Provost provides charge to Open & Affordable Education Committee

February 8, 2019

At the January meeting of the Open & Affordable Education Committee, Provost Wickert attended in order to provide an official charge to the group and to offer commendation for our work. A full copy of the charge can be read here: OAEC charge [pdf]

Below, we have provided some highlights from the text:


The charge begins with a preamble thanking the committee for the work we have done thus far and outlining the major projects that the committee has completed. 

"The working group, which includes faculty as well as representatives from the University Library, CELT, the University Bookstore, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Student Government, has made considerable progress in the last 18 months. It helped establish the Miller Open Mini-Grants program, dispensing $48,000 to ISU faculty for OER projects in 2018. The group also led the effort to have ISU join the Open Textbook Network. But more work remains to be done if ISU is to fully realize the promise of OER to save students money and improve classroom learning."

These are two of the largest projects completed by the committee over the past year, but does not include all of the work we have completed.

Another project I would like to emphasize is the great work that the ISU Book Store has done creating and promoting brochures that explain the Affordable Course Content Initiatives [pdf] in place at Iowa State and the difference between initiatives like Immediate Access [pdf] and Open Educational Resources [pdf]

The Charge

The most important part of the Provost's message, and what our committee will be working on over the next academic year, is to meet the requests of the charge itself: 

  1. Examine national trends regarding OER and make recommendations regarding best practices of their use
  2. Examine the current use of OER across ISU and make recommendations to increase their use while respecting faculty rights and responsibilities
  3. Identify any impediments to OER and other affordable course materials adoption at ISU
  4. Explore additional affordable course material initiatives that could be developed in the future
  5. Continue to lead and administer the committee’s existing OER initiatives

The Open & Affordable Education Committee is thankful for the support that the Provost has lent to our initiatives thus far and will do our best to continue to work with instructors interested in our affordable course content initiatives while respecting the rights of instructors who are not interested in our work. 

If you are interested in collaborating with the Open & Affordable Education Committee or have any suggestions for how we might better support the needs of students and instructors at Iowa State, please feel free to reach out to one of our members.