so that there is ample time for adjustment to the new process.

Where can I find the Course Material Requisitions (CMR) form?

The CMR form can be found on the Provost's Liaison's website in the Faculty section.

Additionally, you may download the files using the links below:

The CMR form can be found by visiting SOLAR.
Learn more.

How do I submit the CMR form and to whom do I submit it to?

It is preferred that CMR forms be filled out electronically online.

What are the deadlines for submitting the CMR?

The deadlines for the CMR forms are designated by the Provost's Office for each semester. They are, respectively: April 5 for summer and fall sessions, and October 12 for spring and winter sessions.

Can my department post the CMR form on the departmental website?

Yes, the department can choose to post the link to the CMR form on their website, as this will greatly assist in ease of access for faculty members who may wish to obtain another copy of the form through other channels.

When will the Provost's Liaison's Office begin to collect the textbook information for each course?

At the end of each semester, the Provost's Liaison's Office will begin sending emails to faculty reminding them to submit their course book information. The Provost's Liaison's Office will begin receiving the CMR information immediately for upcoming semesters once faculty members have their textbook information for their individual course schedules. Due to HEOA compliance, it would be beneficial to all parties if the CMR forms are submitted by the deadlines (April 5 for summer and fall, and October 12 for spring and winter). In case of last minute changes to assignments and the addition or elimination of courses, the Provost's Liaison's Office will accept late submissions.

Will the CMR form be sent to me automatically or do I need to request one each semester?

The Provost's Liaison's Office will be sending CMR forms electronically to each department with ample time before the deadline of each semester. Additional copies may be obtained by contacting the Provost's Liaison's Office by email at Deborah.DiFranco@sunysb.edu or the bookstore website at www.stonybrook.edu/bookstore/faculty.html.

Can information be copied from Microsoft® Word to Microsoft® Excel or should I re-type the course book information into the new form?

Yes, information contained in a Microsoft Word document can be transferred into a Microsoft Excel database by using the copy and paste function.

Will I need to submit my course book information with the Provost's Liaison's Office in addition to the University Bookstore?

You do not need to submit the CMR form twice. Once the textbook information is obtained by the Provost's Liaison's Office, it will be shared with the University Bookstore.

What if all of my class sections use the same course material? Do I still need to submit multiple CMR forms?

If a certain faculty member is teaching multiple sections of a class that all use the same course book material, only one CMR form is needed. The faculty member may simply indicate which sections of said class are being taught and then proceed to list the course material for that class.

What if I am teaching multiple sections of a class, but the sections require different course materials? Should I put this on separate CMR forms?

Yes, for faculty members who are teaching multiple sections of the same class that require different course books, each section should have its own CMR form. This will help the Provost's Liaison's Office to record the most accurate information and ensure that students have access to the correct course book information.

If I have already submitted my course book information to the Bookstore using the previous Textbook Requisition Form, do I need to resubmit the CMR form?

If you have already submitted your course book information for the Fall semester utilizing the original "Textbook Requisition Form" form or syllabi sheet, you do not need to resubmit the information using a CMR form. However, it would be appreciated if the CMR forms could be used for all future course book information.

How will I know if my CMR form has been received by the Provost's Liaison's Office?

A confirmation will be sent to the faculty member who has sent their CMR form once it is received by the Provost's Liaison's Office.

Why is there not a place on the CMR for pricing? If the book is sold on Amazon.com or other retailers, should I list that as the price?

Pricing is not required on the CMR. The price of the course material(s) will be made available through the University Bookstore in conjunction with the publisher and distributors. Faculty members do not need to research this information.

How will students be able to see price point options for textbooks?

Students who have signed up for classes will be able to view University Bookstore price points for each textbook in SOLAR to comparison shop.

( Price Match Guarantee )** : The University Bookstore will be able to match the price of textbooks for competing brick and mortar booksellers if the student brings proof of pricing with them to the Bookstore at time of purchase. Online booksellers do not apply, and proof of pricing must be presented in store.

Will students be given the option to see rental and used book prices through SOLAR?

Yes and No, Federal HEOA Law encourages state universities to list pricing options on rental programs, used text books, and buyback programs, as well as alternative content delivery programs.

In SOLAR you will be able to locate your course which will indicate the cost of a New Text Book, there will be a link that will redirect you to the University Bookstore website for pricing concerning textbook rentals will be the price offered by the University Bookstore.

What do I do if my course does not use a textbook?

If a course does not require a textbook, the faculty member is still required to submit a CMR form and state "no text required". This information will then be entered into the Provost's Liaison's database and passed on to the University Bookstore.

Should classes with no purchase of books read "No Text Required" or "No Text Required To Purchase"?

Classes that do not require students to purchase textbooks should read "no text required" under the section for textbook information. If you have any suggested readings or materials that do not require students to purchase, you can simply provide that information on your syllabus. Students who receive the syllabus will then be aware of any additional materials that will be needed for class.

If the course book information is listed on the course syllabus than why would it need to be posted on SOLAR?

The information is required to be posted on SOLAR so that students have access to textbook information at time of registration, in order to comparison-shop for their required and/or recommended books each semester. Upon registering for classes, students should be able to see the ISBN, author name, and other important information regarding pricing of textbooks. SOLAR will then have the link available to students for the University Bookstore's website.

How will books packaged with supplementary material, such as compact discs (CDs) and workbooks be displayed on SOLAR?

As required by HEOA, books packaged with supplementary materials will be displayed two ways on SOLAR. The packages will be priced as a set, and will also be available for students to purchase separately, with each item having its own price point. This will allow students the opportunity to purchase different materials separately as opposed to being forced to purchase a textbook package.

What if I use a custom coursepack and/or course books for my course?

Custom coursepacks or course books can be used as long as they are either produced through the University Bookstore or the publisher information is shared with them.

Can I make my own course books and coursepacks and have them available at the University Bookstore?

The University Bookstore can assist you with creating a custom coursepack/course book utilizing their preferred publisher Xanedu. Once the coursepack/course book is created, it will be published and available for sale by the University Bookstore. If you choose to create your coursepack/course book with an outside publisher, please provide the information on the CMR for the Provost's Liaison's Office. Coursepacks/course books that are created by an individual faculty member or department can be sold through the bookstore provided there is no copyright infringement, and then cleared through Xanedu. Faculty cannot create or sell their own coursepacks/course books that were created within their department, as this is illegal and violates University policy.

How can I create my own custom coursepacks/course book and who can I contact to seek assistance?

If you need assistance with creating your own course pack/ course book, please either visit or contact the University Bookstore Textbook Manager (Kristin Dischley) at 2-6614 or TM242@bncollege.com. She will be able to assist you in creating your coursepack/course book and provide you with the information needed to work directly with Xanedu (the Bookstore's preferred publisher).

Can I change textbooks once I have sent my information to the Provost's Liaison's Office? Is it also possible to add or remove books after the information is sent in?

Course books can be changed or added/removed after the information is sent to the Provost's Liaison's office as long as the faculty member sends an updated CMR form with ample time for the bookstore to receive the necessary course materials.

Can I put together a "standard" or "general" list and modify it later?

If a faculty member does not know which specific books will be used, a generalized list is acceptable, and the Provost's Liaison's Office will record the information for further reference. However, a completed course list is preferred. When the faculty member decides on the final list of course materials, they can submit this to the Provost's Liaison's Office, and the list will be updated.

Does the CMR form process apply to independent study courses?

Curriculum used in independent study courses is determined jointly by the faculty member(s) and students partaking in the course. However, if a faculty member teaching an Independent study course sends the CMR form to the Provost's Liaison, the form can be processed.

Does this process apply only to "textbooks" (as opposed to journal readings and course packs?)

The CMR form process applies to textbooks, written material, access codes and course packs, as well as supplies or materials needed, as outlined in the statute:

  • Bundle: one or more college textbooks or other supplemental materials that may be packaged together to be sold as course materials for one price.
  • College textbook: textbook or set of textbooks, used for, or in conjunction with, a course in postsecondary education at an institution of higher education.
Basically, this process applies to any written material, either printed or electronic that is required reading for a course, and that a student has to pay for.

Can we still order textbooks through small businesses? If so, how?

Faculty members can place their textbook orders through any retail outlet that they wish, So long as they share their course book information with the Provost's Liaison's office. This is to keep in compliance with HEOA Federal Law.

What if our department does not yet know who will be teaching the course by the deadline for the information? Since different faculty members prefer different books for their courses, there is no way of us knowing which books will be used.

HEOA Federal Law mandates that the university makes the information available to the general public to the maximum extent possible. If the department does not know who the instructor will be or the textbooks that will be used, simply notify the Provost's Liaison's Office of this information. We will indicate that the information is "To Be Determined". Any updates to the course listings should be communicated to the Provost's Liaison's Office as soon as possible.