Tuesday, June 16, 2009

University Presses' Debt to Linebackers

More bad news for publishing. This article from the Associated Press describes how some university presses are being pushed toward extinction. Louisiana State University Press, original publisher of A Confederacy of Dunces, doesn't make enough money to function on its own. Said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin: "We allocated $500,000 of university money to the press in the last fiscal year. They spent $1.4 million." Publishing Pulitzer-Prize-winning poetry apparently doesn't pay the bills.

Ted Genoways, outspoken editor for The Virginia Quarterly Review had this to say in response to several university presses putting budgets and employees on the chopping block: "Do you want to be known as some place that supports the history and culture of your region or some place that has fantastic outside linebackers?"

Martin responded that athletics subsidize some academic programs. "In some respects," Martin said, "the press has been saved by the outside linebackers — up to this point."

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