Campus briefs

By Zac Farber

New associate dean of faculty appointedPsychology professor Kendrick Brown assumed the duties of associate dean of faculty on Aug. 17; Provost Kathleen Murray appointed him in April.

The associate dean of faculty coordinates academic assessments and external reviews of academic departments while assisting other administrators in decisions and projects such as faculty hiring and class schedule development. The associate dean also may represent the provost at committee meetings and serve as the provost’s surrogate.

Brown, a professor at Macalester since 1998, is a “social psychologist whose research addresses the expression and consequences of racial prejudice and discrimination for dominant and subordinate groups in the United States and Western Europe,” according to his department biography. This semester he will be teaching one 300-level course, “Understanding and Confronting Racism,” which is cross-listed in Psychology and American Studies.

Textbook companies announce book rental plan

Several major textbook companies have announced that they will be starting a rental service.

Cengage Learning will start renting books at 40 to 70 percent of the cover price, according to The New York Times. The Follett Higher Education Group, which runs more than 800 student bookstores in North America (but not Macalester’s), is starting a renting program at a dozen schools nationwide; textbook rentals will cost 42.5 percent of the purchase price, according to Inside Higher Ed.

While there is no rental program through the Highlander yet, students can rent books online from Web sites such as and that promise savings of 75 percent and more. Chegg offers variable-rate rental periods ranging from 60 days to the semester-long 125 days. (At Chegg, a 4th edition “Principles of Economics” textbook costs $16.06 for the semester; the 2006 edition of “American Government: Continuity and Change” costs $33.03.)