Today in academia: the first all-vegan university cafeteria will soon open, a giant retailer is moving textbooks online, U.S. News rankings are important and, yes, "woot" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
- The first university to feature a 'strictly vegan' cafeteria is in....Texas? Maybe we're just stereotyping, but we would've assumed--as with the nation's most "planet-minded" schools--that a California college would snag this title. But Inside Higher Ed reports that the University of North Texas was the first. But, to be clear, they didn't do it to be hippies or anything: "administrators didn't create the vegan-friendly option to make a statement about animal welfare or sustainability so much as to provide more options for a student body whose tastes are growing increasingly diverse." [Inside Higher Ed]
- Another step toward replacing heavy, pricey textbooks with light, pricey etextbooks: Textbook and rental retailer, Chegg, "is going to be steadily rolling e-textbooks on its platform with goal of offering millions of e-textbooks to students by the end of the year," reports TechCrunch. Publishers on board are aplenty, among others: Cengage Learning, Elsevier, F.A. Davis, Macmillan, McFarland and McGraw-Hill. [TechCrunch]
- Speaking of textbook retailer McGraw-Hill... There are rumblings that it might sell off its education division. Reuters says the company is being pressured to sell because its corporate sibling, Standard & Poors, made twice what they made in 2010. The Wall Street Journal reported today that "the focus has been on separating the education business, but what form that will take is still unclear, people familiar with the matter said." [Reuters, The Wall Street Journal]
- Sam Brownback wants better results in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The Kansas governor, and once presidential candidate (the Pawlenty of 2007), emphasized that he wanted to get his state's universities back to the top of the list: "In a statement issued by Brownback, he pointed to the 2010-2011 rankings in U.S. News and World Report that placed The University of Kansas 104th among 260 top universities, a decline from 96th in 2009." Looks like only an eight spot drop, that doesn't seem so bad. [The Topeka Capital-Journal via Inside Higher Ed]
- The Oxford English Dictionary continues quest to stay relevant ... by adding "woot" to the official English language in its new edition in stores today. Of course, as our sister site informs, outdated words like "brabble" and "growlery" were winnowed out. And "cougar" finally gets redefined too. Out with the old, in with the new, it seems. [The Atlantic]