Announcing the 2021-2022 Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative Faculty Grants

Loyola Marymount University students want and need high-quality learning materials that bring value to their education. LMU faculty care deeply about connecting meaningful and expert resources with learning outcomes in their course design. However, runaway textbook costs can be a major impediment to connecting those two sets of desires and inhibit student success.

This past year of online learning further underscored the critical importance of equity in student access to course materials. In February 2021, for example, ASLMU passed a resolution in support of increased university investment in open educational resources. Here is what we know:

  • Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years
  • LMU students spend an average of over $1,000 per year on textbooks (1)
  • 63% of students have forgone purchasing or renting college textbooks because of cost, according to a 2019 PIRG survey of 4000 students nationwide (2)

The Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative (OATI) at LMU is designed to help faculty identify, adopt, and/or create high-quality, flexible, accessible, and low or no-cost course materials for our students using open educational resources (OER) and library resources.

Funded through the Office of the Provost, ASLMU, and the William H. Hannon Library and administered through the Academic Technology Committee and the library, the LMU Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative (OATI) grant:

  • Provides incentives for LMU faculty to explore relevant, high-quality alternatives to expensive course materials through adoption, adaptation, or creation of open educational resources (OER) and/or low-cost/no-cost resources
  • Encourages a teaching culture that explores new pedagogical models for learning
  • Lowers the cost of an LMU education for our students
  • Increases equitable access to required course materials for all students

The 2021-2022 OATI grant will further nine open and affordable education projects across five schools and colleges that propose to impact over 1300 undergraduate and graduate students with a collective savings of $152,000 on textbooks in a single year. In addition, many of the resources proposed will be openly licensed so that they can be adapted by other educators at LMU and beyond.

Congratulations to the following 2021-2022 OATI Faculty Grant recipients, who will be working individually and in teams on adaption, assessment, creation, and implementation of open education work to implement into their courses and programs in the 2021-22 academic year. Faculty and students wishing to learn more about the Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative should visit

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

Project 1

Michael Mills, Associate Professor of Psychology

Expand collaborative development of open textbook Sex Differences: The Evolution, Proximate Mechanisms, and Cultural Variations of Sexually Dimorphic Psychological Adaptations for PSYC 3010: Psychology of Sex Differences.


College of Business Administration

Project 2

Anatoly Zhuplev, Professor of Management

Revise course materials for International Business Venturing & Socio-Economic Development Project Development & Applications (taught both on-campus and through study-abroad), replacing costly texts with open and library-licensed resources.


Project 3

  • Julian Saint Clair, Associate Professor of Marketing (lead)
  • Dominique Braxton, Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Mitch Hamilton, Associate Professor of Marketing
  • Aidin Namin, Assistant Professor of Marketing
  • Matt Stefl, Clinical Professor of Marketing
  • Richard Tang, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Create OER with an emphasis on insight-based, justice-oriented marketing and experiential learning to replace existing textbook in high-enrollment, foundational course BCOR 3510: Marketing & Business Communications.


College of Communications & Fine Arts


Project 4

  • Arnab Banerji, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
  • Daphnie Sicre, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

The project builds on the ongoing work of the department’s DEIA committee. The researchers will conduct a qualitative survey of course materials used by Theatre Arts faculty to identify high-impact opportunities to make changes. The researchers hope to demonstrate that current OER material in our discipline perpetuate white supremacy and deny accessibility. A next phase of the project (to be undertaken in a subsequent proposal) will develop open content that centers diverse voices while also increasing accessibility to course material.


Project 5

Selwa Sweidan, Clinical Assistant Professor of Multimedia Arts

Develop UX Ethics open syllabus, reader, database of case studies and toolkit.


School of Education


Project 6

  • Karie Huchting, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership
  • Rebecca Stephenson, Clinical Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership

Create new OER in order to improve content and affordability across all three required research methods courses in the EdD program.


Project 7

  • Brian Leung, Professor, Specialized Programs in Professional Psychology (lead)
  • Jay Jackson, Affiliate Faculty, Specialized Programs in Professional Psychology
  • Trené Turner, Lecturer, Specialized Programs in Professional Psychology

Curate, develop, and adopt a variety of open material, including content from program alumni, to supplement course material for 4 graduate fieldwork courses.


Seaver College of Science & Engineering


Project 8

  • Delaram Yazdansepas, Assistant Professor of Computer Science (project lead)
  • John David Dionisio, Professor of Computer Science
  • Jordan Freitas, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • Andrew Forney, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • B.J. Johnson, Clinical Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • Ray Toal, Professor of Computer Science

Enrich CMSI 1010 – Introduction to Computer Programming, which already uses open and affordable materials, by expanding online notes and interactive practice and testing modules using open software and open licensing.


Project 9

  • Brendan Smith, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Natalie Schaal, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Replace textbooks with newly developed and openly licensed set of interactive MATLAB resources and exercises to integrate into the required four-course sequence of MECH 212, 213, 312, and 412.