USC Provost Michael Quick's Wicked Problems focus on a vision for USC to "redefine our strengths, goals and refocused purpose as a leading private research university dedicated to the greater public good." OER adoption at USC illustrates two of these initiatives: Value & Affordability, and Access & Opportunity.
"One of the core purposes of an institution of higher education is to serve as gateway to opportunity." An essential goal for any 21st century higher education institution, OER adoption will provide greater opportunity for students who cannot afford textbooks or course materials, enable research and further study after graduation, and offer a valuable, high-quality alternative to course materials being offered today.
The Libraries is committed to upholding these important initiatives at USC and in the work we contribute to the research, scholarship, learning, and teaching being accomplished here.
In 2015, the USC Undergraduate Student Government (USC-USG) spearheaded a university-wide initiative to cap the price on General Education course required textbooks.
Later that year, Daily Trojan's article connected the work of USC-USG with AB-798 California Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 that aims to ensure affordable alternatives to pricey textbooks including OER. While the Act only applies to public institutions receiving federal funding, the article pointed out the opportunity of USC as a private institution dedicated to ensuring success for all students.