November 10-12, 2017


    Textbooks must be available at costs students can bear and that
    sustain the necessary authorship, production, and distribution functions


    Students at all levels of ability, financial means, or other special
    needs must be able to acquire and use the necessary course content


    Course materials must help support teaching and self-study that
    leads to student learning and completion

Ignite the Fires of Collaboration at TAC 2017!

The 2017 Textbook Affordability Conference will be held on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, November 10-12.

Creating new avenues to affordable textbooks and other course materials is critical to the success of today’s students and future generations who wish to complete their educational goals.

TAC's mission is to: Nurture the dialogue and a collaborative approach to creating a course content model which campuses and partners can implement to create more affordable, accessible, and effective options for students—in print or digital formats, using both open and commercial content—that support student learning, retention, and completion.

2017 TAC Platinum Sponsors:

2017 TAC Gold Sponsors:


2017 TAC Silver Sponsors:

2017 Speakers

Sara Goldrick-Rab, Ph.D.

Professor of Higher Education
Policy & Sociology

Temple University
Author, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream

TJ Bliss, Ph.D.

Director of Development and Strategy
Wiki Education
Advocate: Open Education and Deeper Learning

Rick Anderson

Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
Author, The Scholarly Kitchen
“The Role of Faculty, Openness, and Collaboration”

David E. Anderson

Executive Director,
Association of American Publishers
Voice: Publishers in Higher Education

Nagela Nukuna

Former Student Body President,
Undergraduate Student Government,

Georgia Institute of Technology

Karen Head, Ph.D.

Exec. Dir., Communication Center and Assoc. Chair, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Georgia Institute of Technology
Author, Disrupt This!: MOOCs and the Promises of Technology

Program Panel Sessions and Resources

In its third year, TAC 2017 is designed to engage teams of campus leaders in an intentional learning pathway—for professionals from the library, campus store, IT, faculty and instructional design, and campus administrative leadership. SGA and other student leaders are also key members of campus teams for institutions at which the SGA is engaged on the topic of course materials affordability.

Groups of THREE or more from the same institution will receive a discount on the conference registration rate. Not attending in a team? Don’t worry; we’ll put you on a team onsite!

Conference speakers, discussion leads, vendor partners, and all learning events will nurture the dialogue and collaboration needed to develop models that campuses and partners can implement to create more Affordable, Accessible, and Effective course content options for students—in print or digital formats, using both open and commercial content—that support student Learning, Retention, and Completion.


Print program information and schedule to share with campus partners.

2017 TAC Program Schedule*

11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., & 12 p.m. Tour Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech

Optional, complimentary tours of the official bookstore will be hosted by a senior member of the store staff at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 12:00 p.m. To join a tour, meet in the store lobby. The store is located right across the street from the Georgia Tech Hotel. If you’re unable to attend a tour at these times, you’re invited to drop by the store during any free time while at TAC. The store is open 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

2:30-4:30 p.m. Kick-off Session: Start with Why. Preview of How. Getting Started!

Your learning experience begins by gaining an understanding of each other’s perspectives, why we’re here, and what we want and need to achieve. You will meet your learning teammates and start your collaborative journey!

4:30-5:30 p.m. Opening Keynote: Setting the Stage
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Ph.D., Author, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream
Sponsored by Verba | A VitalSource Company

The Textbook Affordability Conference is, at its core, about making higher education and academic success more accessible and affordable for students. What better way to fuel our passion for our task than to hear from Sara Goldrick-Rab, who's singular mission is to identify novel approaches to making higher education the accessible and affordable place that American families want and need it to be. From innovative policy and legislation proposals to rigorous research and qualitative studies of the real life stories of students, Goldrick-Rab will share her thoughts on educational opportunity, paying the price, and the future of higher education.

6:00-7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception
Starting at 7:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30-9:15 a.m. “Team Time” — Collaborative Working Session

We start our full day of learning and sharing with intentional reflection on yesterday and discussion of what we most need to get out of today. This facilitated session will ensure you step off on the right foot!

9:15-10:15 a.m. Standardizing Change: Faculty and Instructional Designers on Scaling Up

The spectrum of no-cost or affordable course materials has expanded to a rich catalog of resources including open educational resources, digital library materials, digital publisher rentals, custom publisher materials, and more. In this panel session you will learn from faculty and instructional designers who will address the challenges, benefits, and recommendations for the successful adoption of these materials, sharing key insights on what triggers a change in course materials to be used and what motivates faculty to drive the change. 

10:30-11:15 a.m. Break-out Working Sessions
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Systemic Support for Campus-Wide Affordability Implementation: Library, IT, and Campus Store

Learn the operational requirements of a large-scale content conversion from those who have successfully implemented a campus strategy, such as:

  1. Creating a management plan to be sure selected content stays live and relevant to the classroom needs;
  2. Developing strategies to convince the skeptics, like focusing on student retention as it is tied to affordability, the benefits of day-one access to content, and the improved student success when the stressors of cash flow and accessibility are removed;
  3. Ensuring the right culture is established for success, including the ability to be patient and persistent; and to effectively measure outcomes to be sure the strategy is meeting its goals--a task that benefits from efforts by the bookstore, library, and faculty.


12:15-1:15 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:15-2:15 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Thought Leader Perspectives on Access, Affordability, and Efficacy
TJ Bliss, Ph.D., Director of Development and Strategy, Wiki Education
Rick Anderson, Assoc. Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
David E. Anderson, Executive Director for Higher Education, Association of American Publishers

Much of our course content strategy depends on the creation, availability, and distribution of course materials and scholarly content. We begin to move from discussing parts of the process to envisioning the system as a whole with the help of leaders with three different vantage points. They offer observations and critical considerations for campus affordability initiatives and academic content teams on the pillars of TAC: Access, Affordability, and Efficacy.

2:30-3:15 p.m. Creating the “All-Campus” Model: All Stakeholders Required

So how should this look and feel when everything is in place and your program is ramping up to scale? In this panel session you will hear from practitioners about the key aspects of an institution-wide affordability strategy (including OER, inclusive access, digital and traditional formats). Stakeholders from various successful campus initiatives will discuss their roles, effective communications, creating integrated infrastructure (tech, content, store, library), and ongoing training and support for faculty and students. You will use their insights to ensure your strategy addresses stakeholders needs, includes ways to engage the institution at all levels, and ensures the campus/academic administration sets affordability as a priority.

3:30-4:15 p.m. Break-out Working Sessions
4:30-5:15 p.m. “Team Time” – Synthesis Session
5:30-6:30 p.m. Synergy Reception
6:30 p.m. Dinner on your own (or your team) – Local recommendations will be provided
Starting at 7:45 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30-10:00 a.m. Collaboration & Coffee – Exploring Business Partner Solutions

Teams of campus leaders will engage with the vendor community in collaborative, constructive dialogue to find out how products and services help address the specific needs for a new course content model on campus.

10:15-10:45 a.m. Understanding the Broader Context: Government and Public Policy Impact

This panel session will provide a variety of perspectives on the policy and legislative context in which our course materials strategies must operate. Implications on funding, regulatory, financial aid, broken business models, and other aspects of the course materials landscape will be addressed to help you understand what your initiatives will have to address to be successful.

11:00 a.m.-Noon Setting Fire to Action and Blazing a Path Forward
Karen Head, Ph.D., Executive Director, Communication Center and Associate Chair, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology

So where do we go next? We must embrace the need to work collaboratively and champion change on our campuses and in our partnerships. Creating change starts with inspiring others to buy in and adopt the cause. And few things take more time, resources, and perseverance than adopting and implementing new technology. We start to wrap up our learning experience and initiate the final formulation of strategies with words of encouragement and challenge from an expert on communication theory and sustainable and innovative pedagogy, and who has lived to tell the tale of the challenges and rewards of implementing something new—even if against the odds.

Noon-1:00 p.m. Closing Synthesis and Strategy Luncheon

Our learning and collaboration wraps up with discussion over lunch and then a final synthesis session designed to bring group and individual strategy and goal setting to a comfortable closing point. You’ll leave with a draft strategy and goals for both short and long term action.

*Subject to change


Our work on course materials affordability will be some of our most important for the next generation of learners—enabling them to achieve their education goals and improve their lives. As of Wednesday, November 8, we will taking registrations onsite at Wenn Student Center on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 10.

Registration is Now Closed.

Travel and Lodging

We are expecting 200+ agents of change from across higher education to join us in this important conversation. Getting to Georgia Tech is easy! Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) offers nonstop service from/to more than 150 domestic destinations and is only about 20 minutes from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Need a ride? Ground transportation information from the airport is available.
Directions to campus and transportation option info are online at

All conference events will be held on the Georgia Tech campus.

Conference lodging

Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center
Located on the Georgia Tech campus in Technology Square–the heart of Midtown Atlanta’s thriving retail neighborhood. The TAC housing block now is closed. You can check for availability by logging on to the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center website or by calling the hotel directly at (800) 706-2899 or (404) 838-2100, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Eastern.

2017 Textbook Affordability Conference grants
The grant submission period is now closed. Those that have applied for grants will receive an email notifying them about the outcome of their request on or before October 2, 2017. To learn more about the many grant opportunities available through the NACS Foundation or, if you have questions about your application, please contact Jaymee Skelly at or (800) 622-7498 ext. 2345.
2017 TAC Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

2017 TAC Planning Partners