Policy 2110
Ordering Textbooks

Date of Current Revision: May 2016
Primary Responsible Officer: Associate Vice President, Business Services


The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for ordering textbooks for the students and faculty of the University. The policy addresses action by the Virginia General Assembly, section 23-4.3.1 Code of Virginia.


The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6;23-9.2:3. The board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.


The James Madison University Bookstore.

Course Material:
A group of required readings, lab materials, school supplies and/or electronic device determined by a faculty member for class use. Textbooks & Coursepacks are considered course materials. Examples of non-book course materials include rock samples, maps, pedometers, lab notebooks, calculators, lab glasses, etc.

International Standard Book Number.

A bound volume assigned by a faculty member for a class.


This policy applies to all faculty members who require textbooks or coursepacks as required or supplemental reading for students in their classes.


The Bookstore is the official textbook site for the university. All faculty members are required to furnish textbook adoption orders to the JMU Bookstore Textbook Manager.

No employee at a Virginia public college or university shall demand or receive any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything, present or promised, as an inducement for requiring students to purchase a specific textbook required for coursework or instruction; with the exception that the employee may receive (i) sample copies, instructor's copies, or instructional material, not to be sold; and (ii) royalties or other compensation from sales of textbooks that include such instructor's own writing or work.


6.1 The approved academic unit representatives will forward approved textbook adoption orders of the faculty in their academic units to the Bookstore by the second week in October for the spring semester, by the second week in March for the May and summer sessions, and by the first week in April for the fall semester.

6.2 Textbook adoption orders submitted to the Bookstore must include: course, course number, section, faculty name, faculty contact information, author, title, edition, ISBN, estimate of the number of students expected in each course and if the textbook is required or optional. Each academic unit's list should be in numerical order by course number. The academic unit should provide a list, by course number, of courses for which no textbooks are required. The textbook adoption order form should also be used to indicate other course materials (i.e., particular types of paper/notebooks, special tools, models, software, etc.), either required or recommended, that the Bookstore should stock for the students in each class.

6.3 The JMU Bookstore will post all known course materials at www.jmu.bkstr.com or through MyMadison. The lists of those required or assigned textbooks for each particular course shall include the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) along with other relevant information.

6.4 When reorders for additional textbooks beyond the original order are received from academic unit representatives, the Bookstore will expedite the order upon receipt of the request.

6.5 Five weeks after the beginning of each semester, the Bookstore will inventory unsold textbooks and will notify each academic unit prior to returning any textbooks to the publishers. The faculty in the academic unit should review the list and, within two weeks, notify the Bookstore of texts to be retained for the current semester.

6.6 The Bookstore Textbook Manager will notify the faculty member promptly of any information received regarding the delay in shipment of a textbook or of the inability of a publisher to provide the textbook by a required date. The Textbook Manager will obtain delayed books or substitute books by the most expedient means. When requested, he/she will attempt to obtain out-of-print books from alternate sources.

6.7 In the textbook adoption process, the intent to use all items ordered, particularly each individual item sold as a part of a bundle package, shall be affirmatively confirmed by the faculty member. In the event that the faculty member does not intend to use each item in the bundled package, such faculty member shall notify the Bookstore so that the most cost-effective procurement for the Bookstore and the student can be utilized.

6.8 The faculty member shall affirmatively acknowledge the Bookstore’s quoted retail price of textbooks, course material, and course packs selected for use in each course.

6.9 Faculty members are encouraged to limit their use of new edition textbooks when previous editions do not significantly differ in a substantive way, as may be determined by the appropriate faculty member.

6.10 Students who have emergency financial needs due to unanticipated circumstances and do not have financial support or financial aid to cover the cost of books, may be eligible for the Textbook Loan Program. Students should contact the University Business Office to see if they qualify.


Textbook adoption orders are made by the faculty members through approved academic unit representatives. All textbook requirements MUST be provided to the Bookstore Textbook
Manager by the approved academic unit representative.

Academic unit heads or their approved representatives are responsible for reporting their best realistic estimate of the number of students expected in each course and section. When any courses or sections are canceled, or overrides are permitted, the academic unit head or representative is responsible for notifying the Bookstore immediately.

The Bookstore is responsible for receiving and processing academic unit requests for textbooks to be used in courses offered by the university and for applying an efficient and effective ordering policy to determine the quantities of textbooks to order.

The Associate Vice President for Business Services is responsible for the overall administration of the textbook service through the Bookstore.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.




Authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the Associate Vice President for Business Services.

Previous version: May 2014
Approved by the President: November 2006

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