University Press of Kansas under review ‘amid significant financial challenges’
photo by: Sara Shepherd
The future of the University Press of Kansas is uncertain, according to an email sent to authors it has worked with.
The trustees of the University Press of Kansas have initiated an independent review of the press to propose direction for its future “amid significant financial challenges,” an email sent on Friday stated. An external consultant, Richard Clement, will conduct a review of the press and is expected to submit his recommendation by March 1. Clement is the former dean of the College of the University Libraries and Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico.
According to a retirement announcement from the University of New Mexico, Clement had also worked at the University of Kansas for 22 years.
After Clement’s recommendation is submitted, “(the) trustees will then decide how or if the Press will continue to operate,” the email, sent by the press’ publicity manager, states.
The press’ board of trustees comprises the provosts from each of Kansas’ six public universities. The Kansas Board of Regents established the University Press of Kansas in 1946 as a consortium. It has about 1,000 books in print on topics such as U.S. history, military history, law, political science, Kansas and the Midwest.
The press will continue its day-to-day operations while waiting for further direction from its trustees. The University Press of Kansas’ former director, Conrad Roberts, resigned at the end of 2020 following a 20-year career, the email said. Kevin Smith, dean of libraries at the University of Kansas, is serving as the acting director.
A spokesperson for the University Press of Kansas did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. On Feb. 2, Derek Helms, the publicity manager for the University Press of Kansas, said at that time that the press was not publicly discussing its issues.