LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Public needs to see UM Press budget numbers

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | 3:27 p.m. CDT

Thank you for today's article (June 11) on UM Press. I have a few words of response to it which I hope you take to heart.

When MU's administration attempted to whack out UM Press from the university system (and at the same time grab ear-marked money and foundation support funds that donors like myself gave to boost UMP's efforts), I was appalled.

Of course I read all the journalistic reports in the Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune, but not one reporter gave any attention to the fact that the budget for the press was at that time miniscule and had been for years. I suspect its current budget figure was not raised for this fiscal year.

Is there any hope, one wonders, of it being raised appropriately to accommodate the many ideas that have been proposed?

I know that getting budgetary information from MU System is daunting (It's an enormous and weighty document.), and I never got through the maze to gain a clear picture of the press' tiny budget.

Therefore, I'm asking, could you please report on the budget allocations for the press for the current year and the proposed fiscal year? I think it would be very enlightening. And July (new fiscal year) is just around the corner.

In general, university/academic presses have a viable place in the publishing industry. Yes, they are all going through changes, and it would certainly be advisable to invest in this particular publishing niche and finally make our brand stand tall among the rest.

I would appreciate hearing your views, and I am hopeful that you will grasp the importance of taking a business-like look at the current budget (and the past budget for insight, if you have the time) — and provide these figures for those of us holding our breath about our beloved press that has shown itself to be most worthy of support.

Sharon Kinney Hanson, '77 M.Ed, lives in Columbia.

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