May. 23, 2013

Geneseo Receives Grant to Continue Open SUNY Textbooks Initiative


GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo is receiving a 2013 Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) to continue developing the Open SUNY Textbooks Program, a multi-campus effort that Geneseo's library is coordinating with other SUNY libraries to engage faculty in developing free online textbooks. The goal of the project is to help reduce the cost of attending colleges and universities.

Geneseo's award is one of six that SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced today is receiving second-round funding. The Open SUNY Textbooks initiative started last year as a pilot project through IITG and library funding. The grant program funds campus innovations and initiatives that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere within SUNY to benefit students and faculty across the state and world.

"The IITG program has enabled our campuses to enhance the quality of a SUNY education by leveraging our systemness and bringing students the best that technology has to offer," said Zimpher. "This program is one of many that exemplify SUNY's capacity to model innovative instructional practices for higher education nationally and globally. We look forward to seeing these outstanding ideas replicated across SUNY to benefit even more of our students, faculty and staff."

Geneseo library director Cyril Oberlander, principal investigator for the program and project editor, said the Open SUNY Textbooks pilot project has gone exceedingly well the first year thanks to the initial grant, resulting in 15 textbooks that will be published by faculty representing nine SUNY schools.

"We will publish these high-quality open textbook titles during the fall of 2013 in a wide range of disciplines," said Oberlander. "The new funding will continue the momentum this project has generated and allow us to add even more titles and involve more libraries. We also will be able to focus on developing interactive books that provide learning assessments."

The 15 books will be published in the following disciplines: anthropology; business; computer science; education, English; geological sciences; mathematics; music education; and physics. Participating institutions and libraries include SUNY Geneseo; Monroe Community College; SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry; SUNY Fredonia; SUNY Oswego; University at Buffalo; Upstate Medical University; The College of Brockport; and SUNY Press (consultation).

The IITG competitive grant competition is open to SUNY faculty and staff across all disciplines. Recipients will openly share project outcomes, enabling SUNY colleagues state-wide to replicate and build upon the innovations.

"The IITG program has already demonstrated significant returns by leveraging funding opportunities, but more importantly, it develops and sustains important faculty and staff collaborations across SUNY in an efficient manner," said David K. Lavallee, SUNY executive vice chancellor and provost. "Congratulations to all of this year's awardees."

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