Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mizzou Press closing

UM System President Tim Wolfe announced today that the University of Missouri Press will be shutting their doors (final date undetermined), with the winding down of operations beginning in July.   The Columbia Daily Tribune has a brief article discussing this unfortunate event.  As you may know, most university presses receive a subsidy from the parent school and a number have come under significant financial pressures in recent years, but, as far as I know, this is the first actual closure of a major academic publisher since I've been reviewing Civil War books. Hopefully, this is not a harbinger of doom for others involved in the printed dissemination of academic historical literature.

6 comments:

  1. John FoskettMay 25, 2012

    Any idea how the system works for presses such as LSU and UNC? My perspective may be skewed by their volume of Civil War publishing but they seem to be bigger operations than outfits such as Mizzou. For the ACW areana, at least, the biggest hit would be losing one of those, the Kansas consortium, or Tennessee.

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    1. From what I've read, UPs in general are run in similar fashions, with the amount of subsidy and support from the parent school varying widely. If I recall correctly, LSU had biting layoffs a couple years ago but survived. It is telling that the new UM System president felt that the press there was not vital to what he perceives as his institution's core mission. There's no public indication so far that similar feelings exists at places like LSU and UNC.

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    2. John FoskettMay 25, 2012

      Thanks. LSU at least operates the Civil War Center and the CWBR so there may be more "synergy" for the Press than would be the case elsewhere. Or so one hopes....

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  2. Are the sports programs at Mizzou taking a hit or scaling back in the face of recent financial pressures? Heaven forbid. No, they'd sooner put the university press on the chopping block. It's not as if universities are supposed to promote knowledge or anything

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  3. AnonymousMay 28, 2012

    Sports bring in a lot of money. I would argue that chopping away bureaucratic deadwood in the various departments would save easily enough money to keep the press intact. Alas.

    Ted Savas

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  4. I fear it's a harbinger. Many public UP's already operate on a shoestring budget, and as the state governments continue to cut funding something's gotta give. It sure isn't going to be football or basketball ops that rake in the dough.

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