The Selection Process:
Nominations for books are solicited from the campus and local community every fall via the website. A university-wide committee of more than 30 volunteer or appointed faculty, staff and students evaluates the submissions and narrows the field to 15 finalists. They divide into teams and at least 5 people read 3-5 books. The finalists are read by the entire committee and voted upon to decide the selection for the year. The finalist is brought to higher administration for final approval.
Criteria for Common Reading Selection Process:
- AVAILABILITY: Reasonably priced paperback still in print or available online through open access.
- UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN GOALS: Addresses at least one of the goals of the Purdue strategic plan.
- ENGAGEMENT: Has potential for engaging students. Addresses a theme/topic that can be applicable to a wide range of students, especially across majors and disciplines. Students are unlikely to have read in high school, and unlikely to read in basic college classes.
- QUALITY OF WRITING: Literary quality. Richness of content and themes. Enjoyable. Reasonable length.
- RELEVANCE: Relevant to first-year and transfer students, current society, or local community. Explores cultural differences and diversity.
- DISCUSSION POTENTIAL: Raises thought-provoking issues relevant to a variety of courses.
- PROGRAMMING: Provides opportunities for creative assignments, multimedia approaches, and curricular and co-curricular programming—especially inclusion in first-year courses. Interdisciplinary.
- AUTHOR AVAILABILITY: Living author, available to speak on campus, or possibility of another good speaker about the book.
- INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION: Stretches students' minds and encourages students to think critically about issues.