Save University Press of Kansas!

Save University Press of Kansas!

February 10, 2021
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This petition made change with 3,913 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Farina King

Support the University Press of Kansas.

On February 5, 2021, the University Press of Kansas informed authors of its publications of the financial challenges that could possibly shut down the press in the following message:

"We’re writing to inform you that the trustees of the University Press of Kansas have initiated an independent review to propose direction for the Press’s future amid significant financial challenges. 

An external consultant, Richard Clement, recently retired dean of College of the University Libraries and Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico, will conduct a review of the Press and put forward a recommendation to the trustees. Clement expects to submit his recommendation by March 1st, 2021. The trustees will then decide how or if the Press will continue to operate. . . .

Founded in 1946 and established as a consortium by the Kansas Board of Regents, and with approximately 1,000 books in print, the University Press of Kansas publishes a world-class list of books in US history, military history, law, political science, and other fields, as well as regional books that contribute to the understanding of Kansas, the Great Plains, and the Midwest. . . ."

In response to this message, we ask all to support the University Press of Kansas in any way that you can such as buying books and spreading the word! Another GREAT WAY TO HELP is write to the UPK Board in support of the Press. Please sign this petition to the University Press of Kansas Board of Trustees to support and save the University Press of Kansas. We want to spread and stress the message to the board and world that we VALUE and want to SAVE the Press.

Also please consider sending a letter directly in support of saving the University Press of Kansas, which you can address to the following email addresses of the Board members:

University Press of Kansas Board of Trustees

Emporia State University: David Cordle, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:

Fort Hays State University: Jill Arensdorf, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:

Kansas State University: Charles Taber, Provost and Executive Vice President:

Pittsburg State University: Howard W. Smith, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:

University of Kansas: Barbara Bichelmeyer, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor:

Wichita State University: Shirley Lefever, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost:

UPK author Dr. Tai S. Edwards drafted and sent this letter to the Board members and has agreed to share it with others for inspiration:

"I'm writing to implore you to maintain the University Press of Kansas.
University Press of Kansas serves students. The content they create is directly used in Kansas classrooms and libraries. Their premier series on Presidents, Constitution, Military and War studies, Environmental and Indigenous peoples (Native American) histories among many others are part of courses across the state and nation. I've used UPK books in my teaching at KU and Johnson County Community College. And I know I'm not alone.

It is the responsibility of Kansas colleges and universities to produce scholarship on this state for our students and community. My students have checked out so many UPK books from the library for their research projects, especially on Kansas. Janovy's No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas and Buchanan, et al., Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills are just some of the examples of the work that UPK produces by Kansans for Kansans, but also for the world. This is part of public education's service to our community. And if UPK isn't producing this scholarship, who will?

Please do not eliminate a Press that is both wonderful to work with (I know because I've published with them) and is producing critical scholarship that helps our students and community understand the past to succeed in the present. The last thing Kansans or the U.S. needs right now is a loss of critical examination of U.S. history, especially in the fields UPK focuses on.

As someone born in Kansas, who works in public education in Kansas, and published scholarship with University Press of Kansas I know the value of this press. This is a prestigious press that produces foundational work (just look at the awards their books receive!). This is part of your mission to serve your students and this state.

I will happily be part of any work that is required to save this press. Let me know how I can help serve.

Tai S. Edwards, Ph.D.
Director of Kansas Studies Institute"

SAVE KANSAS PRESS! #savekansaspress


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