Is this the end for SMU Press?

The Dallas Morning News reported earlier today that Southern Methodist University has suspended operations at SMU Press. According to Paul W. Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs:
"It is with regret that we make the decision to suspend operations of the SMU Press, which has enjoyed a distinguished history of publishing...SMU has weathered the financial crisis well, but some cuts were necessary," he wrote. "By suspending operations rather than closing the press with finality, we retain the option to resume the press in a renewed form in the future."
SMU Press has published a lot of terrific fiction, including the hardcover of Tracy Winn's Mrs. Somebody Somebody, which scored a starred review in PW and launched her over to a book deal at Random House, who'll be publishing the paperback this summer. Read the whole sad story here.


The sad thing is that this is happening at University presses (and to University lit mags) everywhere. With state and private budgets being slashed, there's just not a lot of room anymore for something that doesn't generate a lot of money, and most U presses don't.

A good friend of mine just got a book deal for her academic book (her dissertation, actually) from Routledge, and she had to work darned hard to get it as well as have a really hot topic. And, as with any book deal, there is always a certain degree of luck. Even more now, though, that U presses are closing and suspending. Higher ed has been hurt by the recession just as much as anyone; you just don't see people talking about it so much.
JHoward said…
Good post. I wrote a story for the Chronicle of Higher Ed on Thursday about the SMU Press situation:

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