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The rumor mill
Leisure Arts, the Little Rock-based producer of needlework and craft publications, is again the focus of rumors. A former insider tells us that the talk is that the business will be sold, with potentially devastating impact on remaining jobs here.

Leisure Arts once was a leader in the field, but sales have declined and jobs have been cut at the business, now owned by Southern Progress, a Time-Warner subsidiary.

We called Southern Progress last week. A spokesman acknowledged that the rumor was circulating, but said Southern Progress wouldn’t comment on it. Or confirm or deny, we’d add.



Let’s hear it for Calvin
Do the Presbyterians value women more than men? A gender equity study just released by the American Association of University Professors found that Lyon College, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), pays its women faculty 99.8 percent of what it pays its men. University of the Ozarks — also Presbyterian — pays its women faculty 97.8 percent of what it pays the men. Those percentages aren’t perfect, but are better than those at Ouachita Baptist, where women are paid 79.4 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Hendrix College — affiliated with the United Methodist Church — falls in the middle, paying faculty women 83.8 percent of the male faculty pay.

Public universities fell in the same ballpark; Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia paid women the most, 94.6 percent of the men’s salaries; the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville paid the least, 75.8 percent. Men are more than twice as likely to hold tenured positions at all schools.

Only Lyon College employs more women than men as professors and associate professors.



Band together
“Horns Up!!” sounds like it could be a University of Texas cheer, but it’s actually a new book about Arkansas college marching bands.

The 400-page hardcover comprehensively chronicles the development of band programs at nine state universities — Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Central Arkansas, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist, Southern Arkansas, UA-Monticello, UA-Pine Bluff — devoting a full chapter to each, with plenty of photographs.

If you’re wondering why UA-Fayetteville isn’t included, that’s because the author, Little Rock optometrist T.T. Tyler Thompson, already has written an entire book about that illustrious band (“The University of Arkansas Razorback Band: A History, 1874-2004”).

Thompson is a Razorback band alumnus from 1967 to 1971. “Horns Up!!” is available at Wordsworth Books.






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