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When I assign textbooks or materials that I authored to my IU students, is there a potential issue under the state conflicts law?

One could read the state conflicts law to cover situations in which a professor receives more than $250 in royalties for the year from sales of the professor’s textbooks or other authored materials that are required for her IU classes. The reasoning is that in such circumstances, the professor knowingly receives a financial benefit above the $250 threshold for “purchases in connection with an action by the University”—namely, purchases by the students resulting from the professor’s action, using her authority as a University faculty member to design her courses and choose course materials. Therefore, the University has advised faculty in such circumstances that it is prudent to file a state conflicts disclosure with respect to royalties above $250 a year obtained from materials assigned to their IU students. The faculty member should indicate on the disclosure form the pedagogical connection between the assigned materials and the course subject matter.

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