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Cal State professor speaks out about pricey textbook dispute




June Kapitan, owner of Quantumbooks, stocks a shelf with textbooks.The Government Accountability Office finds that the average student spends almost $900 on textbooks and supplies.
June Kapitan, owner of Quantumbooks, stocks a shelf with textbooks.The Government Accountability Office finds that the average student spends almost $900 on textbooks and supplies.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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The pricey cost of college textbooks has sparked a dispute at Cal State Fullerton where a math professor is fighting disciplinary action against him for choosing different course materials than the $180 text written and mandated by his department chair.

Math professor Alain Bourget told KPCC he chose course material, including a textbook authored by an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) professor, based on what could best serve his students. He was then threatened with discipline as serious as dismissal.

The case underscores the challenge of choosing quality course materials that are uniform and up-to-date - and balancing that with affordability.

Guest: 

Alain Bourget, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, California State University, Fullerton; Bourget is facing disciplinary action over his choice of course materials

Doug Ward,  Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Kansas. Associate Professor, University of Kansas’ School of Journalism and Mass Communications