University of Missouri

47-08: A Resolution for Textbook Publishers to Disclose Wholesale Prices and Revision History to the Faculty of all Missouri Higher Education Institutions

PURPOSE: To recommend to the Missouri General Assembly that publishers be required to disclose necessary information for the faculty of higher education institutions to make informed decisions about course textbooks.

WHEREAS, A May 2007 study by the US Department of Education’s Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance concluded that textbook prices “represent a significant barrier to access and persistence” in higher education, and

WHEREAS, Data from the College Board Annual Survey of Colleges and Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals textbook prices are second only to tuition and fees in percentage increase since 1987 at two-year public colleges and matched only by room and board at four-year institutions, and

WHEREAS, According to the National Association of College Stores, the wholesale price of college textbooks has increased more than 40% since 1998, while other books have increased an average of 20% over the same period, and

WHEREAS, Wholesale textbook price increases reflect a need to address textbook costs at the distributor level, and

WHEREAS, A 2007 study by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group found that 63% of 287 surveyed professors do not “typically” know the price of books they assign, that 77% categorize textbook representatives as “rarely” or “never” volunteering textbook prices, and that 62% were not informed of textbook prices when they inquired.

THEREFORE, Be it resolved by the Missouri Students Association Senate that the Missouri General Assembly require textbook publishers to disclose the wholesale price and history of revisions to faculty of higher education institutions when marketing new textbooks and supplemental items.

Respectfully submitted,


Jonathan Mays

MSA Senate Speaker


Craig Stevenson

ASUM Legislative Director



Andrew Cafourek

MSA Vice President