In an unusual deal, Utah State University Press, which had been threatened with closure because of state budget cuts, will become a subsidiary of the University Press of Colorado consortium, the Utah Statesman reported. “If we hadn’t found this arrangement, the press would have closed,” Richard Clement, USU’s dean of libraries, told the newspaper. “It’s an extraordinarily unusual kind of arrangement and it’s a forward-looking arrangement.” Clement said that the Utah State press would continue to publish the same number of books, while the Colorado press takes on the attendant financial obligations.
“We think that it is the best of all possible solutions,” Clement said. “We certainly don’t want to see a shutdown. We have 40,000 books in a warehouse in Chicago, and we don’t want to send those to the pulper.”
Michael Spooner, the Utah State press director, described the Colorado consortium as a membership organization. “There are eight universities in Colorado that joined together to support that university press,” he told the Statesman. “Utah State will become the ninth member of the consortium. Those nine institutions are pooling research.” He said that his press’s employees will now be considered Colorado employees, he said, and will telecommute.
Peter Givler, the executive director of the Association of American University Presses, agreed that the move was unusual but sensible. “Several other university presses besides Colorado serve a consortium of universities in the state–Mississippi, Kansas, Florida–but this is the first time I know of that a state university press has actually acquired a press in another state,” Mr. Givler said in an email to the Chronicle. “So in that sense, yes, it’s unusual. But I think it’s a smart move. Everybody wins. The Utah imprint continues, and the Colorado press virtually doubles in size.”