COLUMBIA — After publishing more than 2,000 books in the past 54 years, the University of Missouri Press will soon be closing.
UM System President Tim Wolfe said in a statement Thursday morning that the publishing house will be phased out beginning in the 2013 fiscal year because of its growing deficit.
The UM system provides an annual subsidy of $400,000; this subsidy will end June 30. No timeline has been established for the phasing-out process, Jennifer Hollingshead, director of marketing and public relations for the UM system, said.
"For the last decade or so, we've worked really hard to develop a more viable model for the press," said Steve Graham, senior associate vice president for academic affairs. University Press has made several attempts to overcome the deficit for the past decade, including fundraising and cutting jobs.
The operation employs 10 individuals, who were notified of the closing Thursday morning. These employees will be provided with transition assistance and applicable benefits, according to the news release.
The publishing house prints approximately 30 works per year, but less than 10 percent of those come from UM faculty members, Hollingshead said. These works will now be printed at other similar presses around the country.
Hollingshead said closing the press will allow the UM system to better align resources with university priorities. The six priorities Wolfe laid out in April are "focused strategic planning; attracting and retaining the best people; innovative instruction; operational excellence; expanded research and economic development; and effective communication of our value and importance," the release said.
MU is exploring new models for scholarly communication as technological changes have turned media around, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.
Technology "is forcing changes in scholarly communication as well," Basi said.
Supervising editor is John Schneller