A southern California professor is in hot water with his department after he refused to assign a $180 textbook to his students, and the case it gaining attention for an important reason.
Inside Higher Ed reports that Alain Bourget a California State University, Fullerton associate professor of mathematics, decided to forgo using the mandated textbook to teach an introductory linear algebra and differential equations course, as a way to cut costs for students without losing academic value.
Instead, Bourget provided access to free online materials and a much less expensive textbook ($75).
“Our students aren’t rich,” Bourget said. “And we have a responsibility to look for inexpensive materials.”
Regardless, the university reprimanded Bourget for not using the department-issued textbook designed for Bourget’s course section. In a statement by CSUF the university emphasized the importance of using the required textbook and explained that deviating from it would put students at risk of failing to meet the department’s learning objectives.
Since then, Bourget has appeared before a CSUF faculty grievance committee to appeal the university’s decision to reprimand him for what he feels is a matter of academic freedom, Slate reports.