Cost of Coursepacks Limits Offerings

To the editors:

I’d like to issue an “amen” the editorial notebook by Noam B. Katz ’04 (Opinion, “Our Right to Read Cheaply,” Feb. 19) on coursepacks. It’s absolutely ridiculous that for Core classes—given that they are introductions to new disciplines—I could be paying upwards of $200 for supplemental readings.

However, it seems that Harvard should take more responsibility for this logical inconsistency than just printing easily-photocopied editions of the coursepacks. Couldn’t the cost of securing these copyrights be absorbed by the professor’s departmental budget? If professors were under some financial pressure to keep the size of coursepacks down, perhaps it wouldn’t cost me several hundred dollars to discover whether I like architecture, for example.

Andrew G. Barr ’05

Feb. 19, 2002