Hinojosa to address textbook affordability at Rice March 31

David Ruth

Jade Boyd

Hinojosa to address textbook affordability at Rice March 31

HOUSTON — (March 24, 2014) — Texas Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, will speak at Rice University at 10:30 a.m. March 31 about the Affordable College Textbook Act, legislation that aims to make high-quality, open-education textbooks available free to students, professors and the public.

Rubén Hinojosa

Hinojosa will deliver the keynote address at CNX 2014 “Making OER Work,” a two-day conference that will bring together leading policy, academic and technology experts to discuss the future of open-education resources (OER) as well as the technologies that are making this future a possibility. The conference is sponsored by Rice and its two open-education initiatives, Connexions and OpenStax College.

Hinojosa introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act (H.R. 3538) last fall. The legislation would establish a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education to create and expand the use of “open textbooks,” online texts that are licensed under terms that give the public the right to freely access, customize and distribute the material.

Connexions, which launched in 1999, is a platform for the development and dissemination of freely available educational content. Connexions’ online repository, which contains educational materials for everyone from children to college students and professionals, is used by 2 million people in more than 190 countries each month.

OpenStax College, which launched in 2012, uses philanthropic gifts from major foundations to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print. Its first seven books have already saved students more than $8 million, been downloaded more than 480,000 times and been adopted by more than 540 high schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and research universities. For more information, visit http://openstaxcollege.org.


Members of the news media who wish to attend Hinojosa’s speech should RSVP to Jade Boyd, associate director of media relations at Rice, at jadeboyd@rice.edu or 713-348-6778.

For a map of Rice University’s campus, go to www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.


About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.