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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.30
Liaison Sarah Munro
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Open (and Alternative) Repository for Textbooks

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In 2015, an effort to promote the use of Open Textbooks at UConn was begun by students in the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and UConn Public Interest Research Group (UConn PIRG). Those students, along with administrators, academic staff, faculty, and librarians formed a Task Force to further explore Affordable Textbooks. As a result of strong advocacy, awareness building, and efforts by State Representative Gregg Haddad and Senator Mae Flexer, the State Legislature passed Special Act No. 15-18, An Act Concerning the Use of Digital Open-SourceTextbooks in Higher Education (House Bill 6117). In addition, the University Senate passed a resolution put forth by the Senate Student Welfare Committee in support of the Open Textbook Initiative.
House Bill No. 6117 policy can be found here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/ACT/SA/2015SA-00018-R00HB-06117-SA.htm

At UConn, a committee of faculty, students, and administrative staff has secured a grant of nearly $100,000 from the Davis Educational Foundation to introduce open textbooks on campus. The University Libraries led the effort to survey faculty about the use of open textbooks, create online workshops for faculty development, and adapt an existing general chemistry textbook. The resources are made available for a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology to statistics.

Since its meager beginning, the OER initiative on campus has affected several thousand students through the adoption of open textbooks and course redesigns to increase affordability. Dr. Edward Neth revised the OpenStax Chemistry textbook to the new title Atoms First Chemistry. Both OpenStax Chemistry books have since been used by more than 2000 students saving them over $200,000. Several faculty have redesigned their courses to make the materials have either no cost or very low cost. In September of 2016, the Provost added $100,000 in award money for faculty who teach large classes to adopt, adapt, or create open textbooks and the UConn Co-op, former independent bookstore at the university, gifted the UConn Library's OER Initiative with $300,000 for future development of open on campus. We have awarded grants to about 15 faculty for adoptions, adaptations, and creation of new textbooks which will be shared with the world when they are completed.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Research
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.