Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Wendler said he was trying to “bite off too much” on the new textbook policy

Dylan Green

West Texas A&M University President Dr. Walter Wendler met with the Faculty Senate on Nov. 3 to discuss his new textbook-free policy. Wendler announced the new textbook policy at the beginning of the semester, giving faculty and staff a year to prepare.

At the meeting, Wendler discussed how the new textbook policy would now only affect 1000 and 2000-level courses, a change from just a couple of months ago.

“Anything that is used to support instruction that students have to pay [for] to work is what I’m after, reducing the crisis,” Wendler said. “I’d like to get into zero if we can, and we’re going to zero for 1000 to 2000 courses.”

On Aug. 24, Wendler sent out an email to students stating that by Fall 2024, “no West Texas A&M University student will be required to buy any textbook for any course.” Wendler admitted he was trying to bite off too much.

“I was trying to bite off too much, and I admit, I was trying to bite off too much,” Wendler said. “So focusing on the core courses, the 1000 to 2000 courses, primarily, but not exclusively. I focus on smaller bites to digest.”

Faculty across the campus had the opportunity to submit questions to Faculty Senators, and Senate Faculty President David Craig posed questions to Wendler on their behalf. Wendler was asked, “Is this textbook mandated, will [it] exacerbate the existing high turnover rate of faculty?” Many faculty and staff are not on board with the new policy. Wendler clarified that WT has the lowest turnover rates in the Texas A&M System, and the textbook policy will not increase turnover at WT.

At the open Q&A, an attendee at the meeting asked Wendler who would purchase the textbooks needed for classes. Wendler responded that the University needs to know how much it is going to cost but says he worries about student enrollment dropping.

“If we lost another 10% enrollment in the next three years, and we’re down 10%, we have to eliminate staff,” Wendler said. “We’re being very careful with our budgets.”

Wendler says he hopes to have an update for students at the end of the year. The new textbook policy will go into effect in the fall of 2024.


This article was edited on Nov. 14 to correct spelling and to clarify who posed questions to Wendler.

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About the Contributors
Blass Guerrero
Blass Guerrero, Former Senior Reporter, Former Video and Audio Editor
Hello, my name is Blass Guerrero, and I’m from Dumas, Texas. I am currently a senior as a broadcast journalism major. I like to work out, hang out with friends, and read everything about Apple and the tech world. My goal after college is to work at a major news organization like NBC News or CNN.
Dylan Green
Dylan Green, Graphic Designer
Hi, my name is Dylan Green! I’m a senior Graphic Design major, and have worked with The Prairie News since Spring 2023. My career goal is to do design work for the music industry or other arts-related fields. I enjoy collecting vinyl records, listening to music, and making art in my free time.

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