Every college store knows how important on-time faculty adoptions are. On-time adoptions can help lower costs for the store and the students. Adoptions also ensure the store has adequate time to source the materials it will need for the upcoming term and improve student buyback rates. However, there can be a disconnect between the campus store and faculty when it comes to faculty adoptions. In 2010, Utah State University changed how it handles faculty adoptions and it now averages a 94% on-time faculty adoptions rate.
“In 2010, a committee was formed for HOEA compliance. The campus store, the scheduling department, the provost and instructional services all had representatives serve on the committee,” Course Materials Manager Clarissa Peterson said. “ It was agreed that course materials are an essential part of learning. The committee’s interpretations of HEOA was that if students can’t see their course materials, they cannot register for the course. That means that faculty have to have their adoptions turned in before class registration opens. Otherwise, their course will not be included in registration.”
By working together with campus departments and forming strong relationships, a streamlined faculty adoption procedure was formed that benefits both the store and the students.
“Two months before registration, we begin the faculty adoption process. Faculty members are given a deadline and sent an automatic email reminder every three days until their adoptions are turned in. Once the adoption deadline passes, a final email is sent to department heads from the Vice President of Scheduling,” Peterson said. “Courses that do not have adoptions will not be included in registration. The departments definitely want their classes to be offered. So, they work hard to make sure we get what we need. The usual percentage of on-time adoptions is about 94 percent. Class registration usually begins about two or three weeks after the adoption deadline. That gives us a little room in case someone is late.”
Having a structure like this with campus buy-in from all levels helps reinforce the importance of on-time adoptions.
“In addition to deadline adherence, departments also assume responsibility for last minute course material changes. The departments are responsible for paying for any costs related to changing materials that the store or students might have. So, for example, if a student were to go buy their book online and then the book for the course changes, the department is responsible for reimbursing the student the cost of the book,” Peterson said. “The Provost approved the principle and procedures that the committee came up with and they work well.”
But how did the campus store’s adoption system work with the unusual circumstances of COVID-19?
“COVID-19 impacted our adoptions a little. We were at about 90 percent when it happened. The biggest impact on the store was keeping up with scheduling and instructor changes,” Peterson said. “The Spring 2021 schedule has been delayed about a week.”
The faculty adoption procedure at Utah State University has been largely successful in streamlining the entire process. Peterson credits the store’s campus relationships with bringing about this necessary change.
“My advice to other college stores would be build those campus relationships that will help you mandate a procedure for faculty adoptions.”