CSUF Professor Reprimanded For Choosing Non-Mandated Textbooks
This isn’t about a teacher trying to protest about how much textbooks or college costs these days. It’s more than that-it’s a professor trying to provide his students with the information necessary for them to learn the material in his course, Introduction to Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, at California State University, Fullerton.
- The book, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra, was written by Stephen W. Goode and Scott A. Annin, respectively the chair and vice chair of the university’s math department.
- Stephen W. Goode was the department chair who mandated the Goode-Annin textbook be used in Bourget’s course.
- This mandate was defended by Goode, who cited a decision made in a math department meeting in 1984.
- Bourget claims that the first edition of the Goode-Annin text was published in 1991, seven years after the math department meeting cited by Goode.
- The minutes of the 1984 meeting does mention that a textbook for the class was approved by the department, but does not mention the text title or author, nor how the department decides on a text requirement for a class.
- If the Goode-Annin text they insist on using is over two decades old, is there not a case for reviewing more recent texts to ensure the students’ learning is up to date?
- Is the Goode-Annin text used by any other differential equation and linear algebra classes at other universities? If not, why not? If not, perhaps it’s not the best text?
- How is it ethical for the head of a department to require a text that pays him royalties?
- According to the American Association of University Professors, faculty members have the “freedom to teach,” which includes picking course materials, “without having their decisions subject to the veto of a department chair, dean, or other administrative officer.”