Thursday, March 09, 2017

Peter Kracht in support of Duquesne University Press

of the
Duquesne University Press

Today's blogpost is for readers with an interest in practical university problems, but everyone is welcome to read it, of course.

Peter Kracht, director of the University of Pittsburgh Press, speaks out in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the Duquesne University Press. That press is facing closure for budgetary reasons, but Kracht calls out to "Let Duquesne University Press live" (March 7, 2017).

Why? Because this press "has built a truly outstanding reputation in . . . . medieval studies, philosophy and scholarship on John Milton."

Many of my Milton-scholar friends are speaking up in support of this university press, so I've concluded that I ought to add my voice, and I'm doing so by way of Kracht's article. At its most concise and pragmatic, here is the argument by Kracht:
Duquesne University recently announced that it is contemplating the closure of its university press for budgetary reasons . . . . University presses have always required substantial financial support from their parent institutions to fulfill their mission. Instead of looking at university support for its press as a "loss," I think it's useful to flip the equation around - actually the university press is one of the few departments at any university that actually contributes in a routine, ongoing way to the cost of fulfilling its mission.
The argument is intriguing, and I've not heard it before, so maybe it will make the Duquesne University administration reconsider, especially since this press has such high standing in the academic world.



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