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UHD Joins Network of Institutions Leading The Way For Free & Flexible Textbook Use


The University of Houston-Downtown has been chosen as one of 12 schools to participate in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partner Program.

Housed at Rice University, OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. As an education tech initiative, it’s supported by philanthropic foundations to provide free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low-cost, personalized courseware.

As a participant in the network’s first-year program, UHD will work actively to build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students. The Univesity joins a network of more than 60 institutions.

Through this strategic partnership, UHD will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of colleges and universities advocating widespread use of open educational resources (OER) at their schools. On average, the institutions in this network increase the number of students impacted by 158 percent after completing the first year. To date, the OpenStax program has resulted in more than $20 million of additional student savings from OER.

These OER, including the free openly licensed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, which will increase the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. In addition to the immediate benefits to students, OER are offered under a Creative Commons license that allows instructors to modify textbooks to better serve their unique teaching and evolving student needs.

“The University of Houston-Downtown is very excited for this opportunity. Faculty and staff across the University have been working to make OER a point of emphasis on our campus as major part of our institutional mission to make higher education accessible to anyone in our community,” said Dr. Akif Uzman, Interim Senior Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs and Provost. “The adoption of OER-friendly strategies is an important part of removing some of the financial and access challenges that serve as barriers for our students. We look forward to engaging in this partnership and deepening our institutional work in this area so that we may better support our students and ensure their success at UHD.”

UHD OpenStax Liaisons

  • Dr. Rob Austin McKee, Assistant Professor, College of Business
  • Pat Ensor, Executive Director, W.I. Dykes Library
  • Dr. Edmund Cueva, Professor, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

For more information on OER initiatives at UHD, visit the W.I. Dykes Library’s webpage or contact

Dr. Michelle Moosally, Associate Vice President of Programming & Curriculum at moosallym@uhd.edu.


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.