Aspen Comments on #AspenGate

May 9th, 2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education has some comments from the General Manger of Wolters Kluwer Legal Education. Apparently, this was all a miscommunication.

Vikram Savkar, vice president and general manager of Wolters Kluwer Legal Education, said in an interview that the first letter was not supposed to be a formal introduction of the program, which will be in a pilot stage this fall. The letter was simply a way for sales representatives to let their customers know about it.

“The main thing that we learned from the response was to recognize that we did not roll out the information in the right way, and I regret that,” Mr. Savkar said.

He said the formal announcement of the program was scheduled for late May or early June, and he clarified that the program would include only 11 titles to start with, until the publisher got further reactions from the pilot.

“This experience is obviously one kind of feedback that we will learn from,” Mr. Savkar said. “Now that we are in contact with people, we want their thoughts on the model, we want their thoughts on the technology, we want their thoughts on the options, and we will listen and we will learn and we will pivot.”

Mr. Savkar said that it was always the company’s intention to let customers choose whether or not to buy the casebooks through the program. One thing the publisher is trying to change after receiving the professors’ feedback is pricing, according to Mr. Savkar. He said he was working hard to find a fair price, which should be included in the next announcement, along with more details.

“We are doing this to make the educational solutions that law schools, faculty, and students have available to them better,” he said.

Well, whatever the story is, I’m glad the policy has been clarified.