OpenStax publishes new business textbook series


David Ruth

OpenStax publishes new business textbook series

HOUSTON — (Sept. 18, 2018) — Rice University-based publisher OpenStax announced today that it is publishing six new textbooks designed for introductory business courses. The courses covered are taught at most colleges and universities in the U.S. and enroll an estimated two million students each academic year – and nearly all of the courses for students earning an Associate of Arts degree in business will be covered by an OpenStax book. This is an important step toward creating an entire degree program with free course materials.

Stueden reading book online“Publishing multiple textbooks along a single career pathway has always been a part of our vision for the future of OpenStax, and we’re excited that we can now embark in this direction,” said Richard Baraniuk, OpenStax founder and Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice. “A series of free, high-quality books will enable students to rely on having affordable materials beyond their initial introductory classes. We hope that the business series is the first of many degree sequences.”

The OpenStax business series is comprised of Introduction to Business, Business Ethics, Principles of Management, Entrepreneurship, Principles of Accounting and Organizational Behavior, and each text covers the standard scope and sequence requirements for that course. The series introduces students to key concepts such as developing and managing an organization, organizational structure, business objectives, finances and marketing. These courses are typically required for students pursuing a degree in business or related fields.

The business series is supported by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, one of several philanthropic organizations to support OpenStax’s mission of increasing access to high-quality, affordable education. OpenStax uses philanthropic funding to produce peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print. Its library of 30 free and openly licensed books has already been used by 6.2 million students since 2012, and the books have been adopted for use by more than 16,200 instructors and 48 percent of degree-granting institutions in the U.S. The new series will expand the OpenStax library to 35 titles by 2019.

“Since 1978, the price of college textbooks has increased more than 800 percent,” said Charles Koch Foundation Director of Educational Partnership Brennan Brown. “With price removed from the equation, more students are gaining access to better materials thanks to OpenStax. Innovations like the new, open series could eventually allow a student to earn an associate’s degree in business without ever having to purchase a single business textbook.”

Introduction to Business, the first textbook in the series, was published today on It was written by senior contributing authors Lawrence J. Gitman, Emeritus Professor of Finance at San Diego State University, and Carl McDaniel, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at the University of Texas at Arlington, and reviewed by more than 46 reviewers to ensure accuracy and readability.

“Professor McDaniel and I wrote Introduction to Business to provide future business leaders with an interesting, comprehensive overview of the key activities involved in running a business,” Gitman said. “We are particularly thrilled with the fact that this book will allow students to save money, avoid student debt and reduce their cost of attending college. Working with OpenStax’s editorial team was a rewarding experience because of the immense amount of care and the balanced review that went into every page.”

The grant from the Charles Koch Foundation is the latest of several philanthropic investments to support OpenStax and the open educational resource (OER) movement. “High-quality, openly licensed educational materials like the OpenStax business series allow greater academic freedom for faculty and lower cost for students,” said Angela DeBarger, program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “Since the Hewlett Foundation’s initial investment in OER in 2001, it has been very exciting to watch the field and its funding community continue to grow.”

The OpenStax mission is made possible by the philanthropic support of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Arthur and Carlyse Ciocca Charitable Foundation, Ann and John Doerr, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Girard Foundation, Google, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the Maxfield Foundation, the Michelson 20MM Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Brian D. Patterson USA-International Foundation and the Bill and Stephanie Sick Fund.

As a nonprofit education technology initiative, OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. In addition to college textbooks, OpenStax also provides Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, along with low-cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn. For more information, visit


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About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.