Mervin (Mike) L. Keedy Obituary

In March, 2020, we received notice from Nathan Keedy that TAA’s founding member, Mike Keedy, had passed away, just shy of his 100th birthday. Nathan provided his father’s obituary, which we share below, with an expanded section related to Mike’s TAA activities.

Mervin (Mike) L. Keedy Obituary

Mike KeedyDr. Mervin (Mike) Keedy died peacefully at home with his family on March 14. As a math professor it is fitting that he died on pi day, 3.14.  Dr. Keedy was born (the oldest of 3 sons) on August 2, 1920 on a farm in western Nebraska of parents: Albert L. Keedy, Jr. and Iva Barney Keedy.

An important and positive change to TAA’s not-for-profit classification

How much do you know—or care to know—about the wide variety of not-for-profit organizations that are recognized by the US government in the IRS tax code? Perhaps not much, and that’s fine, of course. I hope you know and see it as appropriate that TAA is a non-profit. Indeed we are, but recently have undergone a classification change. I hope you’ll indulge me in this brief column while I explain the importance of that change.

In December 2019, the IRS officially agreed to reclassify TAA from a 501(c)6 organization to a 501(c)3. The odd alpha-numeric classification system is of no interest, but you might like to know that our former classification is more often applied to entities that are akin to labor unions. That’s not crazy, because TAA does advocate for the interests and needs of authors, as a labor union might. But we’re not quite analogous to a labor union. For example, when TAA advocates a position, we take into consideration, and intend to benefit, the entire community of authors – even those who aren’t currently TAA members.

TAA Council Awards Restructured for 2020

Council Awards are established by TAA’s governing body and administered by the Council of Fellows and Awards Committee (referred to as the ‘Awards Committee’ for short). Beginning in 2019, the Awards Committee undertook an effort to rethink most of the awards, to develop clearer distinctions among them, and to rewrite the criteria used for determining winners. Council Awards are intended to recognize individual achievements in writing or in service to TAA or fellow authors. Unlike the Textbook Award program, they do not aim to judge the quality of a single work, but rather to recognize the accomplishments of authors and industry professionals, in different stages and aspects of their careers.

Pearson’s move to ‘digital first’: Perspective from a key Pearson executive (Part II)

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Pearson’s move to ‘digital first’: Perspective from a key Pearson executive (Part I)

On July 24th, I had the opportunity to interview Paul Corey of Pearson by phone for about an hour regarding the recent announcement that Pearson will move to a digital first strategy for its textbook business. Paul is the Senior VP of Global Content Strategy for Pearson, and thus plays a key role in developing and implementing plans like the digital first strategy. Paul also has primary responsibility for Pearson’s relationships with authors, so I was especially appreciative of the chance to hear his thoughts on how the new direction might affect authors.*

I started the conversation by asking Paul about the principal reason for Pearson to shift its focus to a digital-first strategy. He responded with three specific rationales for the move, not necessarily in order of importance:

McGraw-Hill and Cengage intend to merge

An announcement jointly made by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen and McGraw-Hill CEO Nana Banerjee is sure to raise questions among authors of both organizations. The two entities are planning a merger in 2020 that will, according to the company’s public release, “accelerate innovation and accessibility” and provide “seamless integration across our range of learning sciences, adaptive solutions, and learning tools.”