Quick Takes: Eastern Ky. and LeTourneau Try 4-Day Work Weeks, Textbook Antitrust Concerns, Madison's Next Chancellor, New Fight on Immigration Status, Randolph Sells Painting for $7.2M, Oxford's Push for Pounds

May 29, 2008
  • The increasing cost of gas has led some community colleges to shift schedules so that classes meet only on four days. Now, some universities are switching to a four-day work week this summer to allow employees to save gas costs they would face with a commute five days a week. Such policies have recently been announced at Eastern Kentucky University and LeTourneau University.
  • The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will require Cengage Learning to sell assets related to textbooks and educational materials for 14 college-level courses as a condition of approving Cengage's purchase of the college division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. Without Cengage selling off the assets, Justice Department officials said, students would face either higher textbook prices or lower textbook quality because of the loss of competition.
  • The University of Wisconsin at Madison's next chancellor will be Biddy Martin, provost of Cornell University. Martin taught at Cornell before becoming an administrator, but also has roots in Madison, where she earned her Ph.D. in German literature in 1985.
  • Gov. Mike Beebe of Arkansas, responding to reports that some public colleges and universities in the state have allowed immigrant students who can't document their legal status to pay in-state rates, has called on them to stop doing so, the Associated Press reported. Two universities then announced that they would require proof of citizenship.
  • Randolph College, which has faced criticism from alumnae and museum officials for its decision to raise money by selling selected works from its noted art collection, sold the first such work Wednesday, for $7.2 million, The Lynchburg News & Advance reported. The painting was "Trovador," by Rufino Tamayo.
  • The University of Oxford on Wednesday announced a 1.25 billion pound fund raising campaign (roughly $2.5 billion). The scale of the campaign for a university -- while not shocking in the United States -- is unheard of in Europe. Oxford plans a major expansion, and says it needs the infusion of funds in part to compete with top American universities.
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